The Cape Town Fringe has started with a bang and Cape Town has shown up and owned it. From post-show shisa nyama at Makukhanye Art Room in Khayelitsha to German beer and slaptjips at the Fringe Club to samosas at The Jolly Carp in Retreat, audiences celebrated their Heritage weekend with theatre, and conversations about theatre.
Cape Town Fringe Executive Producer Ashraf Johaardien says, “From the productions I’ve seen since we started, I am blown away by the quality of the work presented. There is a palpable energy building across the circuit of Fringe 2017 partner venues that is thrilling. It’s clear that the new shared vision of a Fringe owned by creatives across the Mother City is coming to life.”
This year, the Cape Town Fringe has deepened its connections with the theatre community of Cape Town by partnering with existing theatres and ventures. The bigger-than-ever Cape Town Fringe is now in 13 venues across the city. Many of these theatres have received a boost from the Cape Town Fringe in the form of infrastructure that will be left behind for them to use year round.
For a sense of the scale of the Festival, take a look at the programme highlights for the week ahead.
From Tuesday 26 September
The Champion – only two chances (26 & 28 September) to see this award-winning (Best of Zabalaza 2014) show at Makukhanye Art Room. The work focuses on absentee fathers and grass widow mothers.
Lamentations is on at Zolani Centre and shows at the same venue on 2, 4, 5 and 6 October. The play chronicles a sister’s punishment for the sins of her long-lost brother.
Only two more shows for I am not yet born (26 & 28 September), this complex piece performed by former prisoners tells of criminal life and their time in jail. Catch it at Makukhanye Art Room.
Split is a study of the impressions of early childhood and their effect on memory and identity. The beautiful dance/physical theatre solo work is only on 26 & 27 September at the Theatre Arts Admin Collective.
Today is the last show for iComedy Kona iKasi with Kolping Mbumba at Zolani.
Catch Greg Gelb in his new show Refocused, an exploration of magic and what is important in life. Showing Tuesday 26 September at the Fringe Club before moving to the Jolly Carp on 27 & 28 September. It returns to the Fringe Club for on 3 October.
Don’t miss the last chance to see multi-award winning play The System at UCT’s P4 Studio. This piece about the poverty and inequality in South Africa received excellent reviews at the Edinburgh Festival as well as locally.
Popular comedy In Whorefish and Bloomers: The Waitresses Lament continues at The Alexander Bar daily until 1 October. Don’t miss this sharply scripted play about the experience of two waitresses.
Just two chances (26 & 28 September) to see ISMISM – an existential piece at the Makukhanye Art Room.
Kasi Stories: A Story Not Often Told asks pertinent questions about the failure of the father figure in South Africa. On at Theatre Arts Admin on 26 September, then off to UCT Bindery Lab on 27 & 28 September. It ends off at Delft Black Box on 29 & 30 September.
The Book Detectives is a comedy that takes place in fairyland. Will they solve the murder mystery? On daily (except Friday) until 30 September at the Fringe Club.
The Woman with a Baby on her Back is on at The Bindery Lab, UCT on 26, 27, 29 & 30 September. Don’t miss this award-winning adaption of Athol Fugard’s short story, To Whom it Must Concern.
Girls Just Wanna Have Fun is at UCT P4 on 26 September and then again from 29 September to 1 October only. This play about ‘date rape’ written by Nicola Hanekom has recently been adapted into a film.
Just three more days for One Big Blink (26, 27 & 28 September) at UCT Little Theatre.
Steke premiered on 25 September and plays daily until 28 September at Alexander Bar. A play in Afrikaans, English and Setswana, it explores issues of sexuality and gender identity.
From Wednesday 27 September
Young children will love LUKS – a puppet who illustrates the tale of good triumphing over evil. See it on 27, 28 & 29 September at the Makukhanye Art Room. The show returns to the same venue just in time for the school holidays on 2, 3 & 6 October.
Guilty or not Guilty tackles the cleansing of generational curses at Zolani on 27, 28 & 29 September.
Catch Worst of Both Worlds on 27 & 30 September only at Makukhanye Art Room. In a whirlwind of physical theatre, the play unpacks the horrors of human trafficking.
Stones, winner of the 2017 Gauteng Ishashalazi Competition, is on for one show at Zolani on 27 September.
The last performance of Ndendile is on at Makukhanye on Wednesday 27 September. The play examines the experience of two men who return to their traditional village to tell them that they are in love.
Rose Red premieres today and remains at UCT P4 Theatre for performances on 30 September & 1 October only. The story of Snow White is reinvented against a backdrop of contemporary music covers.
Jax & Gina premieres today at the Fringe Club and remains there for performances on 28 September and 2, 4 & 5 October. This comedy show is performed by gay and lesbian comedians.
Phefumla/To Breathe explores gang culture through the tales of four young men whose lives have been touched by it. Only two more performances at The Little Theatre, on 27 & 29 September only.
Sleeping with the Enemy will end soon. This complex play about the ideals versus the realities of township life is on at Zolani on 26, 27 & 28 September before it closes.
Winner at the Zwakala Festival at The Market, captivating comedy piece The Playroom explores mental illness. On at Makukhanye on 27 September, then off to Theatre Arts Admin from 30 September to 2 October daily. Then at Makukhanye on 4 October.
(w)asem premieres on 27 September and stays at P4 Studio on 29 & 30 September and 1 October. The play by Terence Makapan looks at the experience of being queer in an oppressive society.
Crazy Country Comedy with Justin-ray Stoffels will be keeping it light at The Jolly Carp on 27 & 28 September.
Described by the Sunday Times as “the best South African singer you’ve probably never heard of”, catch Standard Bank Silver Ovation Award winner Samthing Soweto at the Alma Café from 27 to 29 September.
