Durban Disrupts! eThekwini Municipality supports Durban presence at NAF

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Phumlani Mtiti. Photo: John Ivins Photography

Arts and Living Cultures at the eThekwini Municipality is supporting 12 Durban theatre groups at this year’s National Arts Festival, which is taking place in Grahamstown until 9 July.

The NAF is widely considered to be the premier arts festival in South Africa boasting a strong and varied programme of the best of performing and visual arts across all genres. This year the overall focus of the festival is “Creative Disruption”.

eThekwini’s support is enabling 120 theatre makers from 12 different productions across various genres to have a presence on the Fringe of this year’s NAF. The productions which the city are supporting are:

  • Trafficked(Trulife Productions) combining physical theatre, poetry and media projections to tell the story of a girl tricked into a human trafficking syndicate;
  • Game Over(Umvini Performing Art Project) looking at love!;
  • Us against Them(Aphiwe Namba) a politically driven protest piece;
  • The Chameleon(Magenta Pro) which looks at the quest for peace;
  • Phumlani Mtiti Trio (Eco-Art) a contemporary instrumental trio fusing indigenous, western classical and SA jazz cultures;
  • Daffi Falls(Umsindo Theatre Projects) about the life and times of Muammar Gaddafi as told by a journalist obsessed;
  • Refugees (Wushini Arts and Heritage) about displaced people in a refugee camp;
  • Kubili (Musa Hlatswayo/Mhayise Productions) a double bill of dance;
  • Ants Job(Dikianga Arts) looking at the dishonourable state of living for Somali women;
  • Inyathuko(Mnqobi LM Arts Co) a complicated love story;
  • Women in Tears(Edgy Drama Mix Productions) which reflects on the killing of mine workers by police inspired by the Marikana Massacre, and
  • Nomalizo, The Brave(Madanisa Creative Productions) a love story written and directed by Bonginkosi Shangase.
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Starring in ‘Trafficked’ are (from left to right) Edward Arderne, Anita Scholtz and Hlengi Qepsimani. Photo: Jon Ivins Photography

“We are always delighted in being able to help facilitate taking productions to the National Arts Festival. It is important for the city to have a presence at one of the country’s foremost arts festivals and to allow our theatre makers to experience a national platform – especially emerging theatre voices to be able to add their story to the national dialogue,” said Themba Mchunu, manager of Arts and Living Cultures.

Carrying Durban’s flag at the NAF will also be Neil Coppen whose new piece, Newfoundland (Buiteland) is on the main programme. The latest offering by Durban’s multiple award-winning theatre maker, l ooks at the relationship between an Afrikaans anaesthetist based in Pietermaritzburg, and an isiZulu speaking choreographer with a calling to become a Sangoma.

Durban music guru and practicing labour lawyer, Richard Haslop, has four interesting music themed talks which looks at music through his immense knowledge and quirky eyes.

Also on the programme are Guy Buttery, and singer Noma Khumalo from Pietermaritzburg. Making people laugh will by Lisa Bobbert and Aaron McIlroy with their Comedy Masterclass and Marriage for Dummies and Ben Voss and John van de Ruit with their Mamba Republic. Rajesh Gopie’s classic Out of Bounds has been re-imagined as a two hander.

For more information about the National Arts Festival visit:


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