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Tuesday, May 10, 2011


(Shika Budhoo appears in “Shikaland”)

Always a red letter event, this year marks the 15th South African Women’s Arts Festival (SAWAF) to be hosted by The Playhouse Company in Durban. It runs between July 29 and August 14, 2011.

Comprising a compelling mix of comedy, drama, dialogue, open-mic poetry, dance, music and the visual arts, SAWAF highlights the impact women make in South Africa. While SAWAF offers a wealth of exciting performances, it also presents invaluable opportunities to debate and discuss important issues that affect the lives of contemporary women, and indeed our society as a whole.

This year’s festival components include Rajesh Gopie’s epic The Coolie Odyssey, running in the Drama until August 7; award-winning Durban actress Shika Budhoo’s acclaimed debut one-hander, Shikaland, playing in the Loft from August 5 to 7; and SAWAF 2011’s gala production, Dance for a Cure, to be presented in the Playhouse Opera Theatre on August 5 at 19h30. Staged around the theme of ‘Winds of Change’, this gala event combines stunning fashion design with live music and song, and will be interpreted by a host of stellar local dancers, performing to Astor Piazolla’s breathtakingly beautiful Four Seasons.

Other SAWAF attractions include: an evening of Comedy in the Playhouse Opera on August 6, featuring a line-up of stars of the stand-up genre; a not-to-be-missed Open Mic session featuring an inspiring line-up poets, and a high-profile Dialogue session, centring around the topic of Nation Building.

Then there’s Threads, Moving Into Dance's magnificent stage work starring poet Lebo Mashile and seven dancers, which will be presented in the Drama on August 12 and 13 and an exhibition of art work by women from the Eastern Cape.

For more information about the line-up of artists and programmes featured in SAWAF 2011, contact the festival hotline on 031 369 9456 or log onto