Booking Opens Today For Hilton Arts Festival

Booking Opens Today For Hilton Arts FestivalBooking for KZN's premier arts festival: the 26th annual Hilton Arts Festival which will be hosted on the campus of Hilton College from 14 - 16 September, 2018, opens nation-wide today.

The festival invites the most interesting offerings from the creative industries in South Africa: theatre; dance; comedy; musical theatre; family theatre; classical music; music revue; big band and contemporary music; visual art and crafts, as well as a series of mindscape lectures, events and discussions.

This year in honour of Mandela's centenary commemorations, the three day event has a strong Mandela feel - two massive outdoor exhibitions, the first being the thought provoking THINK bench encouraging patrons to think differently. The second will be based outside the Chapel: T.O.L.E.R.A.N.C.E is a monumental public art sculpture consisting of nine letters in bronze by international artist Guy Ferrer. Inspired by the life and character of Mr. Nelson Mandela, pianist, composer, arranger, Burton Naidoo has transcribed some of Mandela's most iconic speeches and created a musical backdrop to them entitled Our Song. Also, a collection of John Meyer's artworks Mandela: A Life's Journey will be on display and making its second appearance at the festival is the wonderful participative initiative, 67 Blankets for Mandela.

Confirmed productions include as always a much anticipated programme of quality drama. Some of the highlights are: the award-winning Die Reuk van Appels. Gideon Lombard stars in this stage adaption of the acclaimed 1993 debut novel by South African author Mark Behr, telling the coming-of-age story of Marnus Erasmus, 11-year-old son of a South African Defence Force (SADF) General. International award winning South African playwright, Mike van Graan's brilliant drama Green Man Flashing is a fast-paced political thriller written in a filmic style and features an all star cast; Suddenly the Storm written by and starring the multiple award winning, prolific playwright, Paul Slabolespszy, Charmaine Weir- Smith and Renate Stuurman, it is directed by Bobby Heaney, and boasts a stunning Greg King set design. Selwyn & Gabriel by Richard Kaplan, is a magical modern mystery about two strangers with secrets. Silkworm is a 2018 Standard Bank Ovation Award winner weaves a beautiful cocoon around reality, created and directed by Jenine Collocott, performed by Taryn Bennett. Narrative Dreams is a play written by Lereko Mfono and directed by international award winning director and actor, Omphile Molusi.

Jakob is an interesting mélange of mythology, folk tale and rural narration exploring the life of an unusual little boy based on a short story by lighting designer, Michael Taylor-Broderick, adapted for the stage by award winning actress, Clare Mortimer, it stars Bryan Hiles and is directed by Michael Taylor-Broderick. Similarly The King of Broken Things is a wild and magical excursion into the rehabilitation of broken and discarded objects, hearts included. Written and conceived by Michael Taylor-Broderick. The Ugly Noo Noo rocked the theatre world in 1988, featuring the infamous Parktown Prawn. This version performed by physical theatre actor, Mpilo 'Straw' Nzimande. You Suck and Other Inescapable Truths is an interdisciplinary play which tells the tale of the spirited misadventures of a Grade 9 Afrikaans pupil/underdog, Prettina, and her crucial survival-advice as a minority in an Anglophile high school.

For those in search of a laugh - there is an extensive comedy line up featuring the talents of John Vlismas, Rob van Vuuren Aaron McIlroy, James Cairns, Jem Atkins, and Masood Boomgaard. Mentalist, Brendon Peel makes his first appearance with his show Hocus Pocus at this year's fest.

There is an extensive musical theatre line up looking at the legends of Eric Clapton, Paul Simon, the Rat Pack, Frank Sinatra, Bruce Springsteen and Miriam Makeba; as well concerts looking at love in its many guises and life as a performer.

An interesting piece for lovers of dance: Chiffonnade is a dance performance specifically made for toddlers and young children, created by French choreographer Michelle Dhallu of Carré Blanc Cie which has toured extensively internationally. Also Ash and Brad Searle AKA The Big Boys with Vanessa Harris and friends are back with three different dance-themed shows.

There is a particularly strong music programme on offer this year. Other musical concerts include Classic Blast presented by the KZN Youth Orchestra; The Drakensberg Boys Choir in Concert; The KZN All Stars Big Band; A gypsy journey for voice and piano; Last Night of the Hilton Proms; The Durban Symphonic Choir performing Dvorak Mass in D; concerts by Andrew Warburton (solo piano and with a quartet); Myfanwy Price (Oboe) and Liezl-Maret Jacobs (piano); acoustic duos, Digby and the Lullaby; and Guy Buttery and Kanada Narahari.

Recognising one of South Africa's greatest landscape artists, the Hilton Arts Festival will be hosting a retrospective exhibition of the works of Errol Boyley to honour him - 100 years after he was born. The exhibition travels up from the Ramsgate Art and Books Festival to the walls of the Normand Dunn Art Gallery in the main Grindrod Theatre at the festival. This historic exhibition features a large body of work of Pietermaritzburg born Errol Boyley and is simply titled, Boyley's World

There is a strong art feel this year. 100 artists' work will be on display all around the festival grounds.

Other programme highlights include a talk by Sonja Kruse, also known as 'The uBuntu Girl'; in conversation with playwright and actor Paul Slabolepszy; and various talks on music by Richard Haslop - who also appears in Michael Cross's documentary, The Fun's Not Over about the life and music of James Phillips. Strauss & Co will be hosting fun and informative mock auctions; there will be living art demos; Janet Solomon's documentary on the plight of whales, Becoming Visible will be screened; a workshop presented by Assitej facilitated by Lereko Mfono; the ever innovative TWIST Theatre's Novel to Script project will present variations on "Hunger Eats a Man", and the annual interactive murder mystery dinner this year is The Strange Case of the Beaujolais Venus.

There are two mini festivals embedded in the main programme: The Jongosi Festival embedded in the main festival, takes place on Friday 14 September, and has a specifically, carefully-selected age-appropriate programme aimed at Grades 6 - 10 and Assetej hosts a programme of theatre and creative projects for young audiences.

The festival will take place on the beautiful grounds of the Hilton College from Hilton College: 14 - 16 September 2018.

The festival would not be possible without the generous support of Hilton College, Tiso Black Star, Grindrod Bank, Black Coffee Design, DWR Distribution, Extreme Events, Bidvest Car Rental, KZN Dept of Arts & Culture, Redlands Hotel, Assitej South Africa, Loud Crowd, Sappi, BASA, Corona and Capital Media.

For more info visit http://www.hiltonfestival.co.za/ or like the Facebook page, Hilton Arts Festival. Follow us on Twitter @HiltonFest

All enquiries on 033 383 0126 / 7 or tickets@hiltoncollege.com. The 26th annual Hilton Arts Festival will run from 14 to 16 September. The full programme is on www.hiltonfestival.co.za . On line bookings open today / 13 August and programmes are now available from various outlets in Pietermaritzburg and Durban

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