October month especially in South Africa is oft known as being the most beautiful month of the year. This statement is based on C. Louis Leipoldt’s Afrikaans poem ‘Dit is die maand Oktober’ (It is the month October), in which the opening stanza celebrates the beauty of this month as the country blossoms into full Spring.
In the spirit of renewal and new life, which Spring heralds, we continue to bring the same onto all three of our theatre stages.
This still done of course adhering to current level COVID-19 restrictions due to mandated lockdown regulations including sanitsation, wearing of masks and physical distancing measures.
Thus, while we still remain in trying times, I graciously thank you for your continued unwavering commitment to our events and programmes.
During the past month of September we hosted the Heritage Festival to celebrate unity in diversity, through promoting social cohesion and inclusivity of our unique, colourful cultural heritage. We hosted productions such a Dance can Dance and The Kingdom of Ubuntu both produced and written by the legendary choreographer Elvis Sibeko, as well as My Word! Redesigning Buckingham Palace, with Basil Apollis in the lead and directed by Sandra Temming.
The month concluded with the Pamoja exhibition launch on 29 September presented by the Embassy of Sweden in partnership with the Swedish Institute and Liliesleaf Foundation. It showcases interviews with stalwarts, focus groups on international solidarity and extensive research through literature the multi-media platform aims to use the history of Sweden’s role in supporting development and liberation movements struggling against colonialism and apartheid in Africa as its inspiration. Pamoja aims to strengthen engagement, activism and agency among young people as they take on the challenges of today, such as inequality, racism and prejudice, climate change and solidarity during the pandemic. Pamoja will be launched in ten African countries during 2021.
Our Struggle Icon. Charlotte Mannya-Maxeke remained honoured as we continue to celebrate her 150-year legacy.
Allow me at this time to also implore the importance of COVID-19 vaccination. On Wednesday, 8 September, the South African government launched the “Return to Play – It’s in Your Hands” campaign, aimed at ramping up vaccination programmes to reach a required target of herd immunity in order for sports and entertainment venues to be reopened. During 2020 and throughout 2021 we have witnessed the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping across the world, causing severe illness and the deaths of millions. Finally we now have medical intervention through respective COVID vaccines which will assist in managing the disease particularly in relation to severe illness and deaths due to COVID complications.
The performing arts was one of the industry’s most severely affected and hardest hit by the affects of COVID. As alluded to by Sports, Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa at the launch, successful vaccination would be the conduit that would see a return of fans to sport and music concerts and patrons to theatres and other entertainment events. This was also emphasised by the Deputy President David Mabuza and I echo their sentiments and implore you to get vaccinated to reach our intended goals.
Building on the past months productions of hope and healing – avenues we need as we still
remain gripped with the challenges of COVID-19, high unemployment, poverty and a host of other socio-economic ills, we hope that you will revel in the beauty of the productions for the forthcoming month.
OCTOBER PRODUCTIONS AT A GLANCE
It is with delight that Cape Town City Ballet could bring back Veronica Paeper’s CARMEN a story of passion and revenge BY POPULAR DEMAND AFTER A SOLD OUT RUN. An additional 6 performances will recommence in the last week of September through to 2nd October.
NEW VOICES PROGRAMME
The New Voices programme which commenced in September and concludes on 1 October reflect the state of our society through excellent theatre performances telling of new stories. In collaboration with the Suidoosterfees it concludes with Xolisa Ngubelanga’s It’s my baby in which controversial topics like the land issue and farm attacks are addressed, interlaced with a captivating exploration of the plight of children who grow up without a father.
The ATKV (Afrikaanse taal, kultuur, kennis en kreatiwiteit) Tienertoneelfees is the ATKV oldenst project which seeks to engender a love for drama in Afrikaans as well as theatre attendance among high school learners.
The project is conducted nationwide and culminates in three days of activity on the theatre stage from 6 to 9 October.
THE OCTAVES MUSICAL
The Octaves, is a piece of musical theatre set in a time where many people have access to social media and where these platforms decide what is right or wrong. It explores issues such as who gets persecuted for being rapists or gay or even wealthy. It follows a group of students, full of life and endless opportunities struggling to speak their first language: music, due to family restrictions, personal issues. The only place the students really feel safe is in their music room, a place to let go and perform their fears away.
HIGH SCHOOL DRAMA FESTIVAL
The High School Drama Festival gives learners a platform to voice their creativity, views and social concerns through drama on a professional stage to a captive audience. Schools submitted 10 minute audition videos of their plays during the first round of the festival and 6 of these plays were selected to perform at the Artscape Arena as part of the main High School Drama Festival on 15th and 16th October 2021.
THE 8TH SOUTH AFRICAN INTERNATIONAL BALLET COMPETITION
The 8th South African International Ballet Competition. The largest Ballet Competition in Africa returns to the Artscape Theatre Centre from 19 – 23 October 2021. This will be a hybrid event, with competitors live on stage and online with 15 international judges and 3 South African judges.
PETER PAN AND TINKERBELL
Peter Pan, the boy who never grew up, has once again come to the window of Wendy Darling to listen to her stories. This time he is taking Wendy and her brothers, John and Michael, back with him to Neverland, where every day is an adventure with Red Indians, Mermaids, Stars and Pirates and where children never have to get older.
Once again, “Journey Returns” to see the mesmerizing collaboration between Zip Zap Circus and the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra in the beautiful Artscape Opera House.
This time we will enjoy classical renditions replaced with foot stomping, vibey and popular songs from around the globe. The orchestra, under the direction of the charismatic Chad Hendricks, will be supported by two local accomplished vocalists – Janine and Riyaan Cornelius.
ONLINE YOUTUBE PRODUCTIONS
YOUTH CLASSICAL MUSIC CONCERT
On Saturday, 18 September the 50th annual Youth Classical Music Concert took centre stage with nine participants. This iconic 50-year institution is presented in partnership with the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra (CPO).
The concert is set for broadcast on Fine Music Radio station on Sunday, 10 October at 15:00.
Thereafter it premieres on the Artscape YouTube channel on 25 October.
YOUTH TO JAZZ MASTERS FESTIVAL ON
Over the course of three nights, Artscape patrons were treated to the new young talent, legends and the jazz master themselves as 50th celebrations continued with the Youth to Masters Jazz Festival held from the 10th – 13th September.
We are excited to announce that it will be broadcasted on Kyknet as part of Woordfeees on Thursday 7 October at 21:42. Subsquenty it will be aired on the Artscape YouTube channel.
The 50-year celebratory concert and the 50-year costume exhibition, and a host of previously recorded productions remain on this platform for continuous online enjoyment.
We remain indebted to all our partners, funders and supporters including the City of Cape Town, the Western Cape Provincial Government and the Department of Sport Arts and Culture.
Thanking you once again for your sincere consideration
Marlene le Roux