Squeals of delight, sharp intakes of breath, loud laughter, raucous applause as well as treasured pockets of stillness have marked the first week of the Cape Town Fringe arts festival, on in the Mother City until October 4.
Offering audiences a rich choice of theatre, comedy, music, dance, family fare and magic, this is the second time the event has been held in Cape Town. Popular and sell-out shows have included the whimsical What Goes Up, comedies Butlers and Babysitting and Naked Knitting and Other Contradictory Acts, and the powerful drama, Smaarties.
Tony Lankester, the chief executive of the Cape Town Fringe, said: ‘The opening weekend of the Fringe showed us that Capetonians will come out in their numbers to support quality theatre.
“We’ve had an encouraging number of sold-out shows, numerous standing ovations and many moments of breath-taking magic. We’re now just about halfway through the Fringe and look forward to plenty more of the same in the days to come, with some new shows about to open and final performances from some of our big hitters.”
The Fringe has also launched its interactive mobile app, which allows users to browse the programme and book shows, rate what they’ve seen, and find their way to venues, which are spread across the city centre and the GugaS’thebe Theatre in Langa this year. The CTF app is available for free download from iTunes and Google Play. Links are below.
Audiences have given strong thumbs up to the on-fire performance from Craig Morris in Johnny Boskak Is Feeling Funny and to the jaw-dropping trickery from illusionist Stuart Lightbody in Sleepless Dreams. The Cape Town Fringe is also playing host to two other fabulous and hardworking magicians: Mawonga Gayiya in Astonish and Marcel Oudejans in Sleight of Mouth 2. Family fare such as The Incredible Journey and NgumZimba Wam will continue to entertain younger audiences into the second half of the Fringe.
Other exciting shows are opening this week, including:
- Australian duo Jamie MacDowell and Tom Thum, an extraordinary beatboxing pair who will blow your musical socks off (Fugard Studio, from September 29 to October 4).
- Jazz singer Asanda Mqiki joins us from the Eastern Cape with her unforgettable and unique singing style. She won a Standard Bank Gold Ovation Award winner at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown earlier this year (Standard Bank Studio at City Hall, September 30, October 1 and 2).
- Performance artist Gavin Krastin takes on public monuments and political discourse in his new work, Trophy (Jubilee Hall, September 20, October 2 and 3).
- We Didn’t Come To Hell for the Croissants: 7 Deadly New Stories For Consenting Adults, the smash-hit from the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, has four shows only (City Hall, October 3 and 4).
- Adam Small Bejazzed: Natalia da Rocha pays tribute to poet Adam Small (City Hall, October 1 to 3).
Durban brings its funny side to the Cape: the brilliant Shona Johnson stars in B!*ch Stole My Doek and Macbob Productions presents two hilarious shows – The Ranga, a one man show about the world of a “ginger”, and 7 Deadly Sins, Aaron McIllroy and Lisa Bobbert’s hilarious take on lust, gluttony, greed, slothfulness, wrath, pride and envy (all three open September 30).
- Kicking off the school holidays, Maltese Folktales showcases story-telling and shadow puppetry (from October 2);
- With a sound aimed at awakening your soul, Gauteng acoustic soul group Blaqseed will perform in the Standard Bank Studio in City Hall. Four nights only (opens October 1).
- Renowned Cape mime master John Jacobs returns from Europe to perform District 6 to Paris, a series of short stories that range from the personal to the absurd.
All shows on the final day of the Fringe (Sunday, October 4) are half-price when you pre-book. And look out for the B1G1 special on some shows – buy two tickets to selected performances and you will only be charged for one full price ticket.
How to book: online at www.capetownfringe.co.za; via the Cape Town Fringe free app. Download free from: iTunes https://appsto.re/i6SS5v7 or Google Play https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ctf.naf&hl=en; or by phone: Box Office Call Centre on 0860 002 004 or Box Office on 021 462 4796 (between 9am and 10pm); or by email – send your details and a list of shows to email@example.com
You can also book in person. Cash or card bookings can be made in person at the Box Office in City Hall or from the Cape Town Fringe Caravan at the V&A Waterfront (near Ferryman’s).
Tickets range from R40 to R100. Concessions are available for students, learners and pensioners as well as group bookings (10 or more for a single performance).
Work in the city? You can still catch a show! Special lunch-time performances that will fit snugly into your lunch hour have been scheduled to make sure city workers also get to enjoy the Fringe. Add R30 to your ticket, and you’ll get a super-fresh sandwich and cooldrink delivered to the theatre.
Where to find the Fringe team and venues: The heart of the Fringe is at City Hall, where you will also find the Standard Bank Music Studio and the Fringe Club, open daily from 11am till late. New venues this year include Guga S’thebe Cultural Centre in Langa, the V&A Waterfront (Jubilee Hall at the Watershed), the Fugard Theatre (Caledon Street, District Six) and the Alexander Bar (corner Loop and Strand streets).
Please note: Jubilee Hall is on the ground floor of the Watershed at the V&A Waterfront, near the Comedy Club. It is the Jubilee Exhibition Hall and not the Jubilee Community Centre, despite what Google Maps says. The right co-ordinates are: -33.906883, 18.418409
Take advantage of a special. To make it as affordable as possible for you to attend the Fringe. There are concessions for students, pensioners and group bookings, as well as:
- The Super Supporters’ Deal: If you see three or more shows on a single day at the Fringe, bring your ticket stubs to the Fringe Club and we’ll exchange them for a drinks voucher.
- B1G1 Free: Buy two tickets to selected performances and you will only be charged for one full price ticket.
- 50% Fringe: All performances scheduled on 4 October – the last Sunday of the Cape Town Fringe – will be sold at half price.
Follow the Fringe vibe: Come and rub shoulders with musicians and artists while enjoying a drink and a light meal at the Fringe Club, upstairs at City Hall. Open from 11am till late. Happy hour every night from 4pm to 6pm. See you there!
Got a question? Contact the Fringe Call Centre on 0860 002004 or 021 462 4796 (between 9am and 10pm).
Printed copies of the Cape Town Fringe 2015 programme can be found at selected branches of Exclusive Books and Standard Bank in Cape Town, as well as at Cape Town Tourism outlets, City of Cape Town offices and coffee shops and cafes around the city. You can also pick up a copy at the Fringe caravan at the V&A Waterfront (near Ferryman’s).
Or browse the programme online at www.capetownfringe.co.za or download a PDF via the website: www.capetownfringe.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/CTFprogramme.pdf
CANCELLED SHOWS: Unfortunately (and mostly due to budget issues) the following shows have cancelled: The Politics of Love and Femininity; Morayks; Gug’Othandayo The Musical; Rooivalk