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What's up at KKNK 2010?

2010-02-15 15:03
GALLERY 2010: Some photo highlights

"A stalwart drama under the stars, a poetic debut drama in and around a swimming pool, a lady roaming the streets under her story umbrella and, on a sports field, a company of dancers literally playing with fire and water," promises Kobus Burger, Programme Manager of the KKNK.

"This year's menu of productions and exhibitions offers something of substance for every taste. And for those who need to treat their financial blues with laughter therapy, almost half of the theatre programme is a potpourri of comic theatre, farce and stand-up comedy.

"On the musical front, Afrikaans explores its Cape roots with Kyle Shepherd and Jitsvinge, and the George Clooney of the classical guitar takes us on a trip around the world in sixty minutes.

"Both Nataniël and Steve Hofmeyr are back at this year's Absa KKNK, but in completely new roles. Steve will be there, not to sing, but to release his novel, Vier briewe vir Jan Ellis, while Natantiël will revisit Tchaikovsky's evergreen ballet music for Swan Lake.

Some highlights

For the first time, a novel by the renowned author Marita van der Vyver will be recreated as musical theatre. Vergenoeg débuts at the festival with Sandra Prinsloo, Milan Murray and Alexa Strachan in the cast.

The celebrated playwright Yasmina Reza's newest Broadway award-winner, God of Carnage, has been translated into Afrikaans direct from the French and travels from the world's stages to Oudtshoorn with Anna-Mart van der Merwe in the cast. Hennie van Greunen is the director and adaptor of God van chaos.

Emo Adams brings tribute, in his first solo production, Jou Triller Show, to the late, great Wacko Jacko.

Nicola Hanekom of Altyd Jonker and Ararat fame pushes the festival's boundary walls with Betésda, an innovative theatre work that plays out in and around a municipal swimming pool, with Nicole Holm, Bronwyn van Graan, Grant Swanby, Eben Genis and Neels van Jaarsveld in the cast.

The girls of the popular drag duo Mince plant their high heels firmly in local soil for the first time with Mincing in die Klein Karoo.

Paul Eilers (of Faan se trein renown) directs Pieter Fourie's farce, Die proponentjie, in celebration of this celebrated playwright's 70th birthday, which he marks on Saturday 3 April, during the festival.

A brand new open-air amfitheatre, Jamstreet, becomes the home for Chris Barnard's Taraboemdery with among others Neil Sandilands in the cast and Albert Maritz in the director's chair – stalwart South African drama under the stars.

Six decades after it was written, Arthur Miller's Death of a salesman remains compelling and relevant and comes to the festival in a new translation by Andries Vrey with top actors like Ben Kruger, Bettie Kemp and Louis van Niekerk in the cast. Bobby Heaney directs.

The Jazzart Dance Company comes to the Absa KKNK for the very first time with a production that they will present in the open air in collaboration with landscape artist Strijdom van der Merwe. In Grond  the artists literally play with fire and water.

The bicentenary of the birth of the composer Chopin is commemorated in the programme Créme Chopin with Charl du Plessis, who also performs a Chopin piano concerto with the Free State Symphony Orchestra during the Swan Lake program.

European singer Myra Maud visits South Africa for the first time to appear in Afri-Frans with Laurika Rauch. This is also the title of the recent top-selling album, of which a follow-up CD wil be released during the Absa KKNK.

In contrast with previous years, when it comes to the visual arts, we have two festival artists rather than one. This year's are Nkahloleng Lukas Thobejane and Michaella Janse van Vuuren. Thobejane is a sculptor that works with wood in a traditional idiom, while van Vuuren uses advanced computer technology to create her fine-filigreed works. The Absa KKNK's Curator, Johan Myburg, brings the work of these two artists into dialogue with one another in a compelling fashion.

Gary Gordon's highly acclaimed First Physical Theatre Company from Grahamstown has studied the behaviour and habits of ostriches for So loop 'n volstruis – a programme of dance by young, upcoming choreographers that will début at the Absa KKNK.

And then Casper de Vries is the director of Bloemers & Roemers – a comedy review featuring top comediennes Marion Holm, Dowwe Dolla and Karen Wessels.

More info

Festinos will this year be able to buy an affordable day pass to access a large, consolidated festival ‘neighbourhood' on the Western bank of the Grobbelaars River, where they will find the Absa Art and Craft Market, the Huisgenoot Musiekplaas, various rest areas, three additional outdoor stages and playgrounds. Visitors can look forward to a wide variety of Afrikaans music within this 'Rivierbuurt'.

The complete festival programme will be available on the Absa KKNK website at, or as a program pamphlet (booking pamphlet) at Computicket branches nationwide. Bookings for the public open on Tuesday, 9 February. Accommodation can already be booked through the accommodation office at 044 203 8600.

With 35 début productions, and a lot of old favourites back onstage and out in the open air, fans of Afrikaans music and theatre can pack plenty of partying and plays into 2010's festival in Oudtshoorn.

Happy Mobile New Year

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