Posts Tagged ‘National Arts Festival’

Once more, this blog is about to become schizophrenic!  The full team is still in the National Arts Festival while our Company Director (that’s me!) gets ready to head off for her final year at the Kennedy Centre in Washington DC.  And I know that many of you remember that she was there because this blog has never had as many hits as it did last year when I was there!

So, if the themes of the blog seem to be all about DC and Arts Management, and are written in the first person, you’ll know why!

But while I’ve got your attention, I thought I’d fill you in on the NAF so long.  Not that you had any doubts, but In can say that we have been rocking at the National Arts Festival over the past 10 days.  Was the extra-long Fest a success?  Well, the jury’s still out on that and I imagine the experience of that first week of Fest is going to differ hugely from Main to Arena to Fringe to individual productions.  Our experience of that extended first week was something that I think might be symbolic of the theatre environment in general.  It’s not that there were no audiences out there, or that they weren’t buying tickets.  There were.  And they were.  Simply put, they were just being more discerning with where they put their money.  That’s not to say that anyone who struggled with houses was presenting a kak show.  It means that they weren’t getting the word out about their show, that’s all.  More and more, we as artists have to get cleverer and more strategic about how we tell people about the work we are making.  Especially when at the Macro of live performance that is the National Arts Festival.

Anyway, Womb Tide played in the first week and caused quite a stir. We played to packed houses and excited audiences, with people being moved to tears and moved to become members!  It was very affirming.  Check out out Facebook page for what the critics had to say.

Currently, QUACK! and Pictures of You are burning up the Cape Town Edge platform and once they’re done, Womb Tide and Pictures of You take on the National School’s Festival!  Yes, I’ll say it once more: we work haaaaaaaaaaaaaard for the money!!

So, with that, I have to go and pack, having realised that my plane leaves at 2 pm tomorrow, not 6 pm as I thought!  Next you hear from me, I’ll be in the US of A…but the NAF team will keep you updated on their progress beyond, I’m sure…

I’ll leave you with the face of FTH:K’s future: our Trainees at the Long Table!

Christo at NAF 200 Marlon at NAF 200 Tomri at NAF 200

This just in from FTH:K’s Artistic Director, straight from the National Arts Festival:

“Pictures of You was the highest grossing theatre production on the Fringe at Festival this year!  And not only that, but 12th highest on the Fringe across all categories, clocking in healthily behind the comics and other comedies that routinely dominate sales.”

This rocks!  Rocks!  Rocks!

Read what else he has to say about it here.  Me, I’m still focussing on how much this rocks…

Frank contemplates the show's 50th birthday Yip, can you believe it?!  Pictures of You had its 50th performance yesterday and according to Artistic Director, Rob Murray, it’s best ever!!  It is so great to have the Company achieving such success at the National Arts Festival, even if it is a little hard being so far away from everyone while it is all happening.  It makes me so so so proud of who we are and what we do, and I recognise once more how lucky we are to be in the position that we are.  So THANK YOU to all of you who gave us a hand up in our journey here.  Big love and respect.

To hear more about the 50th performance, straight from the horses’ mouths – although, with no disrespect to our performing horses – click here to go to the Conspiracy blog.

…is that FTH:K rocks!!  Ok, I may be a little biased there BUT the work we are making is obviously doing something right.  Pictures of You is playing to sold-out houses and now QUACK! is following suit.  It’s awesome!!Pictures of You - Frank and Janet in bed

On Pictures of You, CUE writes: “This is a powerfully intense drama…Sound and light are ingeniously exploited to create the atmosphere which kept the audience spellbound by a gripping display of incredible acting for more than an hour.  This team are experienced entertainers, and a must see for all festinos.” and calls the show “captivating…whimsical…a dainty delicacy, to be cradled, adored, and treasured”. Click here to see the additional plug in the Argus Tonight!

And if you didn’t get a chance to see it in Grahamstown, don’t panic!  You can catch it at the Witness Hilton Arts Festival in September.

Q official pic long QUACK! is making waves too, also playing to sold-out houses.  It might not be perfect but it is capturing imaginations and everyone seems to agree that it is heading for great things.

CUE says: “A new offering from Khulumakahle – and another success.  Join the talented performers in an afro-noir story which requires no words, and start to listen with your eyes as the physical vocabulary and soundscape capture your imagination.  This is fresh, exciting theatre – different from anything you’ve seen before.”

Click here to read the festival review on ARTSblog, and don’t forget to check the Conspiracy Blog for more Festival updates.

So, now, aren’t you glad you know us?!

Just a quick post to tell you to have a look at the Conspiracy blog to see how the FTH:K team is doing at the National Arts Festival.  Our best pre-show ticket sales ever!

Indeed.  It is possible.

For the next 2 weeks, the FTH:K blog is going to appear to be a little schizophrenic.  Why?  Because the Company is in two different (and equally important) places right now, proving once more that we can multi-task like the best of them.  The Artistic Team, including our Deaf Scholar-Trainees, is at the National Arts Festival getting ready to present both QUACK! and Pictures of You, while FTH:K’s Company Manager is in Washington DC beginning the second phase of her three-year International Summer Fellowship initiated by Kennedy Center Director, Michael Kaiser.  This means that there will be posts from both Grahamstown, South Africa, and Washington DC, USA being uploaded to this blog at varying intervals.  And I guess it may as well be said that if the post deals with the National Arts Festival, you can be sure that the author is FTH:K’s Artistic Director, Rob Murray; while if it is about the Kennedy Center programme, it is FTH:K’s Company Manager, Tanya Surtees, who is at the keyboard.

There.  That should help a little.

As the 2009 National Arts Festival gets ever-closer, FTH:K is in rehearsal creating its newest work, QUACK!, for its première on the 2nd July at Masonic 1.  QUACK! is best described as a dark and twisted peer into the abyss of shameless hype, the con, the hustle, and the person at the heart of it all – the con artist himself.  It’s going to rock!

QUACK! will play at MASONIC 1 at the following times:

  • 2nd @ 22:00
  • 4th @ 14:00
  • 5th @ 22:00
  • 7th @ 12:00
  • 8th @ 22:00
  • 10th @ 12:00
  • 11th @ 14:00

But that’s not all we’re taking…oooooohhh no…as part of the 2009 Cape Town Edge programme, we’ll be taking the sleeper hit of the 2008 National Arts Festival, Pictures of You, back to wow new audiences.

  • “…genius…something you simply cannot afford to miss” (Steyn du Toit, Cape Times)
  • “…compelling, seductive and very rewarding” (Zane Henry, Cape Argus)
  • “…a refreshing and magical stage offering that will linger long after you’ve left” (Marianne Thamm,
  • “mesmerising…riveting” (Adrienne Sichel, The Star)
  • “beautiful… really brilliant” (Natalie Sineke,
  • “emotionally intense…Must-see, gripping theatre” (CUE)
  • “…’n aangrypende stukkie lewe…” ( Mariana Malan, Die Burger)
  • “…a spectacular dreamscape…utterly fresh and beautifully executed” (Marelise van der Merwe, AnimationXchange)

It will play DAILY @ 18:00 at the PRINCESS ALICE HALL.

Be there, ouens!