national Arts Festival Banner

Monday, July 13, 2015


Reviews from the artSMart team at the 2015 National Arts Festival in Grahamstown)

Hilarious but thought-provoking piece. (Review by Khinali Bagwandeen)

The student programme performances of this year’s National Arts Festival were all particularly strong and political in nature. The University of KwaZulu-Natal Durban (UKZN) put on a hilarious but thought-provoking piece called Ashes to Ashes.

The show was directed and written by post-graduate student Camilla Rogers and consisted of a diverse cast of seven people. The central character was a young girl named Hope who was used as a metaphor for the hope and mother of our nation. The story uses the act of a robbery to ridicule the well-known political figures and law enforcers.

The characters are comical portrayals of the real life individuals and range from Zoo (Jacob Zuma) to Mrs Gupta (The Guptas) posing as a crooked policewoman. Funnily enough, there is even a character named Raj (Rajbansi) who was brought back from heaven to be a party to the robbery.

The performance ended on such a strong note, with the cast stripping off their characters and powerfully repeating the words “rise South Africa rise”. The show was genuinely entertaining and brought what we already know about our political system right in front of our eyes.

The UKZN Drama and Performance Studies department definitely outdid themselves. – Khinali Bagwandeen

For more information on the National Arts Festival click on the banner advert at the top of this page or visit