Hilton Arts Festival’s youth programme – Jongosi

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Attention all teachers and learners! There is an exciting programme for the young at Hilton. Make a day of it on 15 September and join in the fun.

Chuma Sopotela & Bongile Mantsai in Karoo Moose. Pic by Oscar 'O Ryan.
Chuma Sopotela & Bongile Mantsai in Karoo Moose. Pic by Oscar ‘O Ryan.

Keeping arts alive for future generations, the Hilton Arts Festival is working proactively to introduce young people to the wondrous all-encompassing world of live performance and to this end is offering a Jongosi youth component as part of the main festival.

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This year, the festival invites schools to attend the eighth Jongosi Festival. Teachers are invited to save the date if they would like their learners, in particular drama, music or dance classes, to experience the best of live performances on offer in the country.

The Jongosi Festival embedded in the main festival, takes place on Friday 15 September, and has a specifically, carefully-selected age-appropriate programme aimed at Grades 6 – 10.

Festival Director, Sue Clarence stated: “The day is structured to ensure that learners will be fully-occupied attending a variety of fabulous, innovative theatre. The aim is to instil a love of the performing arts, and to provide enjoyment and to stimulate thought and discussion.”

Pictured here are Ben Voss and John van de Ruit in their latest hilarious offering, Mamba Republic. Pic by Jacki Bruniquel.
Pictured here are Ben Voss and John van de Ruit in their latest hilarious offering, Mamba Republic. Pic by Jacki Bruniquel.

A carefully-considered line up has been curated to form the Jongosi programme. The final schedule is not yet finalised at this stage, although some of the key elements are in place.

For the younger audiences, grades 6 – 9: highlights include the boisterous fun Raiders of the Caribbean by former Playhouse Head of Drama now based in Cape Town, Nicholas Ellenbogen and his Theatre for Africa. Billed as a swashbuckling musical set in the beautiful Caribbean, audiences are invited to join Lucious Lola and Jude the Cruel in the quest for the Jewel of the Caribbean treasure.

“But beware, young traveller all good stories have a dark side!”After Dark in the Groot Marico is a two-hander created by Tara Notcutt which reconsiders and enlivens some of the favourite Oom Schalk Lourens stories by master story teller, Herman Charles Bosman.

Making Mandela is an innovative story by Jenine Collocott, acclaimed member of the team that created The Snow Goose. The new, captivating production, Making Mandela, is the story of what influenced the rural boy to become a global legend. The production is an imaginative journey through the childhood of Mandela, featuring colourful characters, vividly portrayed in masks, with physical performances supported by emotive sound and theatrical styling.

For the slightly older learners, in grades 10 – 12, there is a wide variety of options available including The Baxter’s Karoo Moose which chronicles the story of a young girl named Thomaza who lives in an isolated village in the Karoo region, who ends up killing a moose. Strange, enchanting and definitely different, Karoo Moose is devised by Baxter CEO and multi-awarded playwright Lara Foot.

Mamba Republic is a rapid-paced satirical sketch-comedy which reunites the talents of Ben Voss (Beauty Ramapelepele) and John van de Ruit (Spud), Mamba Republic takes a savagely funny look at all that is wrong and very wrong in the Rainbow Nation.

Also on the cards will be a stand-up comedy show – specifically designed for a youthful audience. Details here are still strictly under wraps!

From closer to home is Greig Coetzee’s much-loved, delightful, melancholic and quirky solo piece Blue Period of Milton van der Spuy, produced by Peter Mitchell from UKZN Pietermaritzburg campus and featuring Francis Mennigke who is a graduate of Rhodes University and a master’s student at UKZN.

The makers of Snow Goose, James Cairns and Taryn Bennett, star in this production of the Ernest Hemingway classic, The Old Man and The Sea. The story recounts the perils of a fisherman Santiago on his voyage to break 84 days without a catch.

Over and above the shows there are a wide variety of free arts related workshops, exhibitions and interactive engagement opportunities to explore between shows.

Give your pupils the opportunity to submerge themselves in quality performance at the 25th Hilton Arts Festival this year at Hilton College from 15 – 17 September. If schools are interested in booking their learners – contact the festival office on festival@hiltoncollege.com or 033 383 0127.

The full schedule and bookings will be finalised by the end of July.

For more info, visit www.hiltonfestival.co.za or contact the Festival Office.

The festival would not be possible without the generous support of Hilton College, Times Media Group, Grindrod Bank, Black Coffee, DWR, PWC, Bidvest Car Rental, Indwe Risk Services, Assitej South Africa, Loud Crowd, Sappi, Redlands Hotel, Zultrans, KZN Dept of Arts & Culture, BASA, Castle Lite, Maritzburg Sun, Caxton, KZN Weddings & Functions, Midlands Stretch Tents, Ken Forrester Wines.

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