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Acts to laugh all the way to the bank at Iphulo Drama Festival

By Afikile Lugunya - Mar 2, 2018
Acts to laugh all the way to the bank at Iphulo Drama Festival

The Iphulo Drama Festival is nearly upon us and this year’s edition introduces comedy as one of the shows.

Iphulo Drama Festival is an annual drama theatre programme that started off as a Port Elizabeth exclusive competition in 2008. It took a different turn in 2013 when drama was showcased and, in 2018, the eight Eastern Cape districts will participate and showcase their talents.

This year’s annual event will kick start on the 26 of March till 31 of March 2018.

Usually, Iphulo consists of a Port Elizabeth drama and dance session, but this year, there is a twist, more acts have been added to enhance the audience’s entertainment.

Iphulo drama Curator, Xabiso Zweni, said that this year’s event will represent all eight districts in the Eastern Cape.

“The process will kick off with the seven districts where they would be elected in the best play in the festival. They had their productions and they finally came up with the best productions,” Zweni said.

In December last year, there was a call that people should submit their proposals, 35 scrips were received.

Zweni chose the best scripts and created the shortlist which was cut to ten and because of budget constraints, five more were cut and from the Nelson Mandela Bay only five productions will perform.

Apparently, in this type of festival performers get compensated to perform.

Zweni added that due to budget many had to be cut until a lucky five was chosen.

“We thought; instead of having many productions and paying them small amounts of money it would be better to just cut the number of productions instead, so that they will be paid decent amounts of money.”

He further explained that there was a strong production and cutting others was not easy because there were too many good productions.

On the last day of the festival, he said that the will be a comedy night where all the comedians will be making sure that all end of the month earners laughs all the way to the bank.

“Iphulo has now shared off all the other genres, last year in an open mic element we hand the dance and the open mic where we had poetry readings, comedy and everything else,” Zweni said.

“In April, we will be bringing back poetry festival, part poetry festival that happened and we will also be looking into that.

“We have Iphulo that is now drama focussing on drama while we also have our drama season programmes that constantly take place at the Opera House.”

They said that this was just a test to see how the audience will respond.  

The acts are a mix of languages and there are PCM, stepping stone, Amathole, Chris Hani, Ukuthwala, OR Tambo, Olivier Twisted, John Gqabi, Sarah Baartman, wandenza mama, Nzika the citizen etc.

The producer of Nzika the Citizen, Shafiq Kalumo which was showcased last year said that there will be a twist in his production so the fans must make sure that they won’t miss out on the polished production, tiptoeing to the big leagues.