Platteland Preview

At the heart of this annual fest you’ll find artists taking their productions to the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown. We invite them to showcase their work here en route as a final rehearsal and the Platteland Preview is the result: a feast of drama, music, comedy, dance, poetry and visual art. Welcome!

Mohokare Mayor supports Festival

A message from the mayor of Mohokare The mayor of Mohokare has sent the Platteland Preview festival a message of support. In her message the mayor, Agnes Mokgoro Shasha, also welcomed visitors who will be coming to Smithfield over the festival. And in another important development, she says she hopes that other development and funding agencies will help the festival in the future. She thanked the Arts and Culture Trust for their support with the 2014 Platteland Preview and added, 'We are hopeful that in future years other development and funding agencies will also come on board as...Read more

The Real Thing

Programme 2014 with last year's programme behind it Hugo Wilken, who brought the programmes to us from Bloemfontein by way of an amazing door-to-door delivery service, was just as curious as we were to see how they looked. Here Hugo holds the latest programme together with the one from last year. We've grown from a gate-fold single sheet to a 16 page bonanza of shows, music, art exhibitions and support by local individuals and businesses. Thanks to each one of you - and to the Arts and Culture Trust whose funding helped finance the programme. Most of all, thanks to Crystelle Wilson...Read more

Arrival of the programme!

Personal delivery Boxes of our precious festival programme were hand delivered today by Hugo Wilken. He brought them from Bloemfontein and the printers where his wife Tertia works. She had really caught fest fever and joined in the spirit by organising a lift for the brochures with Hugo to Smithfield. Thanks to them both and to the printers. Saved us an extra trip to Bloemfontein - and who could ask for better service! The programmes, all 750 of them, each running to 16 pages, were beautifully bundled and when we opened them you could still smell the fresh ink - what joy to a journalist's...Read more

Taking to the airwaves

Having fun in Len's radio studio Len du Plessis, who hosts a show on RadioSpringbok, an internet-based radio station, invited the Platteland Preview to spend time with him and his listeners, chatting about the festival. Everyone was new to this radio format but we had a great time, answering listeners' questions and talking about the festival, our hot tips - the shows we really wanted to see - and how much support the fest was getting from the people of Smithfield and the surrounding areas. Len says it made such a hit that he's been asked to do a similar show afterwards and...Read more

Going up ....

Alistair Harris puts up the new festival posters POSTERS for the Platteland Preview, telling people about the festival in Smithfield, 27 - 29 June, are going up: today Smithfield and tomorrow we're hitting Bloemfontein. Thanks to Greg May and Alistair Harris who collected them from the printers in Aliwal North yesterday and to Alistair who has been going round town distributing them to businesses. He's also gone out with a very long ladder to put up posters on poles along the N6 through Smithfield. Interesting - some political parties still haven't taken down their posters after...Read more

Quilt exhibition over Smithfield festival weekend

Quilters in Smithfield have a growing reputation for their stunning work, and over the weekend of the Platteland Preview visitors will have a chance to see and enjoy some of these quilts, both traditional designs and more modern interpretations of this craft form. They will be on display at The Studio, Nick's Place . Included among the quilts is the work of Fabrice Rebouillat who has won significant prizes for his work at the Bloem show and elsewhere. Read more about the The Kreatiwe Lappies group from Smithfield ...Read more

Smithfield fest's the place to test out new productions

The Platteland Preview is getting a name as the place for writers and performers to try new productions before hitting the high spots of Grahamstown. Curious vistas on the platteland ~ By Carmel Rickard ~ The rural town of Smithfield has become a singular proving ground for major theatrical productions. Smithfield is not the most obvious venue for the premiere of a major new work by one of the country’s foremost poet-playwrights. But the tiny platteland dorp in the southeast Free State is rapidly growing a name as a go-to spot for exactly that. The town’s Platteland Preview, just...Read more

Politics as hot entertainment

Smithfield's Platteland Preview adds some spice this year with shows on hot political issues like corruption: Artists at Smithfield’s festival have their say on hot political issues ~ By Carmel Rickard ~ WHEN Smithfield’s new arts festival, the Platteland Preview, ran into trouble last year, someone asked if I’d been in touch with Ismail Mahomed. As a law writer, I could only assume she meant the late Chief Justice and I wondered at her faith that he could organise art festival miracles from beyond the grave. But no, this is someone else. This Ismail Mahomed is artistic...Read more


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