Herewith Simon’s final pronouncements on his last day of shows at the KKNK. Next year I’ll have to go myself!

Last day at the KKNK as I head back to Cape Town tomorrow to, amongst other things, participate in the TheatreSports promotional evening at KBT.   Two things under the “General Impressions” banner – this question of reserved vs unreserved seats; one thing reserved seating does do is cut out the mad rush to get in first and get prime seats.    The show I went to last night [of which more later] was due to  start at 20h30 but by that time the previous show was only coming out – something had gone wrong – don’t know what.   The venue staff did the right thing and told us what was happening and everybody obediently got in two queues to get in.   But there was absolutely no angst and attempts to jump the queue as everyone had booked a particular seat and was cool about it.

Then there is the size of the venues – and here I am talking about drama venues not music venues.   Man are they big compared to Grahamstown and they get filled it seems.   Maybe 50 plays and 130 music shows is the right mix.   I remember Deon Opperman telling me very emotionally that he doesn’t like Grahamstown because he gets audiences of 50 to 100 while at the KKNK he gets 500.   I now see what he meant.

Oh and one other thing – if you are a light sleeper and won’t take drugs to cure the problem, don’t book accommodation near the epicentre of the festival as the music bangs on until late, late.

OK so today I went to the markets – here you pay R40 to get into the market area for a day – a sort of a cover charge.   The market here is as bland as the Village Green at Grahamstown has become – stacks of clothing, lots of religious or emotional kitsch and very little of interest.  I bought a magic paint box for each of my grandchildren and a pair of veldskoens for me and that was about it.

Last evening went to see Shaleen Surtee-Richards’ latest show.  A long time ago comedians such as Pip Friedmann made a living out of imitating coloured people and looking back, it was all a bit condescending and not nice.   More recently a number of people, notably the Joe Barber guys and Shaleen herself and others have turned Cape Flats humour into a genuine sub-genre of comedy.   Her latest show “AS EK MAAR GEWEET HET” is well within that sub-genre.   It takes the form of someone in heaven looking back at aspects of her life.  While it has some funny lines, overall it fails.   Some of the subject matter, such as teenage pregnancy and domestic violence, while very much of serious concern, are not done dealt with convincingly.   It all  fell a bit flat and while the audience as a whole tried very hard to enjoy, they too failed.   So a curate’s egg finish.

Final conclusion – I will be back.