I got back home on Friday afternoon, and only realised how intense my week had been by measuring how tired I was.
A festival is such a different energy it doesn’t feel like real life. Also, I was winging it there and having to jump from pillar to post, learn quickly in an unfamiliar environment and get to know people, places and roads from scratch.
I saw two lekker shows. I ate roosterbrood and jam and cheese. I met more than a few new people, and I networked a bit with some others. I stayed in a beautiful home, and enjoyed my delightful hostess Tina and husband Coen. I walked early every morning (except for the last one when I had to be at work at 6ish). I saw three Hoepoes one morning. I couldn’t believe how many 4x4s there were on the roads. I thought about going to shul on Wednesday for the Pesach service, but didn’t get there. I realised that having an early morning ceremony and expecting actors and theatre people to attend is a bit like hitching the wrong way up a one way street. I saw a baby hippo. I saw an albino ostrich.
I realised that festival organisers have the hardest jobs. I realised that the Oudshoorn KKNK is first a festival and then an arts festival and the two don’t necessarily ever meet or share things.
While most people were uncomfortable with some of the content, language and accessibility of the theatrical work, I was uncomfortable with some of the people. I was amazed by the campers, on every school field and parking lot. I was amazed by the meat. I was amazed by the drinking. I was unnerved by that special, drunk, middle of the night shouting.
I was amazed by the collective unconsciousness, with shows all coming up with the same symbols, the same angst, the same references. (This year the bible references were particularly strong). I was amazed at how many Afrikaans singers I have never even heard about, let alone heard.
I was amazed that despite my feeling like a rank outsider I kept on looking for and considering the possibility of my future involvement there. Theatre slut that I am.
There is no doubt that there is a theatre audience at the KKNK. It’s an audience that loves Sandra Prinsloo. They love actors who have starred on TV. They love Marthinus Basson, and Marthinus Basson directing Reza de Wet. They love Chris Chameleon (and so do I). There is no doubt that I am torn between serving such an audience and ignoring them. We are not on the same page. I loved Ararat. This KKNK audience was irritated that they didn’t understand it.
I guess I still have quite a lot of thinking to do. Thanks to my friend who needed my help and made my trip to the festival possible.