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 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, and an early morning Saturday dance class, right on the beach?”
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. All shows are free of charge. However although the evening shows will be free, there will be a donation box available should audience members wish to contribute towards the cost of the performance – on a pay-what-you-can donation 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 / performers Mdu Mtshali and Shelby Strange; an installation by Doung Anwar Jahangeer; Feedback: a comedy / physical theatre piece by TQ Zondi and Mpilo Nzimande; 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.
As part of the festival, there will be a free dance class for all levels of dancer – from inexperienced, so social to serious, on Saturday morning from 08h00 to 09h00 on the lawns. Entry is free and all are welcome.
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 last year. With the simultaneous closing of the Catalina Theatre in Wilsons Wharf and the KZN offices of the Performing Arts Network of SA, Musho! in its current incarnation, was no longer viable. It should be noted, however, that the wharf side theatre’s management company, Catalina Unltd is still very much operational and has a full year plan for 2017.
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 graciously provided by the Department of Arts and Culture KZN and the KZN Performing Arts Trust. The festival would not be possible without the support of eThekwini Municipality.