The whole shebang – alltogether! That is what festivalgoers can expect at the 27th Klein Karoo Nasional Arts Festival (KKNK), sponsored by Absa, taking place in Oudtshoorn from Saturday 1 to Sunday 9 April.
This year’s festival programme offers something for every taste. The festival dates coincide with the school holidays and includes Easter weekend.
Festivalgoers at this family festival can look forward to more than 30 debut works, as well as an array of the best productions seen at other festival and theatres the past year.
In major news for the South African arts industry, Absa, main sponsor of the KKNK, announced at the Programme Launch that they are renewing their sponsorship for a further three years. “Absa sees value in supporting South Africa’s vibrant art sector and finding innovative ways to support the communities in which we live and work. We remain committed to our strategic objective to be a force for good in everything we do and with this in mind, we are proud of our longstanding relationship with the renowned Klein Karoo National Arts Festival (KKNK). Absa has supported this gathering of talent for over 20 years, but this is more than just a sponsorship for us, it is a way in which we can bring possibilities to life for up-and-coming artists which we are constantly inspired by. We are excited to see the diverse exhibition of talent from local communities in this year’s festival and look forward to hosting spectators at the various Absa displays,” said Faisal Mkhize, Chief Executive of Absa Relationship Banking.
Five individuals are honoured for their contribution to the KKNK and the arts: Dawid Minnaar receives the KKNK Prize for Interpretation; Early B is honoured with the KKNK Crossover Prize; Refentse Morake receives the KKNK Prize for a Young Voice and Liza Grobler is the Festival Artist. Magdaleen Krüger receives the KKNK Prize for Lifetime Contribution.
Nicola Hanekom returns to the festival with a site-specific theatre production Mirre en aalwyn, presented on a farm outside Oudtshoorn with Amalia Uys, Daneel van der Walt, Gretha Brazelle and Alyssa van Reenen. Reza de Wet’s drama comedy Mirakel, directed by Marthinus Basson and made possible by the Nasionale Afrikaanse Teater-inisiatief (NATi) with Dawid Minnaar, Brümilda van Rensburg, Rolanda Marais, Edwin van der Walt, Carla Smith and Eben Genis, tells the story of a theatre company in the 1930s finding themselves in a small town, confronted by difficult decisions. The multi award-winning Karoo Kaarte team from the Oudtshoorn community present Droomkraan Kronieke, with amongst others Carlo Daniels, Janion Kennedy and Marinda Ntantiso. They join forces with designer and puppet master Craig Leo, for a production perfect for the whole family.
Other debut works include Bul, a dark comedy directed by Nicole Holm with René Cloete, Wian Taljaard, Wynand Kotze and Peggy Tunyiswa. Flemish playwright Tom Lanoye’s (also writer of the multi award-winning Koningin Lear) Die fel omstrede kroon, Edward II en Gaveston with Edwin van der Walt, Beer Adriaanse, Rolanda Marais, André Roothman, Wilhelm van der Walt and Caleb Payne, is a razorlike look into love, power, choices, children, complex relationships, and the place of the individual in society. My Kroon se krank, a text by Veronique Jephtas and Lynthia Julies, with Jephtas also playing in this solo production, is directed by Tinarie van Wyk Loots with Lee-Ann van Rooi as producer. It is a co-production of the KKNK and Suidoosterfees and tells the story of three characters’ journey to renewing and beginning again. In Klinkklaar, a comedy with Deon Lotz, Marinda Engelbrecht and Susanne Beyers, two TV chefs and glamorous personalities try to present a cooking show together, although they hate each other. Marion Holm brings a hilarious production to the festival, written and directed by Chris Vorster. Antoinette Kellermann takes the audience on a journey through her award-winning career of 48 years in Teen wil en dank. Lizz Meiring shares more about the concept of “The Human Library” in Van die rak af (uitgawe 1) – where, instead of taking out a book, you borrow a person.
Your favourite stand-up comedians are also at the festival: Rob van Vuuren’s debut of Namaste Bae – Blessing and Kombucha; Alfred Adriaan: Onfiks en veertig; and Alan Committie, as well as the popular Moses Williams from the Oudtshoorn region with his debut Ouma Sarie: Funny Karoo, are all on stage.
Top productions from other festivals and theatres are also on the programme, including: ’n Akkerboom with De Klerk Oelofse; Die moeder with amongst others Sandra Prinsloo and Dawid Minnaar; with Sandra Prinsloo; Mutton Hour with Cintaine Schutte and Wilhelm van der Walt; Platform 9: Homecoming with Theodore Jantjies and Maurice Paige; Steeds Donkie with Frank Opperman; Charles J. Fourie and The Market Theatre’s The Parrot Woman with Gontse Ntshegang and André Lötter; and Jantjies and the Pearls, written by the promising young playwright Mikayla Joy Brown, that tells the story of a family from District Six desperate to save their home from the forced removals.
