Cape Town Fringe set to keep it local with multi-venue festival

2017-08-29 15:30 - Selene Brophy
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(Photo: Nardus Engelbrecht)

Cape Town - The Cape Town Fringe festival is set to evolve into a mulit-venue event, across 14 performance spaces in the Cape Town metropolitan area as it "puts theatre at the centre of the Cape’s communities".

Executive Producer Ashraf Johaardien says the festival, which will open on 21 September this year, is “staying relevant by going local."

The revised format and fresh new focus according to Johaardien will this year see organisers working hand in hand with independent theatres across the City to present a programme of work that is innovative and inspired.

Audiences and artists alike will be "given the opportunity to expand their horizons".

What you need to know about the event:

When: Thursday, 21 September until Sunday 8 October 2017

Where: This yea'rs event will take place across 14 different venue, excluding the City Hall which is currently closed for renovations. 

“While we’ll be sad not to be using the City Hall, the change has challenged us to rethink where we put the centre of gravity of the Fringe. What we’ve put in place gives us multiple access points, making the Cape Town Fringe accessible to a far broader range of communities than before,” says Johaardien. 

SEE: Cape Town's City Hall closed as R27m revamp gets underway

The venues will include:

- Makukhanye Art Room in Khayelitsha

- Alma Café in Rosebank 

- Jolly Carp in Retreat

- Fringe Club at the German Club in Gardens

- Theatre Arts Admin Collective in Observatory

- iThemba Labantu in Philippi

- Zolani Sport and Recreation Centre in Nyanga

- Alexander Bar in Cape Town City

- Little Theatre, Arena Theatre, P4 Studio and Bindery Lab at Hiddingh Campus, Orange St, City

- Black Box Theatre in Delft South

- AFDA in Observatory

The Programme

While the final programme is set to be announced on the Cape Town Fringe website  from 1 September - festival-goers can expect some 80 productions throughout the three-week festival across theatre, dance, music, comedy and illusion. 

Those attending can also download the free Cape Town Fringe app (iOS and Android). Tickets will also be available at the door to each performance.

Johaardien says, “We’ve spent a lot of time listening to the arts community and have developed a collaborative approach to programming the Fringe that manages to keep the programme fresh and exciting while also creating opportunities to view our world through a lens of authenticity,” he says.

'Edgy, independent and groundbreaking' 

“There is a huge appetite for theatre in Cape Town and there are lots of producers, artists and venue owners and administrators who are working hard to create work and spaces for it. By its very nature, fringe theatre is edgy, independent and groundbreaking. In working with these small theatres this year, we feel the fringe concept is truly being realised.’

"The Cape Town Fringe, the newest member of the prestigious World Fringe Alliance, received a record 268 submissions this year of which a third have been matched to venues and will be presented as  of genre-busting works in between. The programme, which runs during the school holidays, also includes family theatre." 

The Fringe also includes the Cape Town Buskers Festival. Taking place daily at the V&A Waterfront from 5 to 8 October, the line-up sees local and international street performers working the hat with highly physical and entertaining acts.

The City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security (Events), Alderman JP Smith says, "The Fringe festival has grown and developed in a short space of three years, giving up and coming performers the platform to showcase their talent in the arts. 

'Taking thearte to the communities' 

"While our very own home-grown talent will dominate the festival, some international performers will form part of the mix. I urge our local artists to come out in their numbers and wow the audiences. This could just be the big-break you have been waiting for," says Smith. 

Hazel Chimhandamba, Head of Sponsorships at Standard Bank says, "The Cape Town Fringe, although still young in years, has certainly made its mark on the Mother City’s cultural landscape and has succeeded in attracting younger audiences, while also giving new and emerging talent a platform to showcase their work and for audiences, new and old, to be entertained and inspired."

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