Suidoosterfees programme for 2022 packed with highlights

The programme for Suidoosterfees 2022, to be held at Cape Town’s Artscape Theatre complex from 27 April to 1 May, is now available. Festivalgoers can look forward to a variety of productions that will meet every possible taste, including theatre, dance, music, comedy and book discussions. Some of the country’s finest established and upcoming artists feature in the line-up.

Enthralling drama productions are included in the NATi Theatre Festival programme. Brendon Daniels and Tinarie van Wyk Loots star in Philip Rademeyer’s Opdrifsel, a play that will move audiences to tears. The stage version of Zirk van den Berg’s award-winning book Ek wens, ek wens, with Frank Opperman, is also on the programme. The popular Cintaine Schutte and De Klerk Oelofse can be seen in Mutton Hour, an exceptional production with brief tales about love, loss, clowns and cats.

Bientang: bloedspoor/!nau, a music production based on Jolyn Phillips’ poetry volume, tells the story of one of South Africa’s last beach dwellers, a legendary Khoi woman who lived in a cave and communicated with animals. Ricardo Arendse’s Die halwe huis is a one-man show starring Marlo Minnaar and directed by Lee-Ann van Rooi.

Christian Bennett, Dean Smith and Gantane Kusch, known for their roles in the popular kykNET soapie Suidooster, will perform in Koeksusters, a dramedy about the scourge of gender-based violence in South Africa. Frieda van den Heever is responsible for Die oerkluts kwyt, a production celebrating the 70th birthday in 2022 of actress Antoinette Kellermann and poet Antjie Krog. Kellermann will perform Krog’s poetry in this special show.

Other hightlights on the NATi Theatre Festival programme include Herschelle Benjamin’s Agulhasvlakte, with Kay Smith, René Cloete and Wilhelm van der Walt, and Ferdinand Bekker’s Dis 20:15, with Waldemar Schultz and Brendon Daniels.

The NATi Rising Stars programme, one of the festival’s flagship development initiatives, is presented in collaboration with NATi, the Jakes Gerwel Foundation, Artscape and the Western Cape Departement of Sport and Culture. Five plays by the following new voices will debut at this year’s festival: Stephren Saayman, Heloïne Armstrong, Melissa Myburgh, Jane Mpholo and Henque Heymans. These playwrights’ scripts were developed during a writer’s residency at the Jakes Gerwel Foundation’s Paulet House in Somerset East. Actors who will star in the productions are Rehane Abrahams, Jill Levenberg, Tinarie van Wyk Loots, Ben Albertyn, Boitumelo Mohutsioa and Robert Hindley.

A new segment on the festival programme, NATi Youth Theatre, will focus on drama productions with learners and students. Festivalgoers and young theatre lovers can look forward to the three winning productions of last year’s ATKV-Tienertoneel. Students from Stellenbosch University, Northlink College and CPUT will also stage their shows at the festival.

A special package is available for school children who have their goals set on a career in theatre. The ATKV-Tienertoneel-package offers excellent opportunities for R1 000 only: access to top productions on the festival programme, as well as a series of workshops presented by veterans in the business, such as Cintaine Schutte, Brendan Daniels, Gaerin Hauptfleish, Frank Opperman and Antoinette Kellermann.

Fans of Nataniël will jump with joy about his show at Suidoosterfees, Moscow. Many other music shows wll bring joy and colour to the festival stage. Stars of the Suidooster soapie, Cedwyn Joel, Jawaahier Petersen, Eden Classens, Irvine van der Merwe and Natasha van der Merwe, will perform in Suidooster Stormsterk. Ode op akkoorde, supported by the Johann Brink Trust, will charm audiences with artists like Louis Loock, Magdalene Minnaar and Jarrad Ricketts. On the classical music front, Lauren DaSappa, Janel Speelman, Janelle Visagie and Elna van der Merwe will star in Klassieke divas. AGL Opera will stage their popular Don Pasquale.

International Jazz Day on 30 April is celebrated at the festival, and lovers of this genre will enjoy authentic South African sounds in “Jika” – Sounds of the SA Jazz Real Book. Local jazz forms like kwela, ghoema, mbaqanga, sopvlei and tsaba-tsaba will feature, and all-time favourites like the “Click Song”, “Paradise Road” and “Pata Pata” can be heard. International Dance Day will also be celebrated with the spectacular Ballet-a-thon and When dancers unite, a Bollywood style production where contrasting dance forms are brought together in a magical harmony of movement. Moya, the ZipZap Circus show, will enchant audiences with fabulous tricks and breathtaking acrobatics.

People who love books and literature will enjoy 13 discussions, presented by the Jakes Gerwel Foundation and the ATKV. All the discussions can be attended for free, but due to Covid-19 regulations seats are limited, and bookings must be made in advance at Marita van der Vyver will talk to Cintaine Schutte about her moving youth memoir, ’n Baie lang brief aan my dogter, and Ronelda Kamfer will be in conversation about her debut novel Kompoun. Audrey Jantjies will talk about her book As die katjiepiering blom.

In Making us and breaking us – Elections from the days of Shaka to Cyril, Marianne Thamm will probe Matthew Blackman and Nick Dall about important turning points in the history of South Africa. Anthony Butler will talk to Ronnie Kasrils about his book, International Brigade Against Apartheid: Secrets of the War that Liberated South Africa. Other authors on the programme include Diana Ferrus, Bronwyn Davids, Shana Fife, Jonathan Ancer, Chris Whitfield, Ismail Lagardien, Ivan Johnson, Kirby van der Merwe, Jeremy Vearey, Anzil Kulsen, Hlumelo Biko and Philip Rademeyer.

Since the start of the pandemic two years ago, the Suidoosterfees has managed to bring safe entertainment in smaller, innovative ways to audiences. These events were presented in compliance with national safety protocols, and in 2022 it will be no different. The festival will require staff, artists and festivalgoers to provide prove of vaccination before entry. More information about this policy is available on the festival website and its social media platforms.

Special discount packages that include accommodation and tickets to shows, are available on the website for visitors who would like to escape to Cape Town for a few days of top entertainment.

For the complete programme, please visit Bookings can be made at Computicket.

The Suidoosterfees is brought to you with the support of the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture, the Western Cape Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport, City of Cape Town, Media24, Die Burger, NATi and kykNET.