Durban North Beach: 18 – 20 January 2019
The Fresha Festival of free fun family al-fresco theatre will be staged for the third time on Durban’s North Beach at the end of the school holidays for three days on 18, 19, 20 January.
The Fresha team has selected a programme of vibrant, engaging works that are non-verbal and last just 15-20 minutes. All the shows are in the daylight, in the open-air and free to all. The format of the day for Saturday and Sunday is similar with shows which are accessible to people of all ages, family-friendly and from all walks of life. Festival Director Emma Durden considered: “What could be more quintessentially Durban than a summer festival of free family theatre?
The festival starts on Friday 18 January in the late afternoon, at 5pm, with the opening procession along the promenade and a performance showcase on the Bay of Plenty lawns providing a scintillating trailer package of all the participants to give opening audiences a taste of what is in store during the festival.
The programme for the festival proper starts on Saturday morning, 19 January, at 7am with a free, open yoga class to gently greet the day, followed by a free, open dance class led by last year’s Standard Bank for Dance, award winning Musa Hlatswayo and his group of dancers to up the pace. Saturdays dance will be DanceXercise while Sunday will be a Zumba class.
9am sees a selection of public participative workshops on street theatre; parkour and recycled art. On Saturday join in with Mzansi Arts Development Ensemble for a workshop on creating art out of waste. Join Gerard O for a masterclass in street performance on Sunday: whether you are an aspiring actor, comedian or just want to entertain yourself – come and explore the mad world of this acclaimed Dutch performer for an hour. Free of charge. All day every day, add your wisest bit of advice from your favourite song in our open art exhibition: Advice from Songs. Inspired by Swiss Artist Marcus Kraft and his work – PopMusicWisdom.
The first show of the festival starts at 1pm with a dramatic much-anticipated one-hander performance by Durban-based conceptual artist Doung Jahangeer whose challenging and visually-astonishing work has opened both previous Fresha festivals. Charming, innovative and funny, Netherlands comedy street performer Gerard Olthaar – also a Fresha regular – will amuse audiences with his antics, before a contemporary dance piece at 2pm: Tran(ce)itions by Sizwe Hlope. Street theatre continues with two pieces by Township Arts Academic and 034 Drama group.
At 3pm there will be a performance with puppets, entitled The Thing About Wolves created by performed by the Mahlekahlathini Mask & Puppet Players from the KZN Midlands in
collaboration with puppeteers from the acclaimed Handspring Puppet company. Zamokhukhanye Productions follow with a street theatre piece. Deaf performer Sibo Masondo charms the audience with some innovative original mime. At 4pm, Jarryd Watson’s tenacious group of dancers from Wentworth Arts and Culture will perform an electric street-dance piece, full of tricks. The final two performances of the day celebrate physicality – with Unyezi Productions doing a physical theatre piece and InnoV8 Gym / Bluefire Productions wrapping up the theatre programme for the day with an aerial act.
On both Saturday and Sunday, the days will end with fabulous sundowner music concerts on the lawn. On Saturday is the turn of The South Jersey Pompoms and Sunday an unusual combination of Afro-Blues and Opera featuring Zulu Blue and La Canta Rosa.
During the day there will be all-day art and interactions to enjoy: I Speak for the Trees exhibition of recycled art – a project of Mzansi Arts Development Ensemble featuring life-size trees made of garbage found along the Durban beachfront by young artists in a mentorship programme led by Christine Adams.
Between acts visitors will be invited to make a hand-written poster inspired by Advice from Songs – a participative project by Swiss artist Marcus Kraft.
The Fresha Festival is directed by Emma Durden, supported by Roel Twijnstra and is presented by Twist Theatre Development Projects which focuses on the development of community theatre groups in KwaZulu-Natal, and on creating sustainable relationships and networks for theatre development, both locally and abroad. Twist is funded by The National Lotteries Commission and the Embassy of the Kingdom of The Netherlands. Additional funding for Fresha has also been graciously provided by eThekwini Municipality the Department of Arts and Culture, KZN and the KZN Performing Arts Trust.
“Here is to a brilliant third edition of the Fresha Festival!” says Durden!
For more info, visit www.freshafestival.co.za.. Find Fresha Festival on facebook and @freshafest on twitter.
All festival events are at the Bay of Plenty lawns, North beach, and are free of charge. There is a tent for rainy days, so come down whatever the weather!
