AFDA set to wow audiences at National Arts Festival 2019

News, 28 June 2019

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The National Arts Festival in Makhanda has just kicked off and AFDA students, staff and alumni are already making a big impression at the festival receiving standing ovations for their theatre productions. AFDA Johannesburg live performance lecturer Rob Murray, who is the facilitator and director of the honours play PHITLHO (The Hidden), had this to say after his students first performance.

“It is wonderful to see how a group of young artists are blossoming into amazing young humans and sucking the marrow out of the NAF experience. Our opening yesterday was almost full and the audience laughed, gasped, shrieked, cried, and passed the parcel of waves of generous applause.”

AFDA Johannesburg honours students are also showcasing a second play, THE MISSADVENTURES OF THE GENDERFEMBERBENDERS directed André Dellow at the festival, while AFDA Port Elizabeth live performance honours students will be entertaining audiences in their back yard with the play WARTS AND ALL, directed by Head of Live Performance School Robert Haxton.

Director and AFDA Cape Town part time lecturer Chris Weare never misses out on the festival and will be staging the satirical play THE MOTHER OF ALL EATING starring Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi and AFDA alumnus Luntu Masiza.

AFDA Cape Town lecturer Lara Bye who is a prolific, versatile and multi-award winning theatre director and educator whose work travels extensively locally and abroad, shares her vast experience as the Theatre and Performance Art  curator at the festival.

Here are all the details you need to know for the AFDA productions at this years NAF.

Phitlho (The Hidden)

Facilitator and Director: Rob Murray

Masks: Strangeface.

With thanks to Vamos Theatre (UK).

Devised and performed by AFDA Live Performance honours students: Kuena Khama, Ipelegeng Leepile, Hlobile Makukule, Lehloanyane Mohapi, Koketso Motlhabane, Bathabile Ngxingweni, Maboroko Ramusi, Sebenzile Sibiya, and Jaco Van Zyl.

Secrets have a way of coming out. In a small town in the hinterland lives a dysfunctional yet close family. A terrible secret is being harboured: the hiding of a sibling with Down syndrome. With the arrival of foreigners in the middle of a celebration, the family confronts the truth and has to find a way forward. Visual, accessible, sometimes comic; always human. A new mask work directed by Rob Murray

32 GLENNIE HALL | 1hr 5m | ENGLISH R50 (FULL) R45 (CONCESSION) R43 (GROUP) | 14+ (M)

27 June 12:00 28 June 15:00 29 June 21:00 30 June 16:00 @

The MissAdventures of The GenderFemberbenders

Director: André Dellow

AFDA Live Performance honours students:: Juan Enslin, Justin Jacobs

A Drag Cabaret. Jenny Rator, the infamous diva and long-time performer at Club Q receives shocking news that the owner is considering replacing her with the younger and progressive down-right abrasive Mitzy! What’s more is that the arrogant know-it-all Mitzy has to be mentored by Jenny! The nerve! The shade! The Music!

15 ST. ANDREW’S HALL | 50m | ENGLISH (+isiXhosa, Afrik) R50 (FULL) R45 (CONCESSION) R43 (GROUP) | 14+ (M)

27 – 30 June at 19:00 daily

Warts and All

Credits: Robert Haxton, Jennifer Schneeberger, Mark Wilby, Dr. Sonja Smit

AFDA Live Performance honours students: Zandile Mjekula, Amy Huntly, Timothy Collier

A vegan secretary bird, an altruistic snake and an ambitious toad, ostracised by their own kinds find each other in an extraordinary situation, but can they co-exist in spite of their natural instincts...

5 ST. ANDREW’S HALL | 50m | ENGLISH (+isiXhosa, Afrik) R50 (FULL) R45 (CONCESSION) R43 (GROUP) | 14+ (M)

4 July 12:00 5 July 14:00 6 July 18:00

The Mother of All Eating

The culture today is that of eating. Everybody eats; from the most junior civil servant to the most senior guy … [Sings] Join the civil service and become a millionaire. – The Man, Principal Secretary of State

Written by: Zakes Mda

Directed by: Christopher Weare

Cast: Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi, Luntu Masiza

The Mother of All Eating is a satirical play that explores the debilitating culture of corruption and greed known as ‘eating’. This culture has become synonymous with corrupt state officials who enrich themselves by abusing government funds. This timeless classic, written by acclaimed playwright and author Zakes Mda, centres on a character called The Man, the principal secretary to a government minister. The Man is corrupt to the core, and has enriched himself as he’s moved through the ranks of government. Set in Lesotho in the 1980s, the play exposes the catastrophic effects of greed and the tragic effects that accompany unchecked corruption.


2 JULY 10:30 & 19:30 3 JULY 15:00 4 JULY 12:30 & 17:00





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