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PRESS: Programme for 28th KKNK a remedy for the soul



Quality art, in all its forms and genres, makes you forget about life’s troubles for a moment. Art is medicine for the soul.

Add to that the natural beauty and fresh air of the Klein Karoo and you have the ideal setting to recharge.


“A remedy for every ailment truly awaits at the KKNK from Saturday 23 to Sunday 31 March in Oudtshoorn. The festival is presented in the March school holidays and ends over the Easter weekend. It’s a chance for the whole family to take a break, with a programme for everyone’s taste. In addition to outstanding drama, comedy, dance and visual arts, there are also lifestyle experiences and several discussion series which make for great conversation and discourses. The festival also offers an array of free and affordable entertainment, not only in more formal venues, but also in the streets of Oudtshoorn. It is your health clinic for total wellness!” These are the words of Hugo Theart, CEO and Artistic Director of the KKNK.


The programme for the 28th KKNK, sponsored by Absa, was launched on Wednesday 24 January during a function at Leopard’s Leap in Franschhoek. Kabous Meiring and Dean John Smith were at the helm of affairs, with excerpts from two of this year’s festival highlights.


According to John Tshabalala, Managing Executive Absa Private Wealth, they are thrilled about their continued partnership as the Main Sponsor for the 28th KKNK, a longstanding celebration of arts and culture in Oudtshoorn. “For decades, we have proudly supported this event, and we are delighted to reaffirm our unwavering commitment to fostering the arts within the vibrant community of Oudtshoorn. As we come together to celebrate creativity and cultural richness, we also celebrate the breathtaking natural beauty and invigorating fresh air of the Klein Karoo. Our ongoing support is a testament to our belief in the transformative power of the arts and our dedication to preserving the unique spirit of this remarkable region.”

Five artists are honoured by the KKNK in 2024: Deon Meyer with the KKNK Afrikaans Onbeperk Prize for Literary Contribution, Jana Cilliers with the KKNK Prize for Interpretation, Eldon van der Merwe with the KKNK Prize for Young Voice, Poem Mooney with the KKNK Prize for Lifetime Contribution to Arts and Culture and visual artist Colbert Mashile is the Festival Artist.


Deon Meyer and Coenie de Villiers return with Roem: ’n Musiekverhaal, following their sensational Karoo Suite performances. Anrich Herbst, Eldon van der Merwe, Daneel van der Walt, Nelandi Boshoff, Mauritz Lotz & Blake Hellaby are on stage, under the direction of Nicole Holm.


Jana Cilliers is on stage in the drama Veelhoek – one of 27 festival debuts on the programme – joined by Ludwig Binge, directed by Marthinus Basson. Cilliers also wrote the script. Sandra Prinsloo & David Viviers are on stage in Henque Heymans’ satire Op die hoek van Styx en River is Nora per abuis met die dood oorgeslaan. Prinsloo also plays the leading role as Maria Callas in the award-winning production of Terrence McNally’s Master Class. Antoinette Kellermann & André Roothman are on stage in Die stoele, a classical tragi-farce by Eugène Ionesco, directed, designed, and translated by Basson.


Award-winning author and playwright Willem Anker returns with a new theatre script for the first time in ten years with Patmos. Tinarie van Wyk Loots, Marlo Minnaar, Eben Genis, René Cloete & Marelize Viljoen are on stage, directed and designed by Jaco Bouwer.


Other debut works on the theatre programme include: Bloedbande, with Lyntjie Jaars, Die begrafnisrede, a comedy with Wynand van Vollenstee; Lizz Meiring’s comedy Die Van Vuurens vat vlam with Meiring, Cara Meiring & David Kuduntwane; Eg Kaaps: Salaam-stories with Ashraf Johaardien, Cheraé Halley & Matthew MacFarlane; David Viviers & Wessel Pretorius share the stage in the comedy ’n Lewe in die dag van ’n vrugtevlieg, ensomeer: Die ongewerwelde-trilogie; Monika, it’s me is a drama by Klara van Wyk & Jenine Collocott, with Van Wyk on stage; Kevin Smith, Reginald Hufkie & Donovan Pietersen are on stage in the drama Op die kruin van Shôdeville, directed by Herschelle Benjamin; Ouma is op pad with Margit Meyer-Rödenbeck & Coenraad Rall (piano) and Des-Lee McKenzie’s satire Vleis/Meat are also seen on stage.

