‘Leesfees’ aims to unearth fresh talent

The Showroom Theatre in Prince Albert
The Showroom Theatre in Prince Albert

Prince Albert in the Karoo is hosting its annual literary festival from today until Sunday.

This is the fifth “Leesfees” hosted by the historic town at the foot of the Swartberg mountains. Themed Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow, it will see 28 writers visiting the town and 20 presentations being held.

The programme kicks off today with Afrikaans rappers or “rymkletsers” Yoma and Die Hooflig, youth writers Anzil Kulsen and Suzanne Ongansie, and actor Daniel Richards chatting to school pupils about books, writing and the value of words.

This “boutique book festival” is also aimed at unearthing fresh talent, with Kulsen presenting a writing workshop and the rappers too offering one for youngsters with rap in their blood.

Other highlights include journalist Marianne Thamm sharing her new title Hitler, Verwoerd, Mandela and Me, and the equally experienced Dennis Cruywagen, whose The Spiritual Mandela has just been released.

The festival caters for a broad spectrum of interests, from history and travel writing to poetry and prose, thrillers, cooking, actuality and more, both in Afrikaans en English.

Talent from the area is also given a platform with popular Karoo writers Ongansie, Dr David Piedt and Hannes Visser featuring on the programme.

You/Huisgenoot’s food editor, Carmen Niehaus, will discuss her new title, Carmen se Beste Resepte, with Prince Albert chef Jeremy Freemantle.

Writer and producer Leon van Nierop will chat to journalist Carla van der Spuy (Mishandel, Misbruik, Misken) about her meeting with the daughter of notorious child kidnapper Joey Haarhoff.

The town’s “rieldans” group, the Prince Albert Vastrappers, will also be in action.

The Leesfees’s main venue is the Jans Rautenbach Schouwburg in De Beer Street, but its magnificent art deco threatre, the Showroom, will also be in use.

For a full programme visit: www.princealbert.org.za. Tickets are online at www.paonline.biz or at the Prince Albert library. Inquiries: lkjaquet@mweb.co.za or 073-213-3797.

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