FESTIVAL: The three-day arts experience kicks off on Wednesday.

Jenny de Klerk

This is week is Wale time. The annual Wits Arts and Literature Experience kicks off on Wednesday with a parade from the main stage in Library Gardens at 12pm.

There will be more than 35 shows on eight stages over four days, all free, including dance, performance poets, jazz, classical music, theatre, film and a book fair.

Shows include the new play The Line, written by Gina Schmukler, and I Remember… by the Drama for Life Theatre Company performed in the style of playback improvisatory theatre. Themes will include contemporary issues such as xenophobia, the role of women, identity and obsession, disease, food, war and sex.

Music highlights include the urban/traditional sounds of Kgafela le Marabele, Carlo Mombelli and the Prisoners of Strange and the melodies of Mokale Koapeng, Wits featured composer for 2012.

On the side is the Detours Festival, put on by 3rd and 4th year students, and the Shoe Shop Festival, a series of events and exhibitions in public spaces, based in Braamfontein.

Tonight at the Joburg Promusica you can still catch My Naam/My Name is Ellen Pakkies, the story of a Cape Flats woman who, in desperation, ended up killing her tik-addicted son.

This acclaimed play with 7de Laan’s Vinette Ebrahim and Christo Davids is in Joburg for only two nights.

At Montecasino the Phantom of the Opera continues, with Cape Town City Ballet’s Night & Day, to the music of Cole Porter, at Pieter Toerien’s Montecasino Theatre.

On Friday Sonia Esgueira’s new comedy So You Think You Can Love? opens in the Studio.

It’s described as a mish-mash of characters, all past their sell-by date, looking for love.

Robyn Orlin’s dance piece Daddy ends at the Market Theatre this weekend, but the outstanding Abnormal Loads is running for the week. See it if you can.

Comrade Babble, the Brett Kebble political satire, is at the Market Laboratory.

At the Joburg Theatre the Russian Revue on Ice is swirling on the Mandela stage and on Wednesday iHamlet opens in the Fringe with Ashraf Johaardien playing the doomed Prince of Denmark and telling his story – all alone.

The pulsating sounds of the tango take over at the Old Mutual Theatre on the Square in From South to South with the international Tango Amor Show from Argentina, which opens on Tuesday. In the afternoons Crawford College, Sandton, are staging the setwork Waiting for Godot for schools.

The play Mary and the Conqueror opens on Wednesday at the Con Cowan Theatre at the University of Johannesburg, exploring an imaginary meeting between gay author Mary Renault and Alexander the Great, complete with lovers on both sides.

On Wednesday the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra starts their second symphony season at the Linder Auditorium.

On Sunday, May 13, also at the Linder Auditorium, the Charl du Plessis Trio and Musa Sakupwanya are performing the Gershwin Songbook for the Johannesburg Music Society.

l De Klerk is editor of Artslink.co.za.

For more details on these shows and other events see www.artslink.co.za