Festinos and baby boys

So.  For the last few days I’ve been at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown. An annual pilgrimage.  I have friends who live in Grahamstown (one of whom is a chef.  Yes!  Mmmm. Can anyone say homemade gnocchi with pesto? And oven fresh olive bread. Dammit!) Which makes the whole experience that much more delicious.  Apart from the cold.  The cold was cold.  Six layers of clothing and still pointing north cold!  COLD!

But there’s something about that Eastern Cape air.  The smell of dust and aloes. Of distant rain and the promise of the sea.  Of crisp, wide awakeness.  Of sky wide sunsets and star exploded nights.

Getting to hang out with my mates’ 5 month old baby was another layer.  This innocent, gleeful, chilled out kid and I gazed at the moon on many a night and wondered at the sense of it all.  I whispered secrets in his pearl soft ears and tickled his gentle feet.  I watched his eyes dance and his cheeks dimple.  We understood each other.

Saw some pretty damn good stuff too.  A frenetic dance adaptation of McBeth.   Sean Taylor and Fiona Ramsey in Who’s Afraid of Virgina Woolf.  A couple of comedy shows involving apes and big balled goats.  A righteous ripped off redition of Miriam Makeba singing the click song.  And other things, including a strange installation by an old mate of mine, James Webb.

But my favourite festival pick?  Hands down it’s Every Day, Every Year, I am walkingI’ve always been a fan of Mark Fleishman and Jenni Resnik.  But fuck me if this didn’t get under my skin.  I wept uncontrollably during the performance and I can’t get the message out of my mind.  A physical theatre piece about the plight of refugees in Africa, it was beautiful and moving and exceptional.  Go see this.

It feels good.  Like I’ve had a little soul food after a bread and water life. 

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6 thoughts on “Festinos and baby boys

  1. one thing i’ve still never done. sigh. but i saw the lion king in the west end last weekend, does that count?

  2. Dolce says:

    ExGW Absofekkin’lutely! The West End…*sigh*…all the lights and weirdos.

  3. Flutter says:

    Very cool D.

    Brings back some awesome memories and Grahamstown has a special charm. Wish they did the fest in summer. I would go every year but running around from gig to gig in 5degs loses it fun factor after a while.

  4. Ectoplasm says:

    Cool blog D. I’m embarrased to admit that I’ve never been to the festival, despite many a food intention to go.

  5. Dusty Muffin says:

    Went to my first festival in 1982 – combined Schools and Proper Festival over ten days – went to 80 presentations – including poetry readings by Guy Butler at 10pm in front of a roaring fire. Can only describe the experience as a mindf*ck.

    What’s great now, is seeing how all the student actrons have flourished or failed over the years

  6. Dolce says:

    Fluts Miss your visage on this here blogsplat place…but like the new spot! Yeah, I was pokin’ people’s eyes out with my nipple icicles. I was so cold, I was afraid to wee incase my bum stuck to the loo seat. It was Dumb and Dumber snot-freezin’ cold! COLD! I vote for a Spring Fest (Summer would be too hot, sadly!)

    Ecto Ok. So next year! Gooowan! It’s fab. Of course, you’ve got to love good theatre, brave the bad stuff and know where to find gluwein!

    Dusty I’m an ex-UCT drama student, so I LOVE seeing who’s still on the stage, who’s doing good, who’s shaggin’ whom. And I get a thrill from “discovering” new okes too…like when you see someone you saw a couple of years ago making it good. Love all this stuff!

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