Missed Grahamstown? Then make sure you head to Wits University for some of the best at the fest


B!*ch Stole My Doek stars Shona Johnson

If you missed the recent National Arts Festival there is no need to despair as the 969 Festival will be kicking off on July 13 with an exciting theatre line-up, which includes standout productions hot off the Grahamstown stages.

Running until July 24 at the Wits Theatre in Braamfontein, Johannesburg, the 969 Festival features 20 theatre, dance and music, ranging from local dramas and comedy to innovative concepts from abroad.

“Choosing plays before they have been mounted at the 969 Festival is always a challenge, a bit of a risk. But I am really happy with my selection,” says Gita Pather, director of Wits Theatre, who is well known for making original choices regarding the theatre showcased on the Wits stage.

The National Arts Festival staged some memorable productions this year with satire and comedy, such as Pay Back the Curry, B!*ch Stole my Doek, The Village and Secret Ballot, all being extremely well received.



Thought-provoking and edgy dramas like Chapter 2 Section 9, Unveiled (from the United States) and Amsterdam (from the United Kingdom) received full houses and standing ovations, while stunning classical music group The Wits Trio garnered rave reviews.

And, these are only some of the productions making their way to the Wits Theatre stages for the 969 Festival. “The 969 lineup for 2016 is one that encapsulates some of the best of the festival in Grahamstown,” says Pather.

The programme has been specifically structured for theatregoers to enjoy several shows in one evening with time for a drink at the theatre bar in between.

In fact, much like in Grahamstown, the 969 Festival offers an all-round, night-on-the-town experience. Audiences can warm up with spicy Gluwein, which will be sold in the evenings and fill their bellies with delicious Italian fare from popular Melville-based Italian restaurant, Picobello, which will be setting up at Wits during the festival.

Audiences catching the afternoon shows can eat an early lunch at Picobello or one of the many diverse restaurants in Melville and then catch a five-minute Tuk Tuk ride to the 969 Festival.

Please check the schedule for the various productions with times, dates and venues. Tickets are available at http://www.webtickets.co.za and you can chose to book online or through any Pick n Pay store. Even better, you can load your ticket on your Pick n Pay Smart Shopper card. Tickets can also be purchased at Wits Theatre’s Box Office.

Ticket prices are R75 online and R80 at the box office. Pensioner, Wits staff and student discount R60 online and R65 at the box office (on presentation of ID document or valid student card.

There will be lunchtime shows at 1.15pm on July 13, 14, 15, 20, 21 and 22. Tickets R50 online for staff and public or R60 at the box office. Students pay R40 online or R50 at the box office on presentation of ID document or valid student card

No WSOA passes accepted.

For block bookings contact: Catherine Pisanti on 011 717 1376 or email her at catherine.pisanti@wits.ac.za

Wits Theatre Box office: 011 717 1381.





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