Fresha Fest of free open-air theatre on the beach

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The Fresha Festival of free, fun family al-fresco theatre will be staged for the second time on Durban’s North Beach on 19, 20 and 21 January.

A scene from Fresha Festival 2017. Photo: Harry Lock.
A scene from Fresha Festival 2017. Photo: Harry Lock.

Festival Director Emma Durden considered: “What could be more quintessentially Durban than a summer festival of free family theatre?”

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FRESHA FESTIVAL PROGRAMMEUpdated 9 Jan. Programme subject to change.


FRIDAY 19 JANUARY

  • 17:00: Opening event – procession and performance showcase – Bay of Plenty Lawns

SATURDAY 20 JANUARY

  • 08:00: Free, open DanceXercise class with the Movement Lab
  • 09:00: Free street theatre workshop with acclaimed Netherlands performer, Gerard Olthaar
  • 13:00: Seeking Asylum (Performance art – doung Anwar Jahangeer)
  • 13:30: Gerard O (Street comedy – Netherlands)
  • 14:00: Abafana Bizarre (Dance, Wushwini)
  • 14:30: Coming Home (Satire / physical theatre – Born Legends Productions)
  • 15:00: The Kitchen Symphony (Street Theatre – Clinton Marius and Bongani Mbatha)
  • 15:30: Fragile (Dance – Kristi-Leigh Gresse)
  • 16:00: Stilts in the Street (Amos Williamz / Gerard O – Comedy)
  • 16:30: Dudlu…Dadlaza (Dance – Musa Hlatshwayo and Mhayise Productions)
  • 17:00: Sundowner music showcase: Big Band Jazz with Debbie and George Mari

SUNDAY 21 JANUARY

  • 08:00: Free, open Zumba dance class with the Movement Lab
  • 09:00: Free street theatre workshop with acclaimed Netherlands performer, Gerard Olthaar
  • 13:00: Seeking Asylum (Performance art – doung Anwar Jahangeer)
  • 13:30: Gerard O (Street comedy – Netherlands)
  • 14:00: Abafana Bizarre (Dance, Wushwini)
  • 14:30: Coming Home (Satire / physical theatre – Born Legends Productions)
  • 15:00: The Kitchen Symphony (Street Theatre – Clinton Marius and Bongani Mbatha)
  • 15:30: Fragile (Dance – Kristi-Leigh Gresse)
  • 16:00: Stilts in the Street (Amos Williamz / Gerard O – Comedy)
  • 16:30: Dudlu… Dadlaza (Dance – Musa Hlatshwayo and Mhayise Productions)
  • 17:00: Sundowner showcase: Live music

The Fresha Festival starts late afternoon at 17:00 on Friday 19 January with a performance showcase to provide an overview of the weekend ahead. The festival is on Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 January, from 13:00 until 17:00, offering a full afternoon of diverse, family-friendly free short shows.

Gerard Oldthaar is an acclaimed street comedy performer from the Netherlands. Photo: Harry Lock.
Gerard Oldthaar is an acclaimed street comedy performer from the Netherlands. Photo: Harry Lock.

A varied day-time line-up of carefully-chosen participants takes place on the beach promenade, selected to ensure that the programme is diverse, fabulous and exciting.

Each production will have two performances of approximately 15 minutes over the weekend.

Both days (Sat 20 and Sun 21) start with an hour-long free, open dance class at 08:00; followed by a free open street theatre class starting at 09:00.

Dustbins – a delightful piece of comedy street theatre staged last year. Born Legends Productions will be doing a new piece this year, Coming Home. Photo: Vanessa Cracknell.
Dustbins – a delightful piece of comedy street theatre staged last year. Born Legends Productions will be doing a new piece this year, Coming Home. Photo: Vanessa Cracknell.

Fresha Fest was hosted for the first time last year as the new incarnation of the Musho! Festival – it is the phoenix which has arisen from Musho’s ashes: a hip and happening street / beach open-air festival – the perfect event to wrap up the Durban summer holiday season.

The Fresha Festival is directed by Emma Durden, supported by Roel Twijnstra and is presented by Twist Theatre Development Projects which focuses on the development of community theatre groups in KwaZulu-Natal, and on creating sustainable relationships and networks for theatre development, both locally and abroad. Twist is funded by The National Lotteries Commission and the Embassy of the Kingdom of The Netherlands. Additional funding for Fresha has been graciously provided by eThekwini Municipality and the Department of Arts and Culture, KZN.

A site specific performance art piece will be staged by doung Anwar Jahangeer. Photo: Vanessa Cracknell.
A site specific performance art piece will be staged by doung Anwar Jahangeer. Photo: Vanessa Cracknell.

For more info, visit www.freshafestival.co.za / or e-mail info@freshafestival.co.za Find Fresha Festival on facebook and @freshafest on twitter.

All festival events are at the Bay of Plenty lawns, North beach, and are free of charge. There is a tent for rainy days, so come down whatever the weather!

And look out for the wonderful bespoke Fresha Frames – lovely Shweshwe and wax print frames designed and made by Durban mixed media artist, Leevi Matthew.

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