Full Programme
The 2019 programme and performance details are below.
Opening Procession
Friday 18th January, from 5 pm:
Join us for an hour of strange and unusual happenings to kick off the festival. A taste of the weekend to come.
Yoga
Sunday 20 January & Sunday 21 January: 7 am – 8 am
Join us at 7 am to salute the sun! An easy open yoga class for all ages and all levels. Bring your own yoga mat or towel to sit on.
Free, open dance classes
Saturday 19 January: 8 am – 9 am: DanceXercise
Sunday 20 January: 8 am – 9 am: Zumba class
No matter how many left feet you have – join us for a fun, free class to get the year started on the right foot (or the left one).
Get involved!
Sunday 20 January & Sunday 21 January: 9 am onwards
On Saturday join in with Mzansi Arts Development Ensemble for a workshop on creating art out of waste. Join Gerard O for a masterclass in street performance on Sunday: whether you are an aspiring actor, comedian or just want to entertain yourself – come and explore the mad world of this acclaimed Dutch performer for an hour. Free of charge. All day every day, add your wisest bit of advice from your favourite song in our open art exhibition: Advice from Songs. Inspired by Swiss Artist Marcus Kraft and his work – PopMusicWisdom.
Missing
Performance Art
Saturday 19 January & Sunday 20 January at 1 pm
Thought-provoking, uncomfortable, yet beautiful to watch. Concept and performance by Doung Anwar Jahangeer.
7 Chairs
Street theatre
Saturday 19 January & Sunday 20 January at 1:20 pm
A simple act with 7 chairs and 7 actors who expect that something will happen. Presented by Ithubalabasha Arts.
Gerard O
Street comedian
Saturday 19 January & Sunday 20 January at 1:40 pm
Dutch street comedian, Gerard Olthaar has performed at festivals around the world. Back at Fresha for the third time , anything can happen!
Tran(ce)sitions
Contemporary Dance
Saturday 19 January & Sunday 20 January at 2 pm
Sizwe Hlope presents an outstanding work exploring the ties that bind and ropes / umbilical cords / railway pathways / roots.
The Goal
Street theatre
Saturday 19 January & Sunday 20 January at 2:20 pm
On the pitch and off the pitch. Women versus men – the eternal game of courtship without the usual rules. Umlazi Arts Academy.
Promises
Street satire
Saturday 19 January & Sunday 20 January at 2:40 pm
When politicians promise rain on Fridays, no more dying, and more love for all; who can we trust? Who do we vote for? 034 Drama.
The Thing about Wolves
Puppets
Saturday 19 January & Sunday 20 January at 3 pm
A delightful collaboration between puppeteers from the Handspring Puppet company and the Mahlekahlathini Mask & Puppet Players.
Cats and the Curse
Dance
Saturday 19 January & Sunday 20 January at 3:20 pm
When two boys are cursed and turned into cats they have to fight to win the heart of a beautiful girl. Zamokhukhanya Productions.
Street Mime
Mime artist
Saturday 19 January & Sunday 20 January at 3.40 pm
Sibo Masondo delights kids and adults alike with his gently observed comedy and perfectly timed mime.
Old skool vs new skool
Street Dance
Saturday 19 January & Sunday 20 January at 4 pm
Award-winning choreographer Jarryd Watson and his dance troupe from the Wenthworth Arts Organisation present all the tricks and kicks of street dance.
Love is stronger
Physical theatre
Saturday 19 January & Sunday 20 January at 4.20 pm
In a society where we can be killed for who we love, maybe love can be stronger than death.
Look up
Aerial act
Saturday 19 January & Sunday 20 January at 4.40 pm
The amazing entertainers from Innov8 gym wow us way up above the ground.
Sundowner Showcases – Live Music
Join us for live music on the Bay of Plenty lawns to dance and watch the sun go down.
The South Jersey Pom Poms
Saturday 19 January at 5pm
Sassy & sharp, slightly Burlesque and joyously off-kilter; these happy rebels bring you their catchy tunes performed in German, French, Italian, English & Spanglish.
Zulu Blue and La Canta Rosa
Sunday 20 January at 5 pm
An awesome collaboration between a wonderful Afro-blues outfit and an opera quartet. Think Busi Mhlongo with a touch of Puccini and a little bit of Miriam Makeba!