Cutting look at ‘playing’ today’s black woman

Confessions of a Black Listed Woman: She Bellows tackles a number of intertwined themes looking at black femalehood today.   It tells a satirical story of...

McMurty’s ‘Mamba Republic’ spits jawbreakers packed with venom

The packed Victoria Theatre goes dark. The voice of a female operator comes on saying: “Welcome to Mamba Republic. The show will begin in...

Last weekend of fest

The last weekend of the National Arts Festival is here, marking the end of another remarkable experience for business owners and culture lovers. Grahamstown has...

Shattering mould that breaks men

Men are getting a bad rap with #Menaretrash, but two festival works have dived into masculinity and come up with different angles on the...

Powerful play sparks discussion

Fire House is the play out of hundreds here at the National Arts Festival which should come to East London. I have investigated and reported...

Home of Legends exhibition pays homage to EC

The Eastern Cape Home of Legends exhibition is on display at the Albany Museum for the duration of the National Arts Festival, showcasing an...

Tats hits the spot with comedy show

Thought-provoking funny-man Tats Nkonzo had comedy- lovers in stitches at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown this week with his A South African Comedy...

Tableaux of remembrance and hope a hit

Tableaux in Red: Oil on Canvas 1976 by the Selborne College drama society has been a hit with the crowds at the National Arts...

Bravos for Brit quipster’s digs at SA foibles

You could see on his face that south London comedian Steven K Amos could not quite believe how receptive his South African audience at...

Smooth sounds to suit every jazz lover

By GILLIAN MCAINSH and NONSINDISO QWABE This year’s Standard Bank Jazz Festival in Grahamstown, incorporating the National Youth Jazz Festival, offers something to suit every...

‘ Inspired millennials tap into Hani energy

The born-free generation is tapping into the story of Chris Hani using the language, style and culture of contemporary hip-hop and rap.   Twelve creatives from...

PHOTO GALLERY: This week’s Top Shots

The National Arts Festival is in full swing in Grahamstown, bringing with it live performances, art exhibitions, film viewings, dance and comedy shows and...

Makeba’s legacy thrills audience

The small space of Saint’s Bistro Café became even more intimate when about 100 people braved the cold in Grahamstown on Friday night to...

Searing and profound works

Performance artists put their bodies on the line to express deep, complex issues, often about wounds. On stage, this can be wounding for both...

Local Arts entry looks at abuse

A dramatic, all-female, King William’s Town play will take to the stage at this year’s National Arts Festival in Grahamstown to tell a story...

City goes all out for arts festival

Next week sees the second annual East London Arts and Culture Festival – the Umtiza Arts Festival – named after an indigenous tree the...

New productions to grace arts fest

From world-class dance productions to award-winning music stars, patrons of the National Arts Festival (Naf) can expect the unexpected at this year’s fest. The programme...

Women’s stories, lives, take centre stage

Abongele Manka’s debut theatre production brings to life the Bible scripture from which the title of her play is taken. Women, Thou Art Loosed, on...

Major applause for biting revolution satire

Animal farm received more than audience applause. It got statement applause. The packed Rhodes Theatre rose up with a collective shout of approval as the...

Dagga steps out of the shadows to fuel debate

By DAVID MACGREGOR After more than 40 years on the fringe of the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, dagga finally stepped out of the shadows...

Msaki truly spellbinding: Vocalist reaping rewards in career

The Eastern Cape music landscape is changing and judging by the talent that has so far been showcased at the National Arts Festival in...

Painful piece of performance art

By MIKE LOEWE Shocked theatregoers watched performance artist Gavin Krastin standing naked and vulnerable, but for a strip of tape over his privates, and clamp...

Jazz musos do EC proud

By ZIPO-ZENKOSI NCOKAZI Jazz lovers were left begging for more after being wowed by some of the Eastern Cape’s finest afro pop musicians at the National...

Bringing the world of Bessie Head to life

By MIKE LOEWE We meet Bessie Head as a crazy-wild coloured aunty in an African print dress in an African airport transition hall throwing her...

Cherae blistering hot in ‘Scorched’

By BARBARA HOLLANDS Cherae Halley had an inkling drama would be central to her life when she petitioned her primary school to provide extra-curricular drama...

