It’s day 1 of National Arts Festival 2019 and with the kids still out of school, there’s lots to do for the whole family! From exclusive shows to free art exhibitions and the unforgettable entertainment of the Village Green, Grocott’s Mail has brought you your 27 June itinerary for a day well-spent.
The weather is shaping up to be a beautiful day in Makhanda (Grahamstown), with sunny conditions and a high of 24 and a low of 11. If you aren’t from Makhanda, be sure to pack a light sweater for the mornings and late afternoons, and a heavier coat for the evenings. But don’t skimp on the sunglasses and sunscreen for the kids! Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean the sun can’t take it’s toll, especially on the kids!
To start your day, take a stroll through The Standard Bank Village Green; the Village Green is filled with food, arts and crafts stalls as well as a plethora of free performances fit for the whole family. All the performances are free (but please do tip the performers as generously as you’re able), and leaves plenty of opportunity to grab a coffee (for the adults) and a cold drink for the kids. The Village Green opens at 9am daily and performances finish by 6pm.
Enjoy the morning taking in the sites on foot of Makhanda, including the various street art, local flora and fauna (oh yes, the infamous donkeys will surely be available for exclusive photos!).
Looking for a show just before lunch? A few shows start at 12h00, but do need prior bookings to ensure tickets.
12h00 @11 SCOUT HALL | 1hr 5min | ENGLISH | R80 (Full) R75 (Concession) R73 (Group) | 12+
“At once a coming-of-age drama, supernatural thriller and pioneering integration of live performance and virtual reality, Frogman will sweep you up in its wake.”
12h00 @34 GYMNASIUM | 1hr 30m | ENGLISH R70 (FULL) R65 (CONCESSION) R63 (GROUP) | ALL AGES
“A harrowing – though absurdly comic – meditation on human feelings of inadequacy, guilt, and isolation, Metamorphosis is one of the most widely read and influential works of 20th-century fiction.”
12h00 @7 ELRC AMPHITHEATRE (AT BOTS GARDENS) | 45m | ENGLISH | R40 (FULL) R35 (CONCESSION) R33 (GROUP) | ALL AGES
“Galela is the thirst-quenching story of a small community deeply affected by South Africa’s water issues.”
Don’t feel like paying for a ticket? No worries! There’s several visual art exhibitions free for the whole family, open daily from 9am to 5pm.
Luke Kaplan’s Hinterland exhibition
9h00-17h00 daily @1 STUDIO 1 GALLERY, RHODES FINE ART | ENGLISH | FREE ADMISSION | ALL AGES
“The sense of being in place – the landscape, feelings, and textures of the Eastern Cape Karoo landscape – are strongly evoked.”
Sikhumbuzo Makandula & Mthwakazi Ingoma ka Tiyo Soga
9h00-17h00 daily @1 NEW GALLERY, MONUMENT | FREE ADMISSION | ALL AGES
“Composed 160 years ago, Tiyo Soga’s music continues to form part of our everyday as an oral repertoire that thrives in many South African churches and schools.”
Five Photographers: A Tribute to David Goldblatt
9h00-17h00 @1 ATHERSTONE ROOM, MONUMENT | FREE ADMISSION | ENGLISH TEXT WITH VISUALS | ALL AGES
“‘Every now and then I see photographs that fill me with admiration and a sense of gladness for the strength and insight of the photographers working here.’”
Eastern Cape Department of Sports, Recreation, Arts & Culture Social Reflections (Art walkabout)
9h00-17h00 daily @4 FOYER, ALBANY HISTORY MUSEUM | FREE ADMISSION | ALL AGES
Eastern Cape Department Of Sport, Recreation Arts & Culture Eastern Cape Craft Collection
9h00-17h00 daily @1 VILLAGE GREEN PROVINCIAL CRAFT STALL | FREE ADMISSION | ALL AGES
Heading into the evening and the kids still not tired? Catch an exclusive showing of Brother Bear 2 at the Noluthando Bioscope! Tickets are a steal at just R5 each, making movie night R20 for a family of four! (That’s cheaper than the coffee you had earlier!). The movie starts at 5pm.
Not quite ready to head home? Enjoy one last show for the evening, prior booking is needed.
Eastern Cape Department of Sport, Recreation, Art and Culture Indigenous Music and Dance Ensemble
20h00 @38 VICTORIA THEATRE | 1hr | ISIXHOSA | R80 (FULL) R75 (CONCESSION) R73 (Group) | ALL AGES
“Each group, with its distinct style, contributes to the storyline that shows the importance of united action’”
Grocott’s Mail wishes everyone an exciting and fun Festival, and encourages and reminds residents and visitors to save water, keep rubbish in designated bins, and most importantly, smile!
*All performance information and quotes sourced from the NAF 2019 Programme found here