Stand-up finds a home at the festival in 2024, with Kekkelkliniek which will be a highlight on this programme. Alfred Adriaan, Stuart Taylor, Conrad Koch & Lindy Johnson amongst others are on stage for this hilarious show. Comedians also seen in solo performances include Ambrose Uren, Koch (and his puppets), Dalin Oliver, KG Mokgadi, Mel die Storieverteller, Rob van Vuuren, Taylor, Yasseen Barnes, as well as Johnson & Kate Pinchuck who share the stage. Other popular satires include Marianne Thamm’s Vuisvoos, maar nog regop: Suid-Afrika 2024 and Mike van Graan’s My Fellow South Africans, for which Kim Blanché Adonis won the Woordtrofee for Best Achievement in a Solo Performance for her portrayal at the Toyota US Woordfees in 2023. 


Amongst the music debuts are: A return to the KKNK for the first time in more than a decade for Stef Bos in Bijna 30 jaar later; Zolani Mahola (The One Who Sings) & Dozi shares the stage in Die kort en die lank. In Blommetjie gedenk aan my Anton Goosen, Sonja Herholdt, Mahola, Lise Swart, Schalk Joubert & Illimar Neitz amongst others are seen on stage. Wouter van de Venter & Clinton Waring’s Beste vriende sing Laurika is a celebration of the music by Laurika Rauch; Winand Grundling (organ) & Johann Nel (narrator) are seen in Aanskou die mens; CH2: Spanish Fire with guitar duo Corneille Hutten & Christiaan Jacobsz; Jak de Priester’s Hartkamer; Elzabé Zietsman & Tony Bentel are seen in Vier Panado’s en ’n Chardonnay and Petronel Baard, Chanette Paul, Jan van Tonder & Alzanley are seen in Tweeluik.


Eldon van der Merwe is on stage in Roem: ’n Musiekverhaal and Fietsry vir dommies, a drama with script by Oudtshoorn resident Tiffany Saterdaght, directed by Dean Balie.


The KKNK is a family festival and includes an extensive variety of youth and family theatre. Ken jy vir Dewie?  is an immersive theatre experience directed by Margit Meyer-Rödenbeck and script by Ilne Fourie, with amongst others Crystal Donna Roberts and Robert Hindley. Braam en die engel is a multidisciplinary drama for the whole family with Joanie Combrink, De Klerk Oelofse, Rehane Abrahams, Marelize Viljoen, Timothy Isaacs & Shaun Oelf – a magical adaptation of Marietjie de Jongh’s youth book with the same title, directed by Nico Scheepers. Family entertainment has a new home in the Feesmark (Festival terrain), where hours of entertainment await children and parents alike in the Klein KKNK-teater. This offer includes amongst others Die rooi ballon with Craig Morris (winner of a Silver Ovation Award at the National Arts Festival in 2023) & Casey Sewbaran. Another highlight is Ons is hier!/On est là! with Sibusiso Khambule & Sjaka S. Septembir, developed by ASSITEJ SA and ASSITEJ Belgium’s Letsema/Collaborate project.

Exceptional theatre productions from other arts festivals are showcased, including Die vegetariër, a drama with Tinarie van Wyk Loots, Wilhelm van der Walt, Eben Genis & Melissa Myburgh, directed by Jaco Bouwer; Philip Rademeyer’s drama, Goed wat wag om te gebeur, with Antoinette Kellermann, Gideon Lombard & Emma Kotze; Routrip, Elzabé Zietsman’s drama comedy; Jefferson J. Dirks-Korkee’s drama Rooilug , Lara Hattingh’s solo drama Byster  and the sketch comedy show Die Francois Toerien Show.


