969 Film Festival

969

FESTIVAL: “Hamlet” one of the productions from the 969 festival was chosen among the top 20 shows selected from the Grahamstown National Arts Festival. Photo: Zelmarie Goosen

Joburgers looking for a taste of the Grahamstown National Arts Festival have until Sunday to plunge into 969 festival at the Wits Theatre.

The festival showcases 20 of the top performances from art festivals main stages as well as the fringe.

Wits Theatre director Gita Pather called 969 festival a success with sold out performances all week. She said organising the festival is a lot of hard work but her job is made easier because she selects productions only from the Grahamstown festival to bring to Wits.

“This university is about collaboration, about pushing the boundaries of the work we do in whatever we do … and the Wits Theatre is about providing an incubator for new talent,” Pather said.

One of the key changes made this year was moving 969 festival closer to the national event in Grahamstown.

Pather said this year’s festival gained a unique aspect because it has been filled with immensely talented people and different plays which had a mix of dance, drama, physical theatre and stand-up comedy. “I think all theatres and all festivals reflect their artistic directors and their particular bent towards the arts,” said Pather.

One of the productions for the 969 festival, Hamlet directed by Jenine Collocott, had its first performance on Wednesday night with a good turnout. Collocott describes the play as a comedia delighte of the Shakespearean Hamlet.

Hamlet is a 35-minute performance which consists of comedy, physical theatre, and improvisation which is stylistically inspired by the story of Hamlet. It features actors James Cairns, Jaques De Silva and Taryn Bennett.

A student production, Ira, is a physical theatre performance which explores the strange nature of human emotions and how we express or supress them.

It is directed by Wits drama students Daniel Geddes and Mark Tatham. Geddes said he felt good about performing in this year’s 969 festival as it was his first time.

 

“It’s exciting and it’s also nice to have that it is also recognised in a bigger platform outside of student work,” he said.

They have also recently performed at film festivals in Grahamstown and Pretoria but Geddes says he is glad to be home at Wits because he enjoys the support of his peers.

“It’s nice coming back to Wits where your peers are kind of keen to see it,” Geddes said.

The 969 Festival was originally funded by the Johannesburg Development Agency and Wits University to give locals the opportunity to experience the national arts festival without traveling the 969 kilometres to Grahamstown.

UPDATED: Rhodes student under investigation for fire in student union building

UPDATE: MAY 29, 2014,  10:21am
Rhodes University has released another statement confirming that a Rhodes student currently in hospital for ingesting petrol, is under investigation by  South African Police Services (SAPS) as a possible link to a fire that damaged the Steve Biko student union building on Tuesday.
The university is offering counselling to all students in the same residence as the hospitalised student following the incidents.
UPDATE: MAY 28, 16:48 pm.

Rhodes University has released a statement confirming that the man who was involved in an incident at a fuel station early yesterday morning, is a student at the University.

The third year student, currently at Livingstone Hospital in Port Elizabeth has been joined by his family. The university has said that “an initial internal investigation has revealed that the hospitalisation of the student may be linked to the fire which started at the Rhodes Pool Club (the Purple Horse) in the Steve Biko Building on Tuesday (27 May 2014) morning.” The university has not confirmed the link though, and neither has the South African Police Services.

 

ORIGINAL STORY: PUBLISHED MAY 28, 2014 at 16:21pm

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https://storify.com/WitsVuvuzela/rhodes-fire-at-steve-biko-1