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Saturday, June 26, 2010


June 26, 2010

I started the day off with a flying visit to the Village Green to pick up a waistcoat which I didn’t have enough cash with me to pay for the day before. Going under the Jacqui Dee label, it’s become a yearly “must” to head for this charming lady’s stall and see what she has to offer in my size. The garments are adorned with rich appliqué and I have had my oldest one for at least 15 years and it still looks as good as new.

The Village Green opens at 9 and it was an indication of a busy day to come in that there were many people already browsing at 9.15, taking advantage of the sunshine and warmth.

Then it was off to see The Butcher Brothers which is one of the winners for the 2010 Standard Bank Ovation Award for Fringe productions. Other productions include Extra-Ordinary, London Road (both reviewed on artSMart) and I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change (still to be reviewed). Other productions are Breed, Karoo Moose, Same but Not Different, High Diving, The Eye of the Storm, Tseleng: The Baggage of Bags; Convincing Carlos; Ncamisa! The Women and The Soil

These winners, along with other productions reaching the same status for the rest of the festival, will be entitled to include the Award logo on their posters, flyers and advertisements, giving them a marketing boost during the Festival and beyond.

The Butcher Brothers from the Dark Laugh Theatre Company is a worthy winner. Conceived by Daniel Buckland and directed by Sylvaine Strike, it features Mongi Mthombeni and Jacques de Silva. Skilfully directed, the story line isn’t all roses (think Sweeney Todd!) and it’s all done in mime but the body language of the two performers speaks louder than words. Don’t miss it!

Confusing all us regular festival-goers (this is my 22nd consecutive festival!) the organisers decided to hold the media function on a Saturday and not on a Sunday so we’re all a day out! CEO Tony Lankester offered the good news that while it was still a bit early to tell, it looked as if the figures were positive and that they’d release them on Monday after the weekend’s events.

It is to be noted that both Tony Lankester and Festival Director Ismail Mahomed have been under massive pressure in the run-up to this festival, with funding uncertainty causing delays in locking down dates, never mind the logistics of planning productions. And that's before we even start on the whole upheaval created by the FIFA 2010 World Cup Soccer.

These issues severely impact on the efficient running of the festival not to mention placing major pressure on Fringe Manager Kate Axe Davies and near-impossible publicity deadlines on Media Representative Gilly Hemphill. In my book, Tony and Ismail and their whole team deserve gold medals !

And now I’m back at the farm furiously trying to catch up on reviews which you’ll see on artSMart as soon as I can get them out! – Caroline Smart