Fringe festivals, the playground of the independent, cutting-edge artist, continue to be a vital force in global arts, as evidenced by the massive crowds drawn annually to international events in Edinburgh, Adelaide, New York and Brighton.
In South Africa the well-established National Arts Festival’s fringe is a unique open access platform, giving artists the opportunity to perform, network, collaborate, share and learn.
As the only African members of the World Fringe Alliance, the National Arts Festival and its sister event in Cape Town continue to stimulate the local ecosystem of audience, opportunities and exposure to talent hunters from around the world.
Unsolicited and uncurated, the 2018 National Arts Festival fringe is again a vivid gathering of fierce, fearless, funny, charming, daring, warm and imaginative works.
With shows costing from as little as R20 to around R100 per ticket, it’s possible for festival-goers to see more than one show a day.
The fringe this year takes place from June 28 to July 8.
• Mike van Graan’s Land Acts, starring Daniel Mpilo Richards, takes a satirical look at SA’s hottest topic – land redistribution.
• The Artscape Theatre Centre brings family drama Imbewu to the festival, as well as Night and Day, which will be directed by Khayalethu Anthony.
• Chris Weare will direct the South African classic, The Island, a play written and conceived by Athol Fugard, John Kani and Winston Ntshona about two prisoners on Robben Island, as the one faces extended jail time and the other his imminent release.
• The 2017 Standard Bank ovation award winner The Devil and Billy Markham returns with the Faustian tale masterfully delivered by James Cairns, who stars in three other productions presented by Contagious Theatre.
• The others are El Blanco, doing its final year at the festival, and comedy show James Cairns Against Humanity.
To view the complete national arts fringe festival programme and to book go to National Arts Festival.