Grahamstown calling

2010-06-25 00:00

AN array of people, from trendy 20- somethings and artsy-fartsy veterans to vuvuzela-blowing football fans are floating around the National­ Arts Festival­, Grahamstown

The city looks as a festival should. Top-to-toe in production posters, the streets of Grahamstown are luring festival goers­ to plays, musical pieces­ and exhibitions. Visitors­ are totally spoilt for choice.

Local­ and international offerings, including the Transnet Village Green Fair, the Fiddler­’s Green market, street theatre and a buzzing nightlife, fill the “15 days of amazing”.

As in previous years the streets are lined with local boys, faces painted white, standing dead still and often using props. These performances have become more creative over the years and some of the children are even using animals to wow crowds in exchange for some coins.

A young man and a baby donkey, neither­ moving a muscle, had attracted a crowd.

An American woman’s utter amazement could be heard among the crowd: “How long do they stand so still for? He looks frozen,” she said to a friend who was equally impressed.

But he certainly was not frozen due to the weather. The National Arts Festival and Grahamstown are renowned for bitterly cold weather, but so far the days have been pleasant, which has ensured­ busy streets and markets.

The multitude of things to do at the festival can be overwhelming, so the best thing to do is to know your programme and listen to conversations while walking to your next show.

And the smorgasbord of activities and productions is keeping people chatting. It is impossible to walk anywhere without hearing groups of friends or families deciding what to see or deconstructing their last artistic encounter.

Although there is still some concern from stallholders and performers that this year is not as busy as previous festivals­, there is hope that things will pick up next week.

For the time being though,people at the festival are taking advantage of all that is on offer, relishing the delicious­ experience that is the National­ Arts Festival, Grahamstown.

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