Jeffrey's Bay The 4th wonder of our world

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Tourism News
Arts and the man
17 September 2010


The tiny Karoo town of Nieu Bethesda celebrates its famous son, Athol Fugard, with a theatre, music and an art festival later this month. The second Absa Fugard Festival, to be held from September 23-26, will feature twice as many plays and music concerts as last year, with companies coming from all over the country to perform. For example, drama students from Stellen-bosch University will perform Victory; the University of the Free State's drama department will perform Playland, while private theatre companies will offer productions of People are Living There and Master Harold & the Boys. In all, six plays will be performed - five written by Fugard, as well as a local production of Georges Feydeau's 19th century farce, L 'Hotel du Libre echange, later made into a film called Hotel Paradiso. Fugard's great accomplishment was to "transform the unknown, ordinary people of his small corner of the Eastern Cape into dramatic images of profound and lasting significance", as Idil Sheard - who translated five of the playwright's works into Afrikaans - has said. While in Nieu Bethesda you can visit Fugard's home, stay at his guest house, "The Jubilee", and visit the other famous sites in the village, such as the Owl House, where troubled artist Helen Martins lived and worked. Anne Graaff, the author of A Journey through the Owl House will present a talk on Martins and her work. Also on the programme are shows by pianist Christopher Culpo; singers Lize Beekman and Anton Goosen; an Irish band from Rhodes University; the HA! Man, "a spontaneous cellist"; and a talented young singer from the village, Emma Haines. The proceeds of the festival will go to the local primary school, according to Absa. Information and booking on



Where: Nieu Bethesda, Karoo

Mood: Local profound

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