Cape Town - The second edition of the Cape Town Fringe is on from September 24 to October 4.
The festival hub remains based at the city hall with four venues, Fringe cafe and plenty of free, secure parking on the Grand Parade.
The other venues are the same as last year: The Galloway at the Waterfront Theatre School, Alexander Upstairs in Strand Street and Guga S’Thebe Theatre in Langa. The Fugard Studio is a new venue as is The Jubilee Hall at the V&A Waterfront (in the Watershed, on Dock Road, next to the Two Oceans Aquarium).
The event is run by the National Arts Festival (NAF) in Grahamstown. Ismail Mahomed, director of both the NAF and the CT Fringe, says most of the work at the CT Fringe is from Cape Town. “A significant amount was on at the NAF and won awards or it is work which we thought deserved a second viewing. A lot of work gets created for the NAF and it’s a valuable for the artists to have a second platform where the work will be staged again.”
Mohamed is pleased that there are two international productions on the programme. With only a year on the fest circuit, the CT Fringe is already generating interest abroad and artists are keen to participate. The visiting artists are musical duo Tom Thum and Jamie McDowell (Australia) and HREJJEF: Maltese Folktales (Malta) which brings together folktales, shadow puppetry, contemporary music and digital animation.
With 70 productions (theatre, dance, music, illusion, comedy, puppetry and so on) and partnerships with the Baxter’s Zabalaza Festival, it is tough to decide what to see. On my list is performance artist Gavin Krastin, known for his deliciously gritty and riveting work, presenting and performing in Trophy at the Jubilee Hall. The other performers are Alan Parker, Kai Luke Brummer and sound design is by Shaun Acker. Trophy was sparked by the removal of the Rhodes statue at UCT.
“Trophy,” says Krastin, “is a performance response to our public statues and monuments and the history and political gestures embedded in their significance and function (or lack thereof)… The work also explores concepts of atrophy; the deterioration and degeneration in bodies and in culture”.
Talking about delicious, who can resist the title We didn’t come to hell for the croissants: 7 deadly new stories for consenting adults?
Produced by the Joburg-based POPArt productions in association with Jemma Kahn, it is directed by Lindiwe Matshikiza and received a Silver Ovation Award at NAF 2015.
Performed by Kahn and Roberto Pombo, it follows on the success of Kahn’s award-winning Epicene Butcher with wickedly quirky, sexy and wondrous stories for adults.
The dream team of writers features Tertius Kapp, Rosa Lyster, Lebogang Mogashoa, Nicholas Spagnoletti, Louis Viljoen and Justin Oswald.
Matshikiza enthuses: “I love watching the audiences with this piece. There’s a veneer of conservatism that most people tend to cling to and the humour and irreverence of the show seems to cut through that, exposing the complexities and contradictions beneath, often with sharp commentary on class, race, sex and gender politics.”
The prolific Rust-Co-operative has two shows on: Ashes at Fugard Studio and Nat at Alexander. The company is also staging Fullstops on My Face at the Rosebank Theatre (September 8-26) but that’s not part of the CT Fringe. Wessel Pretorius is a hugely talented performer and I look forward to seeing, Al Julle Volke.
There are also free public art pieces. Richard Antrobus will be doing Suggestion Box #justsaying. As he sits in a glass box, people will give him performance requests – such as a child having a tantrum – and he will mime it. It is a pop-up public art installation, at different spots in the Waterfront. No charge to attend but there are set times.
l Tickets are R40-R100. No charge for some events. Book at www.capetownfringe.co.za or 086 233 2022, contact call centre on 086 000 2004. Programmes available at Exclusive Books.