Suidoosterfees comes of age


The Suidoosterfees comes of age this year.

Various surprises and highlights await festival-goers when this festival is presented from 26 April to 1 May this year in the Kunstekaap theater complex in Cape Town.

For the full festival program visit the festival’s website.

“We are going to make this important milestone in our history unforgettable,” says Jana Hattingh, CEO of the Suidoosterfees.

“After more than two decades, there are many highlights where we can raise a glass with festival-goers, artists, sponsors and partners.

“Cape Town, our home throughout our existence, is a destination of hope for everyone, and with festival offerings of excellent quality, we are happy to celebrate our benefactors’ valuable support over the years. Without it, the arts would be stuck in the Stone Age.”

NATi Theater Festival

The NATi Theater Festival program is full of surprises. A brand new drama production that is on the boards this year is Under a blood red skyNicola Hanekom’s adaptation of Annemarié van Niekerk’s hit book about love and violence in South Africa.

This publication was awarded a prestigious literary prize in the Netherlands and captured local readers when the Afrikaans translation was published last year.

A special birthday present for festival-goers, the details of which will only be officially announced in March, is a new stage play by Breyten Breytenbach that was written especially for Antoinette Kellermann. With this, the 84-year-old icon of literature returns to writing for the stage after many years.

Sandra Prinsloo is to be seen in Henque Heymans’ new stage drama, At the corner of Styx and River, Nora was mistakenly skipped to death. This drama follows Heymans’ award-winning debut, Uncle Bey.

Herschelle Benjamin and Reginald Hufkie’s On the summit of Shôdeville with Kevin Smith, Hufkie and Donovan Pietersen, is about Marvin, a man who is successful in the entertainment world, who returns to his hometown, Schauderville, where he seeks out his old athletic trainer.

Popular dramas that have recently captivated audiences at art festivals and in theaters are also making a Suidoosterfees turn: director Nico Scheepers’ brilliant Braam and the angel; Pieter Odendaal’s Dream job; Dana Snyman’s Reunion with Frank Opperman, and Johann Slabbert’s Routing trip with Elzabé Zietsman.

Monsterswhich deals with the murder of the British boy James Bulger in 1993, directed by Tinarie van Wyk Loots, is also on the programme.

Do you know Dewie?a stage drama about a school shooter, with Crystal Donna Roberts, Robert Hindley and Joshwin Dyson in the cast, will also captivate audiences.

The versatile Lizz Meiring is in the festival Off the shelfQuinton Stuurman is in Split tongueand Ashraf Johaardien bids farewell to the stage with his performance Real Capes: Salaam stories.

NATi’s young stars

Also on the NATi theater stage are productions by five new NATi Young Stars, whose work has been developed over the past year by the festival, NATi and the Jakes Gerwel Foundation. These new voices are Geralt Cloete, Cara Rossouw, Mikayla Joy Brown, Miché van Wyk and Miliswa Mbandazayo.

21 productions of 21 minutes @ R21

This year, 21 theater productions of 21 minutes each are presented at the ticket price of R21. Various genres are covered in this birthday series – from theatre, music, opera and dance to a presentation in sign language.

Some highlights include: Amanda Strydom: Piaf with Strydom performing seven of Edith Piaf’s most famous songs; Bettie innie cells with Dean Smith as Aunty Betty who ends up in a holding cell for 21 minutes; Bon appétit! with opera star Janelle Visagie; Pinch the stocking in the dark with the popular Carlo Daniels; and This is Homea mini jazz concert with Sima Mashazi and Ramon Alexander.

Music and musical theatre

As in the past, the Suidoosterfees’ music program boasts South Africa’s leading artists.

Among those who come to help blow out cherries this year are Nataniël, Babalwa Mentjies, Coenie de Villiers, Early B, André Schwartz, Lynelle Kenned, Elzabé Zietsman, Corneil Müller, Frazer Barry, Selim Kagee, Sima Mashazi, Edith Plaatjies, Nic Miso, Madeegha Anderson, Jawaahier Petersen, Jonathan Rubain, Emo and Loukmaan Adams, Cape Town’s Opera Choir and Philharmonic Youth Orchestra as well as the city’s Symphony Orchestra.

Big concerts to celebrate the festival’s 21st are on the Kunstekaap’s opera house stage, among others 21, Opera gala and Southeast Festival Boogie. In these music concerts, celebrities perform together with young music stars who have honed their talents over the past two decades by participating in the Suidoosterfees’ training and development projects.

Jakes Gerwel Conversations

The Jakes Gerwel Foundation and the ATKV are known for the series of critical discussions at the festival that usually make for newspaper headlines.

This year, some of the participants in the Jakes Gerwel conversation series are Caster Semenya, Arthur Goldstuck, Sandra Prinsloo, Qaanitah Hunter, Mills Soko, Roelf Meyer, Francis Petersen, Nathan Trantraal, Diana Ferrus, Salim S. Abdool Karim, Angelique Coetzee, Phoebe Gerwel, Rachelle Greeff, Roy Havemann, Lyntjie Jaars, Marlene Mahokoto, Bernard Lategan, Dennis Cruywagen and Adriaan Basson.

Children’s and youth theatre

Learners and students from various institutions come to show what they are capable of in the ATKV’s Youth Theater program section. Winners of various amateur and school theater competitions get the opportunity to bring their productions to a festival audience. Students from KPUT, Northlink College and Stellenbosch University also come to find their feet on the professional stage.

During the festival there are several children’s theater productions – all with an educational aspect, and from 22 to 25 April, just before the main festival, the festival offers a Children and Youth Festival for the first time. The program for this brand new festival will be announced soon.

Tickets can be booked from today at Webtickets, or call Artscape Dial-a-Seat on 021 421 7695.