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Tuesday, July 14, 2020


Beyond eleven days of amazing, the Virtual National Arts Festival is still providing hours of exciting, pioneering work from artists who have ventured online. All it takes to unlock the experience is a ticket or pass – and there is a very special offer on a Festival Pass (includes all the content from the curated programme and the Standard Bank Jazz Festival, but excludes the vFringe) to see you through until July 16.

The Festival Pass was R600 but is now on offer at just R400.

Top sellers on the curated programme

Unmissable Shows

There are shows to suit every taste on this year’s programme but these shows have been the most popular to date. Want to know what the fuss is about? Make sure these shows are on your watch list.

Thandiswa Mazwai – blew everyone away on the Standard Bank Jazz Festival line-up

Swan Song – a sublime, sad and beautiful story

Macbeth – a real online scoop, this is an epic tale

Breathing Space – a fascinating insight into the woman that was Olive Schreiner

Nixon in Agony – premiered here first

Jacob Collier – exceptional genius and effortless talent

Woolworths – satirical audio to settle in with

The Very Big Comedy Show – funny in a whole new online format

Together Apart – adult performance art and experimentation

Mi Casa – mood-enhancing performance from the Standard Bank Jazz programme

Zaf’ingane Ancestral Jazz – it’s all heart and soul, beautifully delivered

Pest Control – Mamela Nyamza is on the war path and at her powerful best

A brand new series of webinars is announced

Conversations with Creators

NAF will be presenting a series of webinars in the next couple of weeks that sees artists talking to each other about their processes and inspirations – audiences get to listen in to these conversations – and are welcome to ask questions if there’s time. Join in via Zoom – it’s easy, it’s free, and it will be fascinating. For more info on the webinars to come, click on the links below

Wednesday July 15 19h00 –  William Kentridge, Phala O Phala and Nhlanhla Mahlangu introduce the process and technologies of creating the six short-form Pepper’s Ghost pieces featured on this year’s vNAF programme.

Thursday July 16 18h00 – Four artists talk about their methods of working, points of inspiration and about creating during the crisis with curator of Dumile Feni: 4 Provocations, Jay Pather.


Providing an income for artists

VFringe continues to impress

There are more than 120 Virtual Fringe productions for you to choose from – and the list keeps growing.

Zoom Room, an unfortunate comedy induced by a global pandemic, sees a group of moms band together in a zoom meeting to implement an epic cigarette heist; He Had It Coming, starring Nancy Sekhokoane is ‘theatre for thinkers’ in inimitable Mike van Graan style; and Ouma Lilly en haar Klong is a collection of moments between a 94-year old-grandmother and her grandson – videos that centre around issues of identity, language, and the culture of the Cape.

Signature Sound’s The Art of Experimental Acapella starts with Letta Mbulu’s Music in the Air and does not let one go until the harmonies of the final song have faded; Helena Hettema makes a welcome return to the Fringe with Alive, a nostalgic celebratory video from a 2010 concert in which she performs songs from Brel and Piaf, Gershwin, Cohen, Faithful, and the Beatles. 44 on Long brings three jazz concerts filmed in their theatre in Cape Town – catch Winston Siljeur, Chadleigh Gowar, and Muneem Hermans in these concerts captured at the foot of Table Mountain.

Michael Taylor-Broderick’s The King of Broken Things with Cara Roberts is the beautiful but poignant story of a young boy who reminds us that the magic that we so easily forget is everywhere; Zip Zap Circus and the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra join up for some high-flying music and effortless, gravity-defying artistry in Journey Beyond; and, in Kwathi Ke Kaloku, a theatrical celebration of traditional Xhosa stories and music, Sindiwe Magona performs a combination of two of her well-known children’s tales, The Best Meal Ever! and Stronger than Lion.

Moeketsi Koena and Gaby Saranouffi explore the links that connect the real and unreal through photography, music and dance in Corps/Body; and Smangaliso Ngwenya’s Fragmented Scribbles captures moments of endless embodied conversations that occur in one’s body, mind and spirit.

Grab a seat on the couch and indulge in some incredible theatre and music on the vFringe - and know, that as you applaud, you will be supporting an artist somewhere out there whose regular income is in a state of Covid suspension.

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