Pick of the best

2008-07-29 00:00

THIS year’s St Anne’s Theatre Festival, running from August 6 to August 13, offers all sorts of treats for music and theatre lovers, including a performance by Plush and the superb drama, Jutro.

On August 6, the Hilton College choir, directed by Jaco Dipenaar, will perform in the St Anne’s Theatre at 8 pm (tickets R20) and then on August 8, also at 8 pm, is a concert by Plush, featuring Rory Eliot (lead singer), Emelio Gassibe (bass), Carl Wegelin (lead guitar) and Ben Peters (drums). Tickets are R60.

Plush first hit the local music scene in 2003 and were making a big name for themselves when their lead guitarist, Chas Smit, was killed. Eliot then took a six-month sabbatical before returning as a solo artist. He was soon joined by the others and Plush’s journey resumed. In 2007 the single When Grace Grew Tall was released and later the new album, Rage On.

On August 9 at 2 pm, the Golden Entertainers present Stepping Out (R30) — always a popular part of the festival as these feisty singers and dancers, all retired people who regularly perform locally, take to the stage.

The main drama performance this year is Jutro, directed by Helen Iskander and featuring James Cunningham and Keren Tahor. Performances are on August 11 and August 12 at 8 pm (R60 and R50 concessions). For many people who saw the play at last year’s Hilton and this year’s Grahamstown festivals, Jutro was their pick of the events.

The piece is set in a Warsaw nightclub during World War 2, which makes it impossible for Mina, a Jewish cabaret singer, to escape to America to fulfil her dreams. Her only supporter is Janusz, the club barman, who is also in love with her. As the play opens the club is hit by a bomb and the two are trapped, with only a small hole for Janusz to get out to search for food. The play is deeply moving but handles its dark subject matter with the lightest touch — it is superb theatre. One not to miss.

Cunningham — a graduate of the drama department on the local campus — will also judge the school’s interhouse theatre competition on August 12 and August 13. The public may attend the plays at 6 pm on Tuesday and 7 pm on Wednesday and tickets are R30.

Inquiries and to book for all performances, phone 033 343 3300.

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