THE awaited Musho! Theatre Festival will begin at the Catalina Theatre soon, boasting a larger pro-gramme of one and two-hander theatre offerings.
A glance at the programme also reveals a host of international plays that will be staged in Durban during the fest, offering theatre lovers a feast of talent.
Festival director Emma Durden said they received about 70 applica-tions for thid yeaer’s fest, from which 12 were selected – these include applications from as far as Austria, Italy and North Africa.
This is one of the many indicators that this once tiny festival is growing in leaps and bounds.
“We have a piece from the UK coming where they said they heard about Musho at the Edinburgh Festival. So for us this is very exciting. To be known at festivals around the world and to know that we are starting to get into these networks is really exciting.”
Some of the items on the Musho Main Programme this year include:
l Veil (written and directed by Zwai Mgijima and performed by Fortunate Dhlomo and Bhekani Shabalala).
l Sometimes I Laugh Like My Sister (produced by Vital Digression and Obviam Est (London), written by Rebecca Peyton and Martin M Bartelt, directed by Martin M Bartelt).
l Twelve (written and directed by Dhaveshan Govender, in collaboration with the cast, and performed by Shika Budhoo and Mpume Mthombeni).
l The Epicene Butcher and other stories (produced by Daddy’s Little Secret) (Joburg), written by Gwydion Beynon, directed by John Trengove and illustrated and performed by Jemma Kahn.
l Hambre del Alma (created and performed by Tristan Jacobs and directed by Andrew Buckland).
l Allegations (produced by Almasi Collaborative Arts (Zimbabwe), (written by Mandisi Gobodi, directed by Patience Tawengwa and performed by Dan Hargrove and Everson Ndlovu).
l Brothers (produced by Umsindo Productions, Durban), also a development theatre group), written by Bongumusa Shabalala, Musawenkosi Shabalala and Jerry Pooe, and directed and performed by identical twins Bongumusa and Musawenkosi Shabalala).
Commenting on Umsindo Productions’ move from the Musho Twist Programme (development programme) on to the Main, Durden said they were excited to have had three groups from the Twist Pro-gramme apply for the Main Programme. “The Umsindo group have been on the Twist Programme for the past two years now. We were excited to see the application for the Main Programme. They have proved themselves through development theatre; learning different aspects like lights and staging… This shows that community theatre groups, with mentoring, have potential.”
The children’s theatre offering this year is Fishy Flippers – a Creative Beans and Clowns Without Borders South Africa collaboration. “When we started the festival eight years ago we had a substantial kiddies theatre programme, but it was not well attended. Last year we staged one which was very well attended so we will see what happens this year,” said Durden.
Another exciting aspect is the New Voices Programme which will showcase the works of young playwrights.
• All Musho! Festival performances are at the Catalina Theatre, call 031 305 6889. All shows are R50 a ticket/students, OAPS, children under 12 and PANSA paid-members pay R30. Special all-day ticket on Saturday /Sunday is R100 a day. Tickets for Musho! with a Twist and the Fringe shows are on a Pay-What-You-Can basis. Tickets at the door and also available at www.strictlytickets.com
For more info visit www.mushofestival.co.za or find the festival page on Facebook.