Fest creative director reflects

By MIKE LOEWE Art has the power to influence South African society in the current time of immoral and corrupt politics.  Artists are once again using...

Award-winning play highlights xenophobia

By DAVID MACGREGOR Last year’s xenophobic attacks in Grahamstown have inspired an award-winning National Arts Festival collaboration between an acclaimed township theatre company and a...

Ramsay exceptional in riveting fest play

By MIKE LOEWE How nice people do despicably cruel things has become a cliche in South Africa, but Fiona Ramsay’s phenomenal performance in Blonde Poison...

National theatre acts dominate at festival

By NIGEL VERMAAS You are at the National Arts Festival and you may not know your Fringe from your Arena or your Main Stage from...

Feisty females’ musings explicit but fun

By GILLIAN McAINSH Six Inches by Kristy Suttner and Diaan Lawrenson, Vicky’s, today until July 9. This Fringe comedy returns to the festival with three sassy...

Foot’s ‘Karoo Moose’ makes its mark as a must-see iconic play

By ANN KNIGHT The stage is set as a small village somewhere in the Karoo. The story – violent and sad – portrays the village’s personalities...

Nuanced, profound multimedia offering

By GILLIAN McAINSH Mohau Modisakeng is the 2016 Standard Bank Young Artist for Visual Art – and what a relevant choice in view of civic...

AKA to perform at National Arts Festival

By NOMPILO NDLOVU A big change on the National Arts Festival program this year is the injection of more South African contemporary music. This year’s Festival Artistic...

Praise for ‘crown jewels’ but water a major concern

By MIKE LOEWE The National Arts Festival hits midweek today amid praise from the Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency (ECPTA) but a lingering water...

Rural artist has chance to shine at exhibition

By DAVID MACGREGOR A talented rural artist has been given a lifeline to explore his craft by the son of a famous South African abstract...

Moving tribute to an icon

By MIKE LOEWE Dramatising the life of ANC hero Albertina Sisulu was always going to be a difficult process involving hard choices, but director Warona...

Smooth sounds of success

By ZIPO-ZENKOSI NCOKAZI There are very few artists able to balance staying true to their art yet able to appeal to a wide cross section...

Can Themba celebrated

By MIKE LOEWE It is  fitting to celebrate the story of one of Fort Hare University’s most illustrious literary alumni and one of South Africa’s...

Greatest Xhosa tale of all time on the grand stage

BY POLISWA PLAATJIE The much celebrated Xhosa story Ityala La Mawele will come to life at the National Arts Festival next week. The production is one...

Pieces fall into place for annual arts fest

The host of elements making up the 42nd Grahamstown arts festival is coming into alignment in time for its launch next week. The budget of...

Hamburg show opens to full house

They may come from a poor Eastern Cape village but this is not stopping talented Hamburg artists from flying high at the Arts Fest...

Radio waves too much for Busker’s street sax sound

A Globe-trotting pavement minstrel is up in arms over “noise” from a mobile radio studio drowning out his pavement saxophone sessions at the National...

Play on Mandela childhood fills writer’s lifelong dream

It was a life-long dream to produce a play about South Africa’s rich history that motivated producer Jenine Collocott to write Making Mandela. After received funding...

Disabled dancers get into their groove

You don’t really need wings to fly, or in this case, legs to dance. Dance companies Artscape and Unmute Dance Company broke down those perceptions...

41st fest pumps new energy through chilly air

Standard Bank young jazz and blues pianist Nduduzo Makhatini shook the floorboards and blew the minds of fans at his Listening to the Ground show on...

Puppets add twist to Xhosa storytelling

The centuries-old art of Xhosa storytelling has been brought alive by two new plays making their début at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown...

G’town set for great fest

The National Arts Festival swings into a first big weekend of action with three sold out shows for Irish international comedian Dylan Moran. There’s also...

2015 arts fest kicks off in style

The National Arts Festival in Grahamstown was recognised around the world as an expression of the freedom enshrined in the South African constitution, Eastern...

Variety of shows from centre

Well-known performing arts centre, Artscape, as usual brings world-class productions to this year’s National Arts Festival. The festival, which starts today, celebrates various facets of...

Family dramas with sparkle and depth

Over  the past few years, family theatre at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown has gained ground and this year festinos can expect another...