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Tuesday, April 26, 2016


Deadline: May 31, 2016

The popular Cape Town Fringe Festival will be back in 2016 – and, as they call for production proposals from artists, organisers are promising a longer festival, with more opportunities for learners and young South Africans to be part of a ‘new generation’ of theatregoer.

The 2016 Cape Town Fringe festival will run for a bumper 17 days – from September 22 until October 8, offering the residents of South Africa’s cultural capital even more opportunities to enjoy the heady and eclectic mix of theatre, comedy, music and magic.

“We’re helping to grow a new generation of theatregoer,” says Tony Lankester, the Chief Executive of the Cape Town Fringe. “By making the Fringe six days longer than last year, the programme will extend into the school holidays, giving learners and their families a chance to participate fully in one of the freshest cultural events of the year. Fringe Festivals are ‘shorts and t-shirt’ events, changing the perception that theatres are formal, stuffy spaces. They bring a new energy to their host cities – and the Cape Town Fringe is no exception.”

To fit in with the rhythm of a working city, shows will start late in the afternoon on weekdays, while weekend shows will run from the morning and late into the night. Cape Town’s welcoming and accessible City Hall will be reincarnated as the home and heart of the Fringe, with a pop-up restaurant and bar – The Fringe Club – open for the duration of the festival.

Organised by the same team that puts together the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown every year, the Cape Town Fringe is being staged for the third time in 2016. As part of the call for proposals, Lankester named former artistic director of the Amsterdam Fringe Festival and Cape-based director and producer Rob Murray as this year’s Guest Artistic Director. Murray replaces Ismail Mahomed, whose resignation from the National Arts Festival was announced recently.

“Around the world, Fringe festivals showcase work that is bold and provocative as well as popular and accessible,” Lankester said. “Rob brings with him an artistic sensibility that not just matches that boldness, but urges theatre makers and audiences to get out of their comfort zones. I’m looking forward to seeing what emerges from the selection process.”

Artists from across the country are invited to submit proposals for consideration as part of the programme for the 2016 Cape Town Fringe Festival.

“We are looking for innovative and experimental works that not only have high audience value but also high quality production values,” says Rob Murray, the Guest Artistic Director of the 2016 Cape Town Fringe.

The Cape Town Fringe seeks work that is bold and unconventional, socially aware, relevant and challenging but also rewards audiences for their adventurous spirit and gives them a broad diversity of experience. “We are looking for any form of live performance – from theatre, to dance, to comedy and music, and for work that will help us reach new audiences and build audiences for the future” Murray says.

A selection panel will review all proposals received and build the Fringe programme. “The business model is one of shared risk between the Fringe and the artist. We build the venues, market the event and sell the tickets; the artist brings their work to the stage. The box office is split with the artist, who gets around 70% of the takings,” says Lankester.

“The Cape Town Fringe gives a platform to performers from Cape Town and beyond who may not otherwise find a space to present their work,” Murray explains. “We will also draw from critically acclaimed works performed at the National Arts Festival, giving Cape Town audiences the chance to discover some of these gems. Continued relationships with theatre projects such as the Baxter’s Zabalaza Theatre Festival, ASSITEJ, PANSA and others will ensure that the exciting work coming out of these initiatives reaches new audiences and stages.”

The Cape Town Fringe programme encompasses theatre, dance, comedy and music. Artists wishing to submit proposals should review the guidelines for entry available on the Cape Town Fringe website. The application form and the guidelines are available at

All entries are due by May 31, 2016

For further enquiries, email or visit

Follow Cape Town Fringe on Twitter @CTFringe; Facebook and Instagram @ctfringe - hashtag #CTFringe

The Cape Town Fringe is managed by the National Arts Festival. The City of Cape Town is the host sponsor, while Standard Bank is the presenting sponsor.

(To link direct to the National Arts Festival website click on the large banner that runs across the top of this blog)