The curatorial approach was quite specific, says Murray. There was a call for artists to “dream bigger and wilder”. There was an emphasis on showcasing new and fresh offerings unseen in Cape Town. There was also an emphasis on “the visual and the non-verbal that is accessible to all languages” and the call went out to Standard Bank Ovation winners.
The City Hall with its four stages and the Fringe Club will remain “the hub and heartbeat of the Fringe”.
From the bountiful programme Murray picked out some offerings that Capetonians may not be familiar with and should book early for. The Gruffalo, opens the festival with its South African premiere of this musical family fare, Disrupt is a documentary that will be followed by a panel discussion exploring the fees must fall issues as they have played out at Rhodes University. Wait, by the Nigerian writer Dipo Agboluaje, explores issues of gender and education and Songs for Kwezi, by the Johannesburg-based choreographer Refilwe Nkomo, shines a light on very topical themes in the South African polity. Fabric of the Universe is a “wonderful piece” – tunnels of crocheted yarn created by Lexi Meier. Transformed by light and music for participants to explore. “It’s very good therapy and well worth checking out.”
As in previous years, the Fringe is based at the City Hall, but the festival organisers have worked hard to include independent venues such as the Alexander Bar in Strand Street, a backyard in Langa, the new Afda theatre in Lower Main Road, Observatory, and the Makukhanye Art Room in Khayelitsha. A shuttle service between the Art Room and City Hall will be also available.
Ticket prices have been kept low, with an additional 50% discount for all shows on Mondays and some freebies as well. Keeping the festival accessible is a priority, with tickets priced between R65 and R90, and artists getting the lion’s share of the box office takings.