Monday sees the formal ending of the hard work that went into arranging another successful Platteland Preview. Irene Swanepoel, popular chair of the organising committee, has called for a 4pm meeting at the Bowls Club. What is more she has issued an open invitation to all Smithfielders, whether or not they were actually involved in putting the successful event together, to come to the meeting..
The importance of the Monday meeting cannot be over-emphasised. It signals the need to get cracking on preparations for 2017. As is inevitably the case with functions of this importance, planning a full year ahead may sound unnecessary – until you start with the seemingly endless bits and pieces that have to be put together. Not only does a committee need to be formed which is capable of tackling the time-consuming work but likely-sounding shows have to be identified and persuaded that it is a great idea to preview in Smithfield for the Grahamstown Festival.
The opinion of all concerned is that this year’s shows were of a higher standard than in the past. This is borne out by the fact that ticket sales were satisfactory when measured against 2015.
The success of the Platteland Preview has done Smithfield a power of good. Apart form all the publicity coming the way of the town; we have made a lot of friends among the performers who have not only experienced an enthusiastic reception from audiences but have also enjoyed Smithfield-type generosity and accommodation.
The intense pressure borne by a small group of volunteers to bring an event of this scale to fruition should not be under-estimated. To do the job properly means giving up a good deal of free time in the interests of:……in the interests of just what? Number One - the Grahamstown Festival organisers who entrusted Smithfield to do justice to a preview of their great national festival; Number Two - to the community of Smithfield for not letting the town down; Number Three - ensuring that they are not letting down the other members of the team. Monday’s meeting offers a good opportunity fr these and many more points to be raised.
Entertainment this year offered a range calculated to satisfy most tastes. These photographs by Kitty Schneider are chosen to give some idea of what audiences experienced.