The National Arts Festival
The 2017 National Arts Festival is taking place in Grahamstown right now and many of us are sitting at home in Johannesburg wishing we were there. Grahamstown is always an amazing celebration of theatre, art, dance, song and storytelling and visitors come far and wide to enjoy the many productions on offer. Facebook and Instagram are filled with pics of brilliant shows, fabulous musicians, street markets, buskers and thousands of people having a lot of fun.
Are you jealous? You don’t have to be. You could be spontaneous and quickly make your way to Grahamstown and catch the last few days of the show, although you do need to check on ticket availability and accommodation.
Of course you can just stay at home and wait for the Wits 969 Festival to start in Johannesburg!
Wits 969 Festival
The Wits 969 Festival takes place at the Wits Theatre in Braamfontein from the 14th to the 30th of July and offers a fabulous selection of shows and productions that were on in Grahamstown. Wits 969 has 28 shows this year (the festival is in its 14th year) and you can see some of the finest theatre from both the main stages of Grahamstown and from the Fringe.
The name Wits 969 comes from the 969 kms that are between Johannesburg and Grahamstown. The festival is all about bringing brilliant theatre from Grahamstown to you. The programme has been cleverly structured so that you can see two or three productions a day, with a good balance of theatre, dance and music. The weekends in particular are jam packed with productions and you can start at 11 am and end at 8 pm. This year also features some good children’s theatre and family fare. Some productions are only on once, so it is a good idea to go through the festival programme and book NOW via Webtickets.
Standard Bank Young Artist Winners
Gita Pather is the theatre director of Wits and is delighted with this year’s line-up which features many Standard Bank Young Artist winners. Gita has a brilliant reputation for finding theatre productions that are cutting edge, memorable and original and this year is no different. Look at the line-up and the programme here, then make your bookings.
The Wits Theatre
The Wits Theatre is in Braamfontein, part of Wits University, just a short drive from most of our Johannesburg Guesthouses. There is plenty of parking at Senate House or just outside the theatre if you arrive early. The theatre has a lovely bar with light snacks and there’s always a great vibe. If you’re there in the day you can easily wander across to the Wits Art Museum which is open Wed to Sun, 10 am to 4 pm.
Liz at Lancaster Guesthouse / Dada Masilo
Have a look at our website and check the specials page. Liz at Lancaster Guesthouse is offering a special package deal for the weekend of 28/29 July. Two can stay for the price of one AND get free tickets to Dada Masilo’s brilliant ‘Giselle’ on the 29th. Liz has seen this world class production and was blown away. She wants to share the creativity with you. Book here.