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!

All festival roads lead to Smithfield this weekend – official!

Volksblad: ELRETHA BRITZ Woensdag 19 Junie 2013 SMITHFIELD se eerste kunstefees, die Platteland Preview, voorspel ’n miernes van bedrywighede op dié andersins rustige dorp in die Suid-Vrystaat. Die fees duur tot Sondag en word môre amptelik ingelui met The Bram Fischer Waltz, ’n solostuk deur Harry Kalmer met die gevierde David Butler op die verhoog. Dié stuk, wat verlede jaar as opdragwerk in Afrikaans op die Vryfees gedebuteer het, is een van agt produksies en 14 vertonings wat vir vanjaar se Nasionale Kunstefees op Grahamstad gekeur is en deel is van die...Read more

Even MORE praise for VREK: Don’t miss its preview

VOLKSBLAD: Gehoor moet eie mening oor hidrobreking vorm ‘VREK’ protesstuk oor omstrede skaliegas-ontginning in Karoo ELRETHA BRITZ Maandag 17 Junie 2013 “DIE mens gaan te laat besef geld kan nie geëet of gedrink word nie,” sê Helet de Wet oor VREK, ’n post-moderne produksie oor hidrobreking, oftewel, fracking, waarvoor dié jong dramastudent aan Kovsies die teks geskryf het. Sy sê ook VREK is ’n krisis veel groter as die verandering van straatname. “Dié vorm van skaliegas-ontginning is ’n lewenspel waarin die...Read more

Beefcake: why don’t you come to the party?

Here’s the fabulous new poster for Beefcake, showing in Smithfield during our Platteland Preview. Premiere of the play on Saturday June 22, but we must thank writer Josh Martin and star of the show, Lolo Malumo, for agreeing to a special performance on Friday 21 for the learners of our local high school. We owe you guys!! As Beefcake opens we find Ace Hlope, preparing himself for his dad’s funeral. The old man was a big-time, successful butcher whose life disintegrated with a growing addiction to gambling and booze. As Ace remembers his dad and their life together we wonder what...Read more

Hulde vir skrywer van VREK (Ja – ONS Vrek)

ONE of the special shows at this year’s Platteland Preview is VREK, an eco-spectacular theatre piece on fracking and the human condition, by talented young Free State writer Helet de Wet. Sy’s baie opgewonde oor the crit wat sy nou net gekry het vir haar werk. Maar ons is net so trots en opgewonde want Vrek kry sy premiere by die Platteland Preview. ”Binne-in VREK skuil daar ‘n moderne Eugene’ Marais, Totius en C.Louis Leipolt, poesie wat die natuur en haar skoonheid besing, maar ook die waansin van haar kinders – van ons wat ons eie moeder verkrag tot stof...Read more

Veteran journo and musician gives thumbs up for Smithfield festival

GO through Clarens and you need to catch up with veteran journalist and musician, Kevin O’Grady. He’s one of a small but growing band of journos working for big city titles from the platteland. We had coffee with him under the trees in Clarens during our road show to promote the Platteland Preview and presented him with his own copy of our beautiful festival programme. He’s vowed that he and his muse, Jana, will bring their band Violet Somedays to the Platteland Preview next year. And we’re holding them to their promise...Read more

AfrikaBurn comes to the rescue

FAIRY godmothers sometimes come in strange forms. This is what the fabulous sponsor of our stage looks like: When he heard that we had come unstuck without a stage in our main venue, the director of Grahamstown’s National Arts Festival, Ismail Mahomed, put us in touch with a number of people. We needed a design for the stage and unless we were to take out an overdraft, we were also hoping that somehow we’d find a contribution towards the cost of it. One of these contacts led to Robert Weinek of AfrikaBurn. He said, ‘Write us a letter.’ So we did, explaining that the...Read more

Platteland Preview marks start of new era for Smithfield

EXACTLY a year ago, two guests arrived at my door: a friend and his actor daughter. As dinner ended she said she couldn’t go to bed immediately: she needed another run-through of the show she was taking to Grahamstown’s National Arts Festival. Would she like an audience, we asked. And that’s how three people and three dogs gathered round a log fire in our stone barn for a private performance of one of last year’s great fringe hits: The Epicene Butcher, starring Jemma Kahn. Next morning Jemma and I wondered whether other fringe performers, making their annual pilgrimage...Read more


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