Other artists who can be seen on stage at the KKNK include: Tobie Cronjé (Hans gee Herklaas horings), Nataniël (Nineveh Song), Frank Opperman (Reünie), Mathys Roets & Anna Davel (In konsert), Danie Niehaus & Germandt Geldenhuys (Drie van die bestes), Leslie Kleinsmith & Ramon Alexander (Kaapse kabaret), Amanda Strydom (Hoe ons voel & ’n Vuur gevang in glas), André Schwartz (Any Dream Will Do – My pad met Webber), Helenè Bester & Jannie Moolman (Nag in die Namib), Jakkie Louw & Charlize Berg (Jakkals en Berg), RAAF and Tollie Parton (Hoe om oor jouself te kom).


Three of the top productions from Stellenbosch University’s Première Theatre Festival in 2023 are making the trip to the Klein Karoo: Incarnations of Sand, an absurd drama; Su’walla Kassam, a farce with various twists when a couple from different religions are getting married and The Old Man Who Thought He Had a Dog, a tragi-comedy, named as overall winner of the Première Theatre Festival.


Two dance theatre productions are included, with Joburg Ballet performing at the KKNK for the first time with an exciting trio of works including one South African première and two world premières in SCARCITY, whilst Figure of 8 Dance Collective performs Set in Motion evaluating life’s unexpected twists and turns, as well as the effect thereof on us.

Lucky Pakkie theatre returns to Baron van Reede Street with brand-new theatre concepts. Just like lucky packets – the content is a suprise. Each Lucky Pakkie consists of four performances of 15 minutes each. Take a chance and experience the unknown.


On the Feesmark-verhoog, supported by Huisgenoot, loads of entertainment await by an array of favourites including Early B, Kurt Darren, Juanita du Plessis, Spoegwolf, Elandré, Appel, Francois van Coke, Demi-Lee Moore, Jay, YoungstaCPT, Die Heuwels Fantasties, Karlien van Jaarsveld, Refentse, Die Piesangskille, Busiswa, Bobby van Jaarsveld, Sunset Sweatshop and Dodo Nyoka to name but a few.


The Feesmark is the heartbeat of the festival and here festivalgoers can stroll through the stalls of this shopping paradise. The KKNK-winkel opens its doors in a new area with more and prettier souvenirs than in 2023. Indulge in the buffet of food at the food stalls. Taste deli products, treats and beverages. Cool down at the various bars on the terrain. In the air-conditioned Absa Kuierkamer, you can kick off your shoes and enjoy entertainment and discussions with and by celebrities. And then you can also use the last bit of energy at the amusement park. Checkers presents special experiences in the Feesmark this year, with various surprises awaiting festivalgoers.


Karoo Kaarte, the KKNK’s multi-award-winning and groundbreaking multidisciplinary arts programme that has been taking shape in Oudtshoorn since 2021, intertwines stories by Oudtshoorn residents in 2024 to be included in various experiences throughout the festival and across town. Karoo Kaarte is presented with the support of the Jannie Mouton Foundation, ATKV, Het Jan Marais Nationale Fonds, NATi, Western Cape Government and the Oudtshoorn Municipality.

A special collection of art exhibitions, compiled by curator Dineke Orton, can be seen in the home of visual arts, the Prince Vintcent Building. An exhibition by the festival artists for 2024 and an Absa exhibition are included amongst others.


Various discussion series are presented in the Netwerk24-feeskafee, including discussions on current affairs and other important national issues such as the 2024 National Election in the Die Burger Praat Saam, compiled by Jody Hendricks. The KKNK’s Boekstories, compiled by Elna van der Merwe, offers insight into the processes and thoughts of various authors. Mia Spies also presents special Netwerk24 interviews and discussions.


The complete festival programme is available at and tickets are available from Thursday 25 January at Webtickets, or the KKNK’s office in Oudtshoorn. Tickets bought in advance are more affordable than during the KKNK at the doors or at the gates. For accommodation bookings, visit the KKNK’s website.


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