01 July, 2009

Is Fringe the new 'Main'?

‘Fringe’ is the latest buzzword at the National Arts Festival, which has returned to Grahamstown for the 35th year this year.

The showcase of well-known and aspiring performers has always been categorised into two The Main, whose performers are vetted, invited and paid for by the National Arts Festival; and the Fringe, which attracts those whose only link to officialdom filling a registration form, paying a refundable registration fee, and paying a venue fee for their production.

National Arts Festival CEO, Tony Lankester, said the Fringe serves as an open platform and a “stepping stone” for upcoming artists. Of this year’s 600 productions, Fringe has 450 shows, by far the largest part of the festival—and includes physical theatre, music theatre and drama.

  • Reporting and writing by Lwando Helesi, Hunadi Ralebipi, Samukelisiwe Makhubo, Bongani Mthethwa.

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