Johannesburg - If you weren’t able to head down to Grahamstown for the National Arts Festival this year, it’s cool. Phumlani S Langa and Grethe Kemp look at some of the heavy-hitters that will be in Jozi to perform at Wits University’s 969 Festival.
Hani: The Legacy
25 July, 18:30 and 29 July, 16:30
This production by director Leila Henriques won gold in the Standard Bank Ovation Awards this year. This is the story of anti-apartheid hero Chris Hani’s life, told through hip-hop, rap and ballads. Inspired by the astoundingly successful US musical Hamilton, it features a dynamic and energetic young cast, and will look at the historical figure’s life in a fresh way.
Dada Masilo’s Giselle
29 July, 20:30
Catch the latest work by acclaimed local choreographer Dada Masilo, celebrated for her creativity and the recipient of the Standard Bank Young Artist Award in 2008 for dance. In this evocative piece, a peasant girl (Giselle) dies of a broken heart after her lover breaks her trust in quite a deep way. Now get this, a group of supernatural women who dance men to death summon this broken-hearted girl back from the grave. The production features drawings by William Kentridge.
Helen of Troyeville
28 July, 19:30
29 and 30 July, 18:00
A brilliant actress, an award-winning writer and an exciting new director team up to bring you some east side flavour. The story focuses on a character in the twilight of her life, and with a strong passion to live. This grandmother finds herself in a life-threatening situation, forcing her to reflect on her life in one of the illest hoods on the planet, Troyville. East side!
20 July, 20:00
He’s received a Standard Bank Ovation Award for music this year, so now’s your chance to catch singer, writer, composer and producer Samthing Soweto in action. He’s one of the founding members of the South African a cappella group The Soil and, brother, this man is dangerous with the pen in hand. Soweto, stand up!
26 July, 13:15 and 27 July, 19:00
The winner of a Student Theatre Merit Award for Original Work, this play by 12 talented second-year Market Theatre Laboratory students is a candid look at virginity, religion and culture. We live in a country where young women still receive “virginity bursaries” from schools, while no such thing exists for men. Why is a woman’s worth still determined in this way? An energetic cast explores the issue.
The Full Morty
28 July, 21:00
It keeps selling out theatres around the country, so if you still haven’t seen it, now is the time. Critically acclaimed theatre and television actor Mortimer Williams dives into uncharted terrain – the never-explored-before depths of the South African male’s mind. Stand-up meets cabaret with songs and schemes that will shed some light on what happens in the minds of men, or the lack of things happening...
All tickets available at webtickets.co.za