Music, mirth and marvellous entertainment

2009-08-17 00:00

THIS year’s The Witness Hilton Arts Festival promises three days of music, mirth and marvellous entertainment at Hilton College from September 18 to September 20.

Organiser, Sue Clarence, has compiled a tantalising mix of cutting-edge drama, comedy, music, cabaret, and arts and crafts, which includes some of the hottest tickets at this year’s National Arts Festival in Grahamstown.

This year’s flagship production is Noises Off, Michael Frayn’s hilarious comedy, which is being produced jointly by KickstArt and The Witness Hilton Arts Festival.

Noises Off reveals the rivalries and misfortunes of a bickering touring theatre company as they prepare and present a play. It features the talents of Ben Voss, Lisa Bobbert, Jailoshini Naidoo, Darren King, Michael Gritten, Bryan Hiles, Belinda Henwood, Peter Court and Liesl Coppin, is directed by Steven Stead and designed by Greg King.

Other programme highlights include: Greig Coetzee performing his one-man classics — White Men with Weapons, Johnny Boskak is Feeling Funny and The Blue Period of Milton van der Spuy; Athol Fugard’s poignant masterpiece Hello and Goodbye; High Diving, which looks at the most embarrassing situations revolving around dating and introducing your partner to your family; Edward Albee’s The Zoo Story, about two strangers who start a conversation that will have devastating effects on both their lives; Pictures of You — the highest grossing theatre production at National Arts Festival in Grahamstown 2009; and Longing for Darkness, which tells the intriguing story of Karen Blixen.

Among the Durban productions heading up the hill this year are Shear Madness, one of the world’s most popular comedy-thrillers which combines comedy with a juicy whodunnit murder mystery; and the hugely acclaimed Wit, Margaret Edson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play, which is at once funny, sad, tragic and life-affirming, complex and simpl­e.

The festival will also have strong focus on classical music, with more than a dozen concerts hosted by Christopher Duigan’s Music Revival Concerts.

This year’s dance element will be provided by Rob van Vuuren and his partner Mary Martin, who will be doing a highlights package from Strictly Come Dancing in their show, Strictly Rob and Mary, which marries dance with comedy.

There’s also a strong musical revue element with several shows, including Gumboots & Glitter – Ian & Rory at their Best, featuring the inimitable musical duo of Ian von Memerty and Rory Rootenberg, at the Fleur de Lys Club.

Other attractions include FilmFest, which will be screening the documentary films, Zeitgeist and Zeitgeist Addendum; street theatre from Carnival Under The Rainbow; a host of creative workshops and talks; and plenty of arts and crafts stalls, perfect for some prefestive season shopping.



BOOKING for The Witness Hilton Arts Festival opens on August 21. Programmes will be available in The Witness on August 21, at selected Spar stores and on

Booking kits will be available from August 21 from selected Spar Stores in KZN; Exclusive Books (La Lucia, Pavilion, Liberty Midlands Mall and Gateway); Adams in Musgrave Centre; Bookworld at Cascades; the KZNSA Gallery in Durban; the Crouse Art Gallery in Durban; Pietermaritzburg Publicity offices, Liberty Midlands Mall,; The Witness offices in Willowton; The Corner Café in Glenwood and the Hilton College Theatre.

For more information visit, email or phone 033 383 0126.


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