The National Arts Festival opens later this month in Grahamstown with a new artistic director at the helm – and a diverse programme that is aimed not only at the sophisticated culture-vulture but also at families.
The NAF is from June 29 to July 9, and although the bulk of the programme is the curated Main, the open-access Fringe and the Arena, there is also a vibrant line-up for children.
The Jungle Theatre Company is bringing the fantastical When Lion Had Wings to the festival city.
Based on an ancient Khoi Khoi myth about overcoming fear to take back personal power, the production uses daring stilt characterisations, animal masks, original music and a combination of English, Afrikaans, isiXhosa and the Nama language.
The South African production of The Gruffalo will return from a national tour that included Port Elizabeth and Port Alfred to delight young theatre-goers.
With an all-Grahamstown cast, the run will signal a homecoming for the NAF-produced show.
UJ’s student theatre offering, James and the Giant Peach, is also sure to lure the young and young-atheart, as will Rob van Vuuren’s return production of Florence and Watson and the Sugarbush Mouse.
In addition, daily story telling, workshops, Think! Fest talks on child and family issues highlighting the 100th anniversary of Child Welfare SA Grahamstown, plus a plethora of Fringe shows will keep families entertained.
Bookings are now open at www.nationalartsfestival.co.za.