I cannot believe it’s that time of year again. I cannot. We have our schedule for our TheatreSports performances in the first half of the festival and, while it’s comforting to know that TheatreSports is a festival favourite, it still chills my blood and scratches my bones when I think about actually going to the Grahamstown National Arts Festival.
We didn’t manage to secure any funding (I applied to the NAC for TheatreSports funding to go to Grahamstown but we weren’t granted it) and so we are scraping together what little money there is in the TheatreSports kitty and carefully deciding what we are going to spend it on. Hectic.
The G’town festival is a bag of contradictions. On the one hand there is the overwhelming excitement about being involved in the biggest Arts festival in Africa. There is the possibility of seeing some amazing new work, the chance of reconnecting with old industry friends who live and work in Jozi (mainly) and the joy of performing a great show to an appreciating crowd. There is the sheer excitement of being able to see a new piece of theatre every day that you are there; sometimes two in one day.
Then there are the dreads. Doing publicity. Handing out flyers. Nagging people to come. That awful feeling that you can never do enough. That sad walk through the toys and plastic sunglasses section to the booking office to get your printout. The cold. The fear of not making your money back. The young drunks. The street beggars.
There are the issues that the festival brings up year after year. How productions are selected for the main festival. How tickets for the main festival shows are subsidised and end up being cheaper than those on the fringe, whose costs are enormous. How many fringe shows are one person plays. How many fringe shows are there for the second and third time. How many community theatre groups manage to find themselves at the festival with no money, no support, no food and no audiences.
All this adds up to me never being able to manage the festival two years in a row. I always swear the one I’m going to will be the last. Then, with a year or two’s break I’m back again. Like I said. Fear and Loathing in G’town. And what with me attending for the fifteenth time, you would think I’d know better. But maybe that theatre addict pull is just too strong.
Because I’m only going to be involved in one show this year I am really going to try and see a lot of stuff. Then I’ll write about it here, on meganshead. So, I want suggestions, recommendations and ideas. Let me know what you think I should see.
Here’s our TheatreSports blurb from the fringe booklet and our schedule for the fest if you’re there and want to check us out.
Cape Townâ€™s Peopleâ€™s Choice Award winner is back with improvised comedy at its best!
You could see a fi lm noir on Mars, or a cabaret song about a cheese obsession…
everything is made up on the spot and audience suggestions ensure the show is
always unique, unpredictable and hilarious!
Featuring Megan Furniss, Candice Dâ€™Arcy and Iain North
English All ages Previous Festivals: 5
Pro Duration: 60mins
DRILL HALL: 2nd @ 20:00; 3rd @ 14:00; 4th @ 18:00; 5th @ 10:00 & 22:00;
6th @ 18:00
First performance discount: R35