Vukallective returns to the Cape Town Fringe with their brand-new production, Let’s Eat Hair. A contemporary rework of the absurdist Carl Laszlo play, it is on at the Little Theatre on 27, 28 & 30 September.
Standard Bank Silver Ovation Award winning Tats Nkonzo is Privileged comes to the Fringe Club on 27, 28 & 29 September only.
Butlers and Bloopers, the latest in the Butlers series, starts on 27 & 28 September at UCT’s P4 Studio and moves to the Bindery Lab, also on the Hiddingh Campus, for 30 September and 1 October.
From Thursday, 28 September
For two days only, catch Open Mic and Open Gallery at Makukhanye Art Room (28 & 30 September).
The Singing Chameleon is at Delft Black Box for 28 & 29 September then moves to UCT’s P4 Studio for one last performance on 30 September. A spellbinding end of term treat for children, this play is about individuality.
Uhambo premieres on 28 September at Zolani Centre and remains there for one show daily until 1 October. Thought-provoking and to the point, this play explores memory and discovery through action.
This year’s Zabalaza Best of the Festival winner Boy Ntulukazi opens its Cape Town Fringe run on 28 September at UCT Bindery Lab and remains there for two performances only on 29 & 30 September.
Celtic band Jenny and the Jameses returns to the Alma Café for their last Fringe performance on 28 September.
Bam Bam Brown is a good reason to stay at Alma Café on 28 September for the last Fringe performance of his eclectic musical soundscape.
A look at the corruption of religion and consumerism, Holy Plan B premieres at Delft Black Box the on 28 September and stays there for another performance on 29th then moves to Makukhanye Art Room for 2, 5 & 6 October.
The Sister’s Ugly has three shows only on 28, 29 & 30 September at UCT’s P4 Studio and tells the Cinderella story from the perspectives of the ugly sisters.
From Friday 29 September
Double bill of drama, Broken: Revisited and Uqhawukil’ujingi reflect on broken dreams and the displacement of ancestry in the African Diaspora. Two shows only on 29 September and 7 October at the Makukhanye Art Room.
Kiri Pink Nob presents J Bobs Live – Off the Record, a game show battle between the flamboyance of the townships and the subtle vileness of the suburbs. Catch it on 29 & 30 September as well as 1 October at Theatre Arts Admin.
DODA, the 2017 Standard Bank Ovation Award winning power duet, explores ideas around the patriarchy and black male identity. Catch this dance piece at UCT Little Theatre for three shows 29 & 30 September and 1 October only.
Catch the last show of Joe Ma se BBQ – South Africa as seen through the eyes of a foreigner – at The Jolly Carp on 29 September.
Catch one of two performances (28 & 29 September) of The Citizen. A play that looks at what it is to be a citizen through the eyes of a group of black women unpacking their citizenship.
Naked Girls Reading will have its Fringe premiere on 29 September. This reading, entitled Queerly Beloved, will continue to show at the Alexander Bar on 30 September and 1 October.
Catch Blaq Pearl in one show only of Storie van my Lewe, a one woman play that channels the roles of four women. Only at The Jolly Carp in Retreat on 29 September.
The pop-up Fringe Club Nights are for conversation, great music and comedy. Catch Future Nostalgia on 29 & 30 September for an epic listening experience. Buying a ticket to Tats Nkonzo is Privileged or Jack Mantis Band gets ticket-holders free entry to Future Nostalgia.
The Cape Town Fringe’s international show Police Cops in Space is a sequel to last year’s wildly popular Police Cops. See the multi award-winning show from 29 September to 7 October (daily, with two shows on 7 October) at UCT Little Theatre.
From Saturday 30 September
Bunny and the Magic Hat kicks off the school holidays at Delft Black Box on 30 September when Bunny’s magic tricks go wrong with entertaining results. Catch this show at UCT P4 on 1 October, iThemba Labantu on 5 & 6 October and The Jolly Carp on 7 October.
A one-off performance from Nyanga’s Premier Performing Acts Showcase is on at Zolani Centre on 30 September.
The Water Warrior moves to UCT Bindery Lab for two performances only, 30 September and 1 October. This family-friendly play explores the value of water through dance and physical theatre.
Recently returned Capetonian singer and performer Ernestine Deane will perform three times at Alma Café, 30 September and 1 & 4 October.
Dance piece Momentum under the artistic directorship of Wendl Abrahams is on again at the UCT Little Theatre, just two more shows on Saturday 30 September and 1 October at the same venue.
After returning from a successful European tour, catch Cape Town’s The Jack Mantis Band for one show only at the Fringe Club on 30 September. Stay on for Future Nostalgia.
From Sunday 1 October
Well-known hip hop artist and theatre music composer Phzo (Zolani Ponco), will perform from his latest album Fun Punishment. One show only at the Makukhanye Art Room on 1 October.
Premiering on Sunday 1 October at Delft Black Box Theatre, and remaining there for shows on 6 October and two shows on 7 October, Mashudu Red Card is a comedic theatre piece that goes well beyond being somewhat political, drawing on the talented actor’s international experience.
Catch Iziqhamo Zobomi at the Makukhanye Art Room on 1 October. This show comes from I-Liso Art Media in Khayelitsha and is a journey of storytelling though music.
See Thirst, a play written by Nobel prize-winning playwright Eugene O’Neil about what happens around water scarcity. On at Alexander Bar daily from 1 to 8 October.
A real Fringe festival coup, Cape Town born and raised Standard Bank Artist for Jazz 2017, Benjamin Jephta returns to the Mother City for a one-night performance at the Fringe Club on 1 October.
There are more productions still to come as the Cape Town Fringe winds its way towards 8 October.
Visit www.capetownfringe.co.za for more.