The Cloud Catcher visits the Festival of Fame


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The Cloud Catcher by Richard Antrobus, at NSA’s Festival of Fame in partnership with ASSITEJ SA, is aimed specifically at young audiences aged 7 plus.

Nieke Lombard in The Cloud Catcher
Nieke Lombard in The Cloud Catcher

“The Cloud Catcher” is one of the few new independent theatre productions aimed specifically at young audiences and is now available to Joburg audiences at the National School of the Arts’ Festival of Fame in partnership with ASSITEJ SA.

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This piece, created by Richard Antrobus as part of ASSITEJ SA Inspiring a Generation Programme over the period of a year, is geared at audiences aged 7 and older.

Antrobus, an experienced theatre-maker and a recent father conceptualised the piece for his then unborn child, Emily. The story follows a young girl (Nieke Lombard) with her head in the clouds. The country is suffering from a severe drought. Shy, timid, but also adventurous and wild, this daydreamer decides to end the drought once and for all. She invents a marvellous machine to do just that. Her journey takes her across the African continent in search of rain clouds.

The Cloud Catcher (suitable for ages 7 and up) and will be performed at the Joburg Fringe:

  • 8 March Wednesday, at 11:00
  • 9 March Thursday at 11:00
  • 10 March Friday at 11:00
  • 11 March Saturday 15:30

The Festival of Fame Day Pass will give access to all productions that are part of the festival at the school and at the Joburg Theatre taking place between 09h00 and 18h00.
Tickets cost R90 per day.

A separate ticket will need to be purchased for the evening shows.

Block bookings can be arranged through the National School of the Arts, Charmaine Stander and individual purchases can be made through Joburg Theatre’s ticket office.

This solo adventure fuses physical theatre with real-life ‘documentary’ style video footage, a simple yet creative set and a good dose of imagination. This clever blend of educational entertainment and whimsical fantasy delivers a strong message of hope, resilience and empowerment.

Since conceptualising the work in early 2016, “The Cloud Catcher” has played to audiences in Cape Town and at the National Arts Festival.

What does little Emily think of the work? “She watched it once at 3 months old and seemed intrigued from beginning to end, but it may be a while still before she actually follows the subtle nuances of the story,” says Antrobus.

Antrobus has been selected as one of 30 Next Generation delegates, a residency for young artists from around the world working in the field of theatre for young audiences, which will take place at Cradle of Creativity: 19th ASSITEJ World Congress and International Theatre Festival for Children and Young People in Cape Town this May. “The Cloud Catcher” will perform on its fringe programme.

Hopefully “The Cloud Catcher” will be able to take some of Joburg’s rain back home to relieve the severe drought in the Western Cape.
About Festival of Fame.

Festival of Fame takes place from 8-12 March and is a 5-day celebration of all forms of the arts presented by the National School of the Arts in partnership with ASSITEJ (International Association of Theatre for Children & Young People) at the NSA and The Joburg Theatre complex. The diverse and dynamic programme of NSA & award-winning professional productions offers something for everyone from 8 – 80!

Annually more than 5 000 learners from across Gauteng (even from Cape Town and Zimbabwe) spend a day at the Festival, entranced by the magical productions and being inspired in their own creativity. Festival of Fame adds a vibrant and memorable dimension to the high school Creative Arts curriculum.

For Gauteng arts lovers, the Festival offers top quality productions at low ticket prices and an enchanting glimpse into the talents of the young people who will go on to become the future leaders and luminaries of the South African arts landscape.

The production is available in English and Afrikaans on request.

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