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Sunday, July 30, 2017


As the lights came down after yet another National Arts Festival, shows presented at the curated venue, The Edge, look to what lies ahead.

Since 2010 when the Standard Bank Ovation Awards were introduced, more than half of the eligible shows presented at The Edge have received this ‘stamp of approval’. 2017 adds another two names to this list. Theatre for Africa’s remarkable physical telling of Cattle Drive and new collaborative Contagious’ production of the epic poem of The Devil and Billy Markham are able to add the coveted blue and white stickers to their posters, acknowledging these Fest-debut productions as truly ‘a cut above the rest’ of what was on offer on the Fringe this year.

“After running The Edge for the past seven years, I am constantly astounded at the incredible talent we have on the independent theatre circuit. This year was one of our strongest offerings yet, and I look forward to even more national collaborations and new artists on The Edge in 2018” said Tara Notcutt, long-time convenor of The Edge platform.

Shows presented at The Edge will continue to share their magic around the country, post-Festival:

Jemma Kahn's third kamishibai show is In bocca al lupo – a graphic, candid and whimsical journey across three continents, using four story boxes, one giant cicada, a naked Catholic (or two) and one golden surprise. It premiered at the National Arts Festival in 2016, and is produced by POPArt Productions and Jemma Kahn, in association with the National Arts Festival, the Arts and Culture Trust and Nedbank Arts Affinity.

After the reminiscence of Memorable Moments, illusionist Stuart Lightbody returns to Cape Town where he is putting together a brand-new wonder-full experience for his fans. Unique Wonders will be directed by audience choice, adding a new level of intrigue to his offering.

Both productions go on to play the Alexander Upstairs in Cape Town.

Klara van Wyk’s You Suck and other inescapable truths featuring grade 9 misfit Pretina de Jager is touring to schools and thanks to a generous sponsorship there are a number of free performances available. Schools wishing her to visit their school, should contact her on She will also present a new play, End(ing) Game, in Stellenbosch in August, as part of her PhD.

The inimitable James Cairns, who according to The Critter“ has mastered the one-man storytelling show”, performs Shel Silverstein’s funny and fantastical text about the dangers of gambling with the one who runs hell. The epic poem that is The Devil and Billy Markham is on offer for audiences at the Hilton Festival in KwaZulu-Natal which takes place from September 15 to 17.

The Herald describes “The two actresses give an exquisitely calibrated performance, Michele Belknap as the mother and Rebecca Makin-Taylor as the daughter, with sensitive and subtle direction by the author Penelope Youngelson”, asserting that “Sillage leaves (an) indelible mark”. This Gold Ovation Award winning production will be on at POPArt Theatre in Johannesburg in November,  followed by a KZN tour.

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