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Saturday, January 7, 2017


(Feedback: a comedy/physical theatre piece by Mpilo Straw Zondi & TQ Nzimande)

The Fresha Festival is a brand new free fun family al-fresco theatre festival to be staged for the first time on Durban’s North Beach at the end of the school holidays for three days on January 20, 21 and 22.

Festival Director Emma Durden considered: “What could be more quintessentially Durban than a summer festival of free theatre, right on the beach?”

The Fresha Festival starts late afternoon on January 20 with a promenade procession and performance showcase to provide an overview of the weekend ahead.

The festival programme runs on January 21 and 22, from noon until 17h00, offering a full afternoon of diverse, family-friendly free short shows. Each day will culminate with a Sundowner Showcase under the especially-erected beach Bedouin tent on the Bay of Plenty Lawns at 17h00. These evening performances are charged on a pay-what-you-can basis.

A varied day-time line-up of carefully-chosen participants takes place on the beach-promenade and has been selected to ensure that the programme is diverse, fabulous and entertaining. Among the performers are the multi award winning Moving into Dance Mophatong in Road choreographed by Oscar Buthelezi who recently returned from Germany with a handful of international awards for the work; fun street theatre comedy interventions by Gerard O – a street performer from the Netherlands; physical theatre pieces by respected Durban choreographers/erformers Mdu Mtshali and Shelby Strange; an installation by Doung Anwar Jahangeer; Feedback: a comedy/physical theatre piece by TQ Nzimande and Mpilo Zondi; productions from various theatre groups working with the innovative Twist Theatre Projects; a piece by Durban Deaf mime artist, Sibo Masondo, and guest productions from Isil Vos of the Netherlands.

Each production will have two 15 minute performances over the weekend.

Fresha Fest replaces the popular Musho! Festival. After 11 great years, the Musho! Theatre festival of one and two hander theatre had its final festival in January this year. With the simultaneous closing of the Catalina Theatre and the KZN offices of the Performing Arts Network of SA, Musho was no longer viable. Fresha is the phoenix which has arisen from Musho’s ashes – a hip and happening street/beach open-air festival – the perfect event to wrap up the Durban summer holiday season.

The Fresha Festival is directed by Emma Durden and Roel Twijnstra and is presented by Twist Theatre Development Projects. Twist is funded by The National Lotteries Commission. Additional funding for Fresha has also been provided by the Department of Arts and Culture KZN and the KZN Performing Arts Trust.

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