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Monday, July 29, 2019


(Verandah Panda - Liam Magner & Jane Baillie)

This year there is music to be heard in every single venue at the Hilton Arts Festival.

South Africans need cheering up and what better way to do this than music? The organisers have just realised that there is music in all eleven performance venues.

(Right: Qadasi)

Starting with what’s free to the public. The Stella Artois Festival Marquee and The Stella Bistro play host to none less than Verandah Panda (Friday evening), Philani Ngidi & the Afro Divas (Saturday lunch and evening), John Ellis (Friday evening), The Hairy Legged Lentil Eaters (Saturday evening) … would the festival be the festival without them? …, The Jazz Minkeys (Sunday lunch) and, for the first time (also Sunday lunch) the fantastic Qadasi, aka David Jenkins, was not available last week such was the media demand for his comments on the late, great Johnny Clegg.

Come and join in the vibe, grab yourself some food from no fewer than 20 foodie stalls, get a drink and celebrate.

There are three venues totally devoted to music this year – a first in the Festival’s 27-year history. Just within these three, you can choose from classical – Christopher Cockburn, Andrew Warburton, Charl du Plessis and Christopher Duigan will all play concerts. See them all, they are scheduled so you can! 

 (Left: Andrew Warburton)

Indulge in Bonjour Monsieur Brel or A Star is Born (celebrating Judy Garland), be sure to book for the 4th in the Knot series by Durban’s own Rat Pack – this year it is Knot Again! Chill with Erin Fourie and Ladies Sing the Blues, favourites Anthony Stonier and Karen Campbell-Gillies in Thanks for the Melodies, songbird Shelley McLean in Life is a Stage and much-loved Sam Landers, Anthony Downing and Evan Roberts in Some Enchanted Evening. This does not mean you cannot listen to the wonderful Natalie Rungan in Concert, KZN’s own Dave Starke’s tribute to Leonard Cohen or up and coming star (SA’s Got Talent), Marianthe Panas in Duo.

And there’s more…. Who remembers Jervis Pennington and the Soft Shoes? He’s back! See him in An Extraordinary Ordinary Life. Durban’s popular Black Lapels present The Hits. And that’s not to mention no less than four theatrical musical offerings: Bonsoir (sexy and French), Offbeat Broadway (very Broadway), Spanish Fire (guitar and flamenco) and The Man and The Mouse (yes … that’s Walt Disney and Mickey!)

(Right: “Some Enchanted Evening” features Anthony Downing, Sam Landers & Evan Roberts)

Before you are music-ed out, be sure to catch Richard Haslop in The Listening Lounge (Fleur de Lys Club) for those with eclectic and unusual musical tastes – he’s presenting three sessions!

For details of the above, refer to the website for details after August 11, 2019.

The Hilton Arts Festival, now in its 27th year takes place at Hilton College from September 13 to 15, 2019.

The full programme will appear in KZN copies of The Sunday Times on August 11. Booking opens on August 12, and the programme will be live on the festival website from the morning of August 12. For more information visit or contact the Festival Office on or 033 383 0127.

The Hilton Arts Festival is presented by Hilton College and tiso blackstar group, in association with Grindrod Bank; Black Coffee; Extreme Events; DWR; Bidvest Car Rental; Stella Artois; BASA; the KZN Department of Arts and Culture; Tsogo Sun; Redlands Hotel; FNB; the Caxton Group; Maritzburg Sun; Loud Crowd Media, The SA Artist and Sappi.