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!

Top SA arts officials in Smithfield this weekend

- join them at our Herman Charles Bosman show . AFTER a fabulous first Platteland Preview – the arts festival held in Smithfield during June this year – we decided to go right to the top and invite some key players in South African festivals and festival funding to visit us and give us their advice about the road forward. Three sparkling guests have confirmed they will attend, and we’ll be visiting two others immediately afterwards for a personal consultation about their views on the festival’s future. First off we’re delighted to announce that the director of...Read more

Herman Charles Bosman aka David Butler comes to Smithfield

Smithfield’s Red Barn will host a special show this weekend: ‘A Teacher in the Bushveld’ with David Butler as Herman Charles Bosman. During the Platteland Preview festival in June, Butler won himself many local fans with his performance as jailed political leaderBram Fischer. And he became something of a Smithfield fan as well, promising he’d be back in town with ‘something quite different’. Now, here it is – an award-winning performance as the beloved South African short story writer, Herman Charles Bosman, retelling stories about the characters he...Read more

Silver Ovation award for Platteland Preview show

OUR festival opener, The Bram Fischer Waltz, performed by David Butler, was a resounding success in Smithfield. Now his success at Grahamstown’s National Arts Festival has been confirmed: the show won an ovation award right at the start of the festival and during the prize announcements on the last day the judges made their appreciation clear by formally giving him a Silver Ovation Award. Congratulations to David Butler and to Harry Kalmer who devised and wrote the script. Everyone who saw the premiere of the show in Smithfield share the judges view: fantastic event! A great start for...Read more

Voted ‘Best Supporter of the Fees’

Smithfielder Dewald Madden has been voted Best Supporter of the Platteland Preview festival. Madden, seen below with some of his clutch of tickets, was up there at every show, watching with great interest everything that unfolded on the stage. Our thanks to Dewald and everyone else who has backed us and the hard work to get the show on the road. However hard you work though, if people like Dewald don’t watch the performances we can’t pull it off. Dewald asked on his Facebook page: Where can we buy tickets for the 2014 festival? – Now that’s a pitch we love!...Read more

Two last special shows as a ‘nagereg’ (dessert) for Smithfield

In a #smithfest final flourish we present two shows by way of a ‘nagereg’ (dessert) in Smithfield, where we’ve just hosted our first Platteland Preview. Students from the University of Pretoria will stay over with us for two nights this week on their way to Grahamstown’s National Arts Festival. They will perform award-winning productions of As Night Falls (Helen Martins of the Owl House in Nieu Bethesda) on Thursday and Chasing (Ingrid Jonker) on Friday. Tickets at the door of the town hall; shows start at 6.30pm both nights. Culture in the countryside!...Read more

Attentive learners at Beefcake

Learners from the Relibohile Sibulele School attended the first show of the Platteland Preview this morning, and judging by the attentive faces, it made a considerable impression. They saw BEEFCAKE, a one-hander starring Lolo Malumo, and written by Josh Martin who was also in the audience to see how things went down. It’s a play dealing with difficult father/son relations, made all the tougher because the old man has just died. Afterwards Lolo and Josh answered questions from the audience, and there was a sense that the Q&A could have gone on a lot longer if we hadn’t had to...Read more

First show comes to town

First up at the Platteland Preview – our opening show The Bram Fischer Waltz. And star of that show, David Butler, was the first performer to arrive in Smithfield for the festival. His car was piled high with his set, sections that put together to make the prison cell in which Fischer spent the second half of his life until his death. So we off-loaded it all and were soon hard at work turning the venue into a prison site. Hard to recognise the Red Barn this evening – the people of the town know it well as the venue for gym classes and art exhibitions but now it looks like a real...Read more

Art treat for Smithfield festival visitors: Oliewenhuis Art Museum

THE Southern Free State Arts Association, whose members are exhibiting during the Platteland Preview in Smithfield this week, is delighted with expert reaction to their work. Association officials asked Oliewenhuis Art Museum experts to come to town to help curate the exhibition. Yolanda Els, who has spent almost a day in Smithfield examining all the work and helping hang the pieces, says she was called in by artist and art teacher, Betts de Bruyn, for her advice. Betts, who chairs the Southern Free State Arts Association gave Yolanda this brief: make sure we can be proud of the exhibition we...Read more

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