To all the artists who enlivened this paper, take a bow!

Interviewing international and home-grown stars, covering shows, festivals and all the offstage drama was a joy for our arts writers

Winston Ntshona, Athol Fugard and John Kani at the Opera House
LEGENDARY TRIO: Winston Ntshona, Athol Fugard and John Kani at the Opera House

Weekend Post became a stage for the arts over the years, showcasing home-grown talent, international actors and singing sensations, renowned theatre performances and behind-the-scenes drama.

Often granted behind-the-scenes access to the lights, cameras and action, arts writers not only get to meet their idols, but also mingle with them.

In the world of journalism, entertainment reporting is the Ritz.

With a plethora of highlights and memories to reflect on, former Weekend Post news editor, reporter and arts fundi Brett Adkins has a lot to boast about. 

From sit-down interviews with critically acclaimed actor Richard E Grant, to a quick cuppa of chuckles with funnyman Marc Lottering, Adkins said working the arts beat for Weekend Post had allowed him to explore his creativity, unlike at a daily publication. 

“There have been some incredible highlights, not only for the obvious reasons, such as reviewing shows, but having been able to get the behind-the-scenes scoop. 

“Writing arts and entertainment pieces for Weekend Post allowed the writer to sit down and actually tell the full story,” Adkins said.

He fondly recalls the hours he spent on a farm in the middle of the Karoo as he interviewed Grant, who has appeared in more than 80 films and television programmes, including Withnail and I, Jack and Sarah, L.A. Story, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, The Hound Of The Baskervilles, Gosford Park and The Iron Lady.

The Swazi-English actor and presenter had been in the country filming The Story of an African Farm in 2004.

Bringing it closer to home, Adkins also interviewed world-famous actress Alice Krige, who would return to Gqeberha to visit her parents in Seaview. 

Krige’s break came when she starred as the Gilbert & Sullivan singer Sybil Gordon in the British historical film Chariots of Fire, and as Eva Galli/Alma Mobley in the American supernatural horror film Ghost Story.

Pieter-Dirk Uys was another household name who Adkins got to sit down with, and, as luck would have it, on the eve of Charlize Theron receiving her first Oscar for her role in Monster, Adkins had spoken to the now late SA film critic Barry Ronge, who predicted her win. 

That article made it to the front page of Weekend Post the day before Theron received her statuette.

“It was so nice to see that article on the front page. If she had not won it would have been quite the damper,” Adkins chuckled. 

Adkins, who previously worked at Evening Post, was over the years joined by a number of reporters on the entertainment beat. 

Zolani Mahola of Freshlyground was a favourite to interview
SINGING SENSATION: Zolani Mahola of Freshlyground was a favourite to interview

A regular byline in Weekend Post was that of the late Bob Eveleigh — a giant on the local theatre scene and a darling to aspiring thespians. 

Eveleigh, who died in January 2023, had a wealth of knowledge of all things arts and theatre.

The former editor of The Herald’s weekly supplement La Femme and former chief subeditor of Weekend Post, Gillian McAinsh, continues to make a name for herself in the local entertainment industry. 

For more than a decade her byline featured in almost every edition of Weekend Post, with reviews and interviews most reporters would have scratched each other’s eyes out to do. 

In more recent years, I was lucky enough to be entrusted with exploring the arts through my writing. 

It is not often that a newspaper journalist gets to be in front of the camera, so a highlight was being photographed with theatre stalwarts Athol Fugard, Winston Ntshona and John Kani at the unveiling of a stained-glass mural dedicated to them at the revamped Opera House in November 2015.

But it was not only international stars who made the front page.

SA funnyman Rob van Vuuren graced the front page of Weekend Post when I took him on an artist’s walkabout at the National Arts Festival in Makhanda. 

Award-winning actress and director Robin Williams has helped put the Gqeberha theatre scene on the map
MAGICAL YEARS: Award-winning actress and director Robin Williams has helped put the Gqeberha theatre scene on the map

Van Vuuren was a delight to get to know, and had plenty of good and bad things to muse about. 

The National Arts Festival, now in its 50th year, was always a feast to cover.

For 11 days of the year, it was something we ate and breathed.

Another artist who was featured regularly in Weekend Post was Gqeberha-born singer Zolani Mahola, of Freshlyground.

She was one of my favourite stars to interview.

Attending the sold out one-night only performance of US singer Rodriguez was another highlight, as was seeing crooner Josh Groban live as his fans swooned outside the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium. 

One cannot exclude the Bay’s theatre industry, and all the wonderful experiences and amazing talent it has offered over the years. 

Robin Williams and Rose Cowpar are two of the standout names when it comes to putting local productions on the map.

Over the years, Weekend Post covered many international gigs hosted in Nelson Mandela Bay.

From performances by French-Canadian diva Celine Dion, to UK Idols winner Will Young, and 1980s supreme singer Belinda Carlisle, there was plenty to enjoy. 

As the final curtain falls on Weekend Post, to all the artists who made this weekend read one to enjoy, take a bow!



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