On the music front David Kramer brings a brand-new musical to Oudtshoorn in Ver in die wêreld Kittie, with Dean Balie, Jenny Stead, André Terblanche, Rushney Ferguson and Dylan Roman. It tells the story behind the major success of the singing duo of Josef Marais and Rosa de Miranda abroad in the 1950s, with songs from South Africa, through the eyes of Kittie Jaftha and Koos Heuningbek. This is a Festival Forum production, made possible by NATi. In Woordmusiek by Coenie de Villiers, he brings three theatre legends together: Antoinette Kellermann, Vinette Ebrahim and Jana Cilliers join him on stage with Mauritz Lotz for an exceptional music and spoken word experience.
Other debuts on the music programme include Amber/Ombré with Amanda Strydom, Coenraad Rall and Susan Mouton; Anders/Eenders with Sima Mashazi, Schalk Joubert, Louis Mhlanga, Riaan van Rensburg and Ramon Alexander; Daarom skryf ek with Anna Davel, Jaconell Mouton and Lou-Ann Stone; ’n Blom in elke vrou with Petronel Baard, the South Cape Children’s Choir and the Mossel Bay String Ensemble; and Boeremusiek, Rocco-styl with Rocco de Villiers, Lizelle le Roux and Hansie Roodt jr.
Open-air music concerts are back, and this programme kicks off with a two-day music festival AMOK! on 1 and 2 April, with some of the country’s most popular bands and artists – which will be announced soon. Other concerts include Spoegwolf en vriende; Die grootste Karoo-paartie ooit! and a spectacular concert with Nataniël on Easter Sunday, Passio | Pasión | Passion | Passione (9 April). Tickets to the open-air evening concerts include access to the Festival Market for the day.
In the Festival Market festivalgoers can enjoy music from a variety of their favourite musicians on the Castle Lager stage and stroll through the arts and craft stalls at leisure. The first ever KKNK Feeswinkel opens its doors, offering beautiful handmade gifts and souvenirs. Delicious deli products and drinks can be tasted and bought in Liplekker and the youngsters can enjoy the adrenalin of the rides and slides. To top it all off, the various bars on the terrain will offer relief from the Oudtshoorn heat. As usual, festival tickets will be available for access to the Festival Market for the duration of the festival. Absa’s Kuierkamer moves into the Festival Market area, where various activities and discussions with, amongst others, the ever-popular Hannes van Wyk are presented.
This year’s Visual Arts programme, curated by Dineke van der Walt under the theme Hide & Seek: Reimagined Histories, offers something for everyone and an array for art enthusiasts to look forward to. Exhibitions by various Oudtshoorn residents are included and a highlight on the programme is Fragments from Into the Light, where the work of Phumulani Ntuli, Lebohang Kganye and Roger Ballen, who were part of the Venice Biennale last year, are exhibited in South Africa for the very first time. Group exhibitions include an interesting exhibition from Absa, as well as a group exhibition by the UJ Gallery. All the exhibitions can be visited in the Prince Vintcent building free of charge.
Figure of 8 Dance Collective, honoured with the KKNK Prize for a Young Voice in 2020, can be seen in two dance theatre productions: Embody You and Karatara, crowned with the Kanna Prize for Best Debut last year. Various children’s productions will ensure entertainment for youngsters. The 2022 Kanna Award-winning team of Liewe Heksie, Margit Meyer-Rödenbeck and Deon van Zyl, are back with Liewe Heksie vang vis. Various Klein Karoo Experiences are presented, offering festivalgoers an opportunity to experience and taste the Klein Karoo in unique ways.
A festive area and restaurant are presented in the Netwerk24-feeskafee, where various discourse ranges are presented, amongst them Die Burger Praat Saam discourse sessions, as well as a bookstore where the latest publications will be on sale. Baron van Reede Street will once again be closed-off and remains the heartbeat of the festival with a variety of food, drinks, and free entertainment. The Lucky Pakkie theatre offering moves into the street and just like the lucky packets that you grew up with, the contents are kept secret – you can expect various theatre surprises here.
A KKNK Youth Arts Festival, supported by the ATKVis presented for the first time from 1 to 4 April, in collaboration with the Western Cape Department of Education and is specifically focused on high school learners and teachers. This festival within the festival is focussed on creating a passion for and interest in the arts amongst high school learners through a programme of theatre, music, dance, visual arts, discourse and more.
The festival programme will be available on the KKNK website from Tuesday 24 January. Ticket sales for Friends of the KKNK open on Monday 30 January, and on Wednesday 1 February for the public. Tickets are available online at Webtickets, or at your nearest Pick n Pay. For more information, visit the KKNK’s website at www.kknk.co.za or contact the office via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, send a WhatsApp to 065 285 2337, or phone 044 203 8600.