The 19th Absa KKNK festival, which takes place in Oudtshoorn from 29 March to 6 April 2013, boasts 52 new productions, which compare well to the number of new offerings from previous years. In 2010 there were 32 first appearances, in 2011 it jumped to 40 debut productions and in 2012 there were 37 new pieces. This year there are a further 40 plays and music productions to choose from.
Theo Kemp, programme manager of the Afrikaans festival, said that this year's programme is bursting with "exciting productions, new venues and a programme that guarantees something for everyone".
Kemp said that more productions are available this year as a new model of scheduling has been implemented. Productions will play in fixed time slots, which will make it easier for visitors to plan ahead and allows festival venues to be used more optimally. Various new music productions
Even though theatre is the main focus of this festival, there are various new music productions, word art and kids theatre for the whole family to enjoy.
The 52 debut productions include: 20 theatre pieces, 24 music productions (including classical, music theatre, and contemporary productions), five word art programmes, two kids theatre pieces, and one dance theatre piece.
The Absa KKNK plays an integral role in investing in the production of new work. This year's highlights of new theatre productions include:
On the menu of new music productions, among others, are:
- Balbesit by the theatre entrepreneur Saartjie Botha. She places rugby on the stage and in the spotlight, with a focus on issues that matter - on and off the field.
- Land artist Strijdom van Merwe will create the landscape part of Garin Haupthfleich's new production Bly. This piece is for anyone who has experienced being left behind, decided to stay behind and even those who are just plain happy.
- Charles J Fourie, as writer and director of Offer, tells the story of a former political activist who returned to South Africa to expose the truth of a township tragedy.
- Pruttel will challenge the boundaries of theatre at the new Baanbreek venue. All the experimental, visual and non-verbal theatre productions will take place at this venue.
- Skrikkeljaar is a new site-specific production with Layla Swart as director and David Johnson as actor. This multimedia power tour tells the story of Vincent whose birthday is on 29 February and how he struggles to find his own identity.
- Award-winning director and actress Nicola Hanekom's debut drama Trippie takes the audience on a thriller bus tour through the beautiful Karoo. Jaco Bouwer is the director and Nicola Hanekom and Stian Bam are role players. This production is done in collaboration with the US Woordfees.
- Hennie van Greunen's checkityt@route62with Pedro Kruger as director. This piece is similar to Gly 2011, in which new talent is introduced to the audience whilst singing, dancing and rapping to the rhythm of hip hop.
- Dorothy/60 jaar pays tribute to the formidable Dorothy Masuka and the imprint she left on the musical heritage of this country in the past 60 years. Laurika Rauch, Karen Zoid, Zolani Mahola en die Africa Voices choir will join her on stage.
- Christiaan Olwagen's Droom tells a story of night clubs, being in love and how quickly things can spiral out of control. Elana Afrika stars in one of these roles.
Highlights of the new word art productions include Hardop, Karoo - My Hartland and My Mense.
Poets such as Danie Marais, Toast Coetzer and Ronelda Kamfer will read some of their poetry in Hardop. The beauty of the Karoo, her people and their stories is the focus of Niël Rademan's Karoo-My Hartland. Antionette Kellerman will be seen on stage in My Mense. It's from the pen of Dot Serfontein, who will be honoured at the annual Kanna Awards this year for her lifelong contribution to Afrikaans.
Tickets are available from Computicket or go to www.absakknk.co.za
for the full festival programme. Accommodation is available at www.absakknk.co.za
or through the accommodation office at +27 (0)44 203 8600.