Get your funnybone well and truly tickled at the Hilton Arts Festival


Raiders of the Caribbean.

ONE of most popular shows at the National Arts Festival each year is Nicholas Ellenbogen’s Raiders production.

From the moment that Raiders of the Lost Aardvark debuted in Grahamstown 29 years ago, the concept gained a cult following. And this year, Hilton Arts Festival-goers get to enjoy the fun.

Ellenbogen is bringing Raiders of the Caribbean to Hilton College. This year the focus is on pirate ships and 16th-century schooners, but like all the shows that have gone before the balsa wood model of the Tiger Moth, the Aardvark, will play an important role.

Raiders of the Caribbean is a musical packed full of fun songs, accompanied by fiddle, keyboards and guitar. The music was created for the show by Jono Tait.

Jessica Sole, who played Princess Fiona in Shrek The Musical and the Baker’s Wife in Into the Woods (for KickStArt Theatre Productions), plays the leading lady and femme fatale, Kitty. She is ably supported by Balindile Ngcobo and Matteo Karabo. Ellenbogen plays Kitty’s very elderly father.

Raiders is pure, unadulterated comedy entertainment and is suitable for all children under the age of 95! Be prepared for hundreds of props that turn from one thing into another, explosions from the pirate ship and lots of shenanigans!

Showtimes are 1 pm on September 16 and 10 am on September 17 in the Falcon Tent. Tickets are R170.


John van de Ruit and Ben Voss star in Mamba Republic.

Heading to the festival, fresh from shows in Durban, at the NAF and in Johannesburg, are Ben Voss and John van de Ruit, who will be staging Mamba Republic at Hilton at 5.45 pmon September 15, 6 pm on September 16 and 5.45 pm on September 17.

The third production in the Mamba comedy trilogy, Mamba Republic, is packed full of rapid-paced satirical sketch-comedy.

Voss (Beauty Ramapelepele) and Van de Ruit (Spud) take a savagely funny look at all that is wrong in the Rainbow Nation.

From their unique take on the fees must fall debate to state capture, online dating, the economy, sport, racism and the most unusual football match in living memory, they will have you rolling in the aisles.

Van de Ruit says: “Fellow Saffas, you are in for a treat! It has been said before that we, as South Africans, are really good at laughing at the state of our nation. We will be reminding audiences how much there is to laugh at … and adding a bit of a mamba twist.”

The show, which is being staged in the Hilton College Theatre, is directed and designed by Mervyn McMurtry, with lighting by Michael Broderick. Tickets are R199.

Returning to the festival this year are Annie Robinson and Paul Spence, who will be asking theatre-goers “Whodunnit?” in the latest instalment of their mystery thrillers, The Strange Case of the Final Fling.

Written and directed by Spence, the show tells the story of Kate who, after her high-profile divorce from a North Coast property baron, is invited by her celebrity shrink, Phil Banting, to a weekend party at a luxurious Hilton Ridge mansion, thrown by the mysterious Brent Crewe-Doyle.

The last thing Kate expects is for her care-free varsity past to emerge out of the mist to haunt her, or to be the prime suspect in a shocking murder at the mansion.

Join Kate, the unlikely detective, in a desperate race against time as she tries to unravel the dark secrets that underly The Strange Case of the Final Fling.

The Strange Case of the Final Fling will be staged in the Fleur de Lys at 6 pm onSeptember 15, noon and 6 pm on September 16 and noon on September 17.

Tickets are R390, which includes a delicious meal. To book for these shows, go to http://www.hilton


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