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The English are coming!

The English productions on offer at this year's Clover Aardklop National Arts Festival, held in Potchefstroom are all highly-acclaimed and award-winning shows.

An Audience With Miss Hobhouse – written by Tony Jackman, performed by Lynita Crofford and directed by Christopher Weare – won a Standard Bank Ovation Award at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown this year. It is based on the writings and experiences of Emily Hobhouse and her translation of the memoir Tant’ Alie Of Transvaal.

Jackman gives Emily Hobhouse another chance to have her say about the conditions in which Britain incarcerated Boer women and children during the Anglo-Boer War of 1899-1902.

Nick Warren’s comedy Dirt, with James Cairns performing six distinct characters (and a dog), has travelled nationally and internationally with great success. It was nominated for a 2013 Artrage Award at the Fringe World Festival in Perth and was in the top 10 box office hits at the 2013 National Arts Festival in Grahamstown.

Dirt tells the story of three estranged friends on their way from Johannesburg to Cape Town for the funeral of a fourth. Poignant and often hilarious, it offers some surprising insights into the nature of male friendships.

The satirical The Three Little Pigs has also done the rounds. It won Best Theatre Production at the US Woordfees and received rave reviews in Perth, Edinburgh and Amsterdam. Tara Notcutt, from The Pink Couch theatre company, directs Rob van Vuuren, Albert Pretorius and James Cairns in this show that can best be described as Animal Farm meets Reservoir Dogs.

Rob van Vuuren also takes to the stage in Rob van Vuuren – Live. It is the irreverent, side-splittingly funny Standard Bank Ovation Award-winning stand-up comedy show by the 2011 Award Winner of the Comics Choice Breakthrough Act.

Writer and director Phillip Rademeyer’s The View won two awards at the International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival and was nominated for three Fleur du Cap Awards. It stars Gideon Lombard and Ella Gabriel. It was inspired by a recent viral video in which an American pastor, Charles Worley, stated that gays and lesbians should be contained in separate electrified enclosures.

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