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!

Winning show heads to Smithfield fest

Cast and crew of Road to Recovery savour the moment: winning 'Best Production' at the EADES festival, Gauteng (Roy Wilkinson front row, in white shirt) HERE'S a tip for fest-goers: tickets for Road to Recovery will be gone in a flash. So as soon as tickets are available, buy them! Why my prediction? Look at its pedigree and you'll see it's a winner with serious audience appeal. Under the direction of Roy Wilkinson the production entered this year's EADES festival in Gauteng, a major amateur festival with separate sections for learners and for adults. It's an annual...Read more

Platteland Preview offers a taste of Grahamstown - Volksblad

WE thank Volksblad and in particular Elretha Britz for their support for our festival! The following report appeared in Volksblad, 10 June 2014 ... Smithfield bied weer Platteland Preview aan. Kunstefees in die kleine met produksies op pad na Grahamstad. ~ Elretha Britz ~ VIR ’n blik op die Nasionale Kunstefees in Grahamstad hoef feesgangers nie verder as Smithfield te ry nie. Dié Suid-Vrystaatse dorp bied sy tweede Platteland Preview aan wat bestaan uit ’n keur van produksies op pad na Grahamstad. Saam met die 10 produksies, ’n opdrag-kunsuitstalling en stalletjies...Read more

Pitching to the Mohokare council in Rouxville

MEMBERS of the Platteland Preview committee spoke at what could be a game-changing meeting in Rouxville today, addressing the Mohokare municipal council and about 250 people from Rouxville on the festival and what it could mean for the people of our region. Our attendance was organised by Smithfield's Ian Riddle of Nick's Place - thanks, Ian - and our presentation was well received. We told the council that the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown adds an estimated R360-million every year to the economy of the Eastern Cape with R90-million going to Grahamstown alone. That's the...Read more

Even the goggas can't stay away!

WE'VE been out measuring venues where Platteland Preview shows will be staged during the festival at the end of June. And at the door of Bell's Chapel, an old church built almost 150 years ago, we found someone already queueing to get in. It's a great venue, very atmospheric, and we hope it will be perfect for two mystery plays scheduled to be performed there on Saturday 29 June (more details soon). But word has obviously leaked already, and this intrepid gogga has lost no time in getting to the head of the queue...Read more

Hard-working Smithfield town hall

JUST days ago the Smithfield town hall hosted a big wedding. Then it was a voting station, and with all the decorations still up and tiny blue lights twinkling, there was a really festive atmosphere. Today when the Platteland Preview moved in to measure the hall and stage we found ourselves working around the wedding and voting debris. We'll be giving our measurements to performers who will hit town at the end of June for our arts festival. Here Irene Swanepoel and Lebo Motloung wield the tape measure under the wedding canopy. They spent the morning going from one venue to the next,...Read more

Great news to start festival campaign

THE Platteland Preview festival 2014 campaign gets off to a fabulous start thanks to news just in: the Arts and Culture Trust with Nedbank Arts Affinity has approved a grant of R10 000 for the festival's publicity and marketing. ACT's funding will make a huge difference; when added to the funding of our generous local sponsors we'll be able to reach a far wider audience than before. Thanks to all - now let's get down to work!...Read more

“Passion” of Smithfield’s Platteland Preview festival wins praise

Here’s a message from Ismail Mahomed, director of the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, on the eve of his visit to Smithfield. He’s part of a group of top South Africa arts officials spending the weekend in Smithfield to help us plan the way ahead for our Platteland Preview festival. He writes that he’s ‘looking forward to a weekend in Smithfield and to celebrate with you and the people of the town the sheer passion that gave birth to Smithfield’s Festival this year.’ Thank you, Ismail. We’re delighted you’ll be here and look forward to...Read more

David Butler of Butler Street, Smithfield, back in town

WHEN he spotted Butler Street, during a brisk walk through town on his last visit to Smithfield, David Butler knew he’d found a home from home. You don’t waste time when that kind of opportunity presents itself, and straight away we started plotting with him about a return visit. This time to play comedy, after the tragic story of Bram Fischer that he’d performed as the opener for our Platteland Preview. Now David’s on his way back to Butler Street … he’ll be performing at the Red Barn on Friday 11 October, taking the role of Herman Charles Bosman in the...Read more


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