‘Love-house’ back with a bang

Seats sell out in 24 hours for popular PE artistic event that had to shut down because of lockdown

Bay poet Lelethu ‘PoeticSoul’ Mahambehlala’s monthly event, The Love-house Experience, is back in both physical and online form after being put on hold during the lockdown
BACK IN BUSINESS: Bay poet Lelethu ‘PoeticSoul’ Mahambehlala’s monthly event, The Love-house Experience, is back in both physical and online form after being put on hold during the lockdown

The return of Bay poet Lelethu “PoeticSoul” Mahambehlala’s monthly event, The Love-house Experience, has been met with such great anticipation that all seats were booked in just 24 hours.

The Love-house Experience is a gathering of art lovers to enjoy music, poetry, theatre and food at the ArtEC Gallery in Bird Street, on the last Sunday of every month.

Like all events, the arts gathering has been on hold since the beginning of the lockdown in May.

When its October 25 return was announced, it was fully booked in hours.

However, Mahambehlala said those who missed out on securing spots at the physical venue could still stream the event online in real time.

Formerly named the Love-house Private Sessions, the event’s return coincides with its relaunch.

“We thought it would be nice to relaunch as something unique from what’s happening out there because there are a lot of ‘sessions’ that were born out of the lockdown.

“The Love-house Private sessions had become a repeatable experience [hence the name].

“The agenda for the Love-house Private Sessions was PE but with the Love-house Experience the agenda is Eastern Cape and its diaspora, so you will note that at some point we will invite artists that are no longer in PE but are representing the Eastern Cape elsewhere,” Mahambehlala said.

She announced the return of the event on Tuesday and it was fully booked by Wednesday.

This instalment is free of charge both online and at the physical venue.

“I thought it would be a nice gift to my audience to say that [although] we can’t fully breathe yet, let’s take a breather, enjoy ourselves and feel that positive energy again. Everybody deserves a break,” she said.

Mahambehlala will be the guest performer on October’s instalment of the event.

The Love-house Experience started as an intimate gathering of friends with a mutual love for the arts at Mahambehlala’s home in Central last year.

The Love-house Sessions kicked off on February 24 2019 when the poet invited guests and friends over for an intimate session at her house.

She wanted to create a space that allowed artists to have conversations about their work and not just perform, she said.

“My house has always been somewhat of a home for fellow artists.

“It’s a space where they love to come and create and the name Love-house is derived from the fact that artists feel at home here,” Mahambehlala told The Herald last year.

Although initially intended as an intimate space with a small crowd, the event soon attracted large numbers, resulting in the move to ArtEC in May 2019.

It became a part of art lovers’ monthly schedules before it was brought to a halt by the national lockdown.

Previous events have featured the likes of Zimsto ERoofini, LoveChild and Mthokozisi Mabuza, Nomabotwe, Sihle Sofute, uDaka and Songo.

Food, drinks, accessories and clothing stalls and more have also become a part of the monthly event.

“The combination of online and physical is part of the lessons we have learnt from the lockdown — to realise that we can reach as many people as we want through the internet and not limit ourselves to where we are physically,” Mahambehlala said.

The Love-house Experience will be streamed on www.watchatv.co.za from 3pm on October 25.


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