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Wednesday, July 8, 2009


Report from artSMart Editor Caroline Smart at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown.

Today was a complete wipe-out! The heavy cold that had been threatening for a couple of days finally manifested itself and I was in no condition to head for festival. This means that I had to cancel two of the productions I had really been looking forward to: Mậ Ravan’ from the incredible Théậtre Taliipot of Reunion and Do you know Billy Holiday?.

The only good part of this sniffling, sleeping, inhaling, cough-mixture imbibing day was the fact that I had a chance to look through the amount of reading matter which had accumulated over the last few days. This included the festival’s daily Cue newspaper, an invaluable source of information with reviews of main productions and its feature of Fringe Clips which offer a 50 word or so summing-up to help festival-goers make their choice.

I also had time to look at the special supplement of the July issue of CLASSICFEEL. Celebrating 25 years of the Standard Bank Young Artist Awards, this elegantly designed 232-page soft-cover book offers marvellous interest and research value to CLASSICFEEL.

The book is a true “Hall of Fame” of South Africa's arts and culture scene, profiling each and every artist who has won the award over the past quarter of a century, with detailed information about his or her career before and after receiving the prestigious honour. All of these artists are renowned locally as leading figures within their respective fields, and many of them have achieved international recognition. The picture of Richard E Grant, both hands characteristically raised as he watched the monitor during playbacks of his movie directorial debut, Wah Wah, reminded me of the time I was privileged to be part of the cast of this film.

The supplement comes as part of the July issue of CLASSICFEEL (R29.95) and you can get it at Exclusive Books, CNA and selected music stores around the country.

Hopefully, tomorrow I will feel more like a real person and will head back to the festival! – Caroline Smart