A Sneak Peek at the Cape Town Fringe

The 2016 edition of the Cape Town Fringe will be taking to the streets this year, with the inclusion of a brand new event – the Cape Town Buskers Festival – presented as part of a partnership between the Fringe and the V&A Waterfront.


Speaking in Grahamstown, Cape Town Fringe and National Arts Festival CEO Tony Lankester said that he was delighted to announce the partnership – which will see South African and international street theatre performers present their work at the V&A.


“We’re planning on presenting about 30 acts, which will include at least three invited headliners from the world busker circuit,” Lankester said. “The acts will perform over four days on four free, public stages at the V&A Waterfront.”


The Festival, the first of its kind for South Africa, will celebrate street performers of all kinds, including acrobats, musicians, mimes, and circus acts.


“As the most visited destination on the continent, the V&A Waterfront looks forward to hosting the first-ever Cape Town Buskers Festival. For our more than 24-million annual visitors, buskers are a beloved and firmly entrenched tradition, and visitors have come to expect an encounter with these colourful characters. Likewise, the V&A Waterfront presents buskers with the largest potential audience in the country,” David Green, V&A Waterfront CEO said.


In parallel with the Buskers Festival, a series of workshops and ‘creative exchanges’ between local and international performers will be run.


“An important aspect of the Festival is creating opportunities for local buskers to perform alongside well-established international acts. In this way they will be exposed to new skills, and be given opportunities to develop and incorporate new ideas into their routines. The Waterfront believes the Festival will position buskers as the professional artists they are,” Green said.


The Buskers Festival dovetails with the Cape Town Fringe, running for four days from 6 – 9 October 2016, while the Fringe kicks off on 22 September.



As the National Arts Festival came to a close, the first productions selected for staging as part of the Cape Town Fringe were named.


Guest Artistic Director, Rob Murray, named seven productions as a “taste of what is to come” at the end of the Grahamstown event.


“The Fringe will include four productions that played to great acclaim as part of the Baxter’s Zabalaza Festival (Addis Ababa, Muzo Tribes, Ubudoda and Gelapte Pop),” Murray said. Added to the list are three shows from Grahamstown – the Silver Standard Bank Ovation Award winner Dangled with Rob van Vuuren; Kontinuum, and the new work from Uyabona Ke (makers or last year’s smash Waterline), Falling Off the Horn.


With this line up – together with the tantalizing prospect of three international works making the trip to Cape Town and at least 40 more local productions due to be named in the next couple of weeks – the Mother City’s Fringe seems set to delight audiences one more.


“The Cape Town Fringe will also include a citywide school tour as part of the buildup, taking quality theatre to more people than previous editions,” Murray said.


The Cape Town Fringe – www.capetownfringe.co.za

Follow Cape Town Fringe on Twitter @CTFringe / Facebook www.Facebook.com/capetownfringe and Instagram @ctfringe - hashtag #CTFringe



The Cape Town Fringe is managed by the National Arts Festival. The City of Cape Town is the Host Sponsor of the Cape Town Fringe, while Standard Bank is the Presenting Sponsor of the event.



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About National Arts Festival

The National Arts Festival is an important event on the South African cultural calendar and the biggest annual celebration of the arts on the African continent.

The 2017 National Arts Festival runs for 11 days from 29 June - 9 July and is held in the small university city of Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape, 130 km from Port Elizabeth.

The Festival consists of a Main and Fringe programme both administered by the National Arts Festival Office. The full programme comprises drama, dance, physical theatre, comedy, opera, music, jazz, visual art exhibitions, film, student theatre, street theatre, lectures, craft fair, workshops, tours (of the city and surrounding historic places) and a children’s arts festival.

The event has always been open to all regardless of race, colour, sex or creed. As no censorship or artistic restraint has ever been imposed on works presented in Grahamstown, the Festival served as an important forum for political and protest theatre during the height of the apartheid era, and it still offers an opportunity for experimentation across the arts spectrum. Its significance as a forum for new ideas and an indicator of future trends in the arts cannot be underestimated.

The National Arts Festival is grateful to the Department of Arts and Culture, Eastern Cape Provincial Government, M-Net and Standard Bank of South Africa.

National Arts Festival
National Arts Festival
PO Box 304
Grahamstown, Ec 6140
South Africa