Citizen Reporter
1 minute read
2 Sep 2015
8:00 am

Hilton Arts Festival: A feast for the senses

Citizen Reporter

Much as the National Theatre Live cinema season allows theatre lovers to enjoy the best of London theatre from the comfort of a local cinema, the Hilton Arts Festival enables theatre lovers to see the best in national drama and theatre.

The cast of Born in the RSA. Picture: Baxter

The selection committee has invited the most innovative and talked-about dramas from the national arena to the festival this year, with production companies from Cape Town and Johannesburg making the trip to KwaZulu-Natal to ensure local audiences get a chance to see shows which they would normally have to travel out of the province to see.

Among the much-anticipated imports are Blue/Orange by British playwright Joe Penhall, as well as Siembaba, which looks at a South African phenomenon we often take for granted – the relationship between a black domestic worker and the white children she helps to raise.

Baxter Theatre presents theatre legend Barney Simon’s Born in the RSA, which has been described as a “living newspaper”. Newcomers to the fest, Cape Town-based Followspot Productions, who specialise in comedy, cabaret, music and dance, will present two productions featuring brothers Ash and Brad Searle.

In the music programme too there are out-of-town performers: from the choir from Herschel Girls School in Cape Town, to guitar maestro James Grace, internationally acclaimed saxophonists Andrew Young and Mike Rossi, to contemporary alternative poprock band Watershed.

The festival invites the créme de la créme of what is hot and happening in the creative industries in South Africa – theatre; dance; comedy; musical theatre; family theatre; classical music; and music, as well as a series of mindscape lectures and discussions. There is a special emphasis on visual arts this year with extended exhibition space and elevated focus being given to crafters and art makers.