I Am Somebody

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Sirqus Alfon is the story of a group of friends who started out as street performers and ended up on big stages. Using their personalities as a starting point for drama and physical tension, the performers of Sirqus Alfon weave an infectious spell of unbridled insanity. Chaotic adventure with technical hi-jinx that you have never seen on the stage before makes Sirqus Alfon a unique artistic experience.

Hailing from Sweden, Sirqus Alfon presents I AM SOMEBODY – a unique high-tech musical innovation for the internet generation (and everyone else). Skilfully crafting an interactive comedy performance imbued with rhythm, humour and a touch of magic, they represent a genre entirely of their own in which the audience gets to be the star of the show.

Sirqus Alfon has been touring internationally since 2004 – from Chinese theatres to refugee camps in Palestine to burlesque clubs in New York. They have worked with the Swedish National Touring Theatre, Cirkus Cirkör, and Clowns without Borders. Sirqus Alfon appeared on Season 12 of America’s Got Talent and won the Pick of the Fringe Award at the 2017 Adelaide Fringe.

Featured Artists:  Martin Östman, Erik Rosales, Henrik Strindberg
Company: Sirqus Alfon

Creators: Martin Östman, Erik Rosales, Henrik Strindberg
Outside eye: Hugo Hansén
Assistant Choreographer: Sofia Södergård
Costume Design: Helena Andersson
Makeup Design: Agnes Kenttä
Creative Producer: Follow the Rabbit / Josefin Lindberg
Photo Credit: Klara Granberg

Celebrating African Song

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Throughout Southern Africa, traditional music faces the risk of fading into obscurity as it comes up against commercial and hip modern sounds. Over time, ethnic music has been subject to the overpowering influences of modernity, with original isiXhosa music threatened by the rise of colonialism and Western churches in the rural Eastern Cape.

Celebrating African Song will take audience members on a journey through the majestic views of the Eastern Cape, whose songs and melodies are echoed through the valleys and mountains.

The raw isiXhosa indigenous songs will be sung by Dumza Maswana, his baritone voice accompanied by the rich jazz tones of a 10-piece band. Expect innovative harmonies, engaging lyrics and nostalgic expression that crosses to the spiritual realm. Included will be the works of Mam’ uMadosini and uMam uNofinishi Dywili, whose sounds are a celebration of indigenous isiXhosa music.

Featured Artists: Lead vocalist: Dumza Maswana, Piano: Yonela Mnana, Double Bass: Thembinkosi Mavimbela, Acoustic Guitar and Flute: Bongani Tulwana, Drums: Lungile Kunene
Company: Soul Yard Records

Producer: Dumza Maswana
Music Directors: Dumza Maswana, Yonela Mnana

Suzanne Vega

Grammy award winning singer-songwriter Suzanne Vega performed two sold-out shows at the Guy Butler Theatre at the 2018 National Arts Festival.

Circus Schönberg

Asko|Schönberg, Grammy-nominated and the leading ensemble for new music based in the Netherlands, takes a plunge into the exciting and diverse world of 20th century musical works. A show, a lecture, a performance, a conversation.  Under the guidance of a ringmaster, the musicians of Asko|Schönberg take the audience on a search for notes.


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  • GUY BUTTERY: THE MENDING will see the Standard Bank Young Artist for Music 2018 collaborate with artists to create cinematic soundscapes.
  • AFROPOETS, a one-night only (6 July) phenomenon, Urban VillageMadala KuneneThe Brother Moves On and Bongeziwe Mabandla.
  • Grammy Award winning artist SUZANNE VEGA will perform two concerts on 7 & 8 July.
  • CHORAL CONNECTIONS, performed by The Choir of Jesus College, Cambridge.
  • The GALA CONCERT and the CHILDREN’S CONCERT will be performed by the Eastern Cape Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Richard Cock and featuring pianist Charl du Plessis as well as 2018 Standard Bank Young Artist for Music Guy Buttery.
  • In partnership with the Standard Bank Jazz Festival, platinum-selling, proudly amaXhosa artist AMANDA BLACK.
  • AFRICAN EXPLORATIONS: CHAMBER MUSIC BY SA COMPOSERS from Liesl Stoltz features a collection of chamber music works for flute, cello and piano.
  • MAHUBE, an exciting regional music collaboration. Steve Dyer and Bokani Dyer have assembled an ensemble of 10 award-winning musicians.
  • In INDIGO, David Salleras and Christopher Duigan perform their own compositions as well as a selection of work from Spanish composer/saxophonist Pedro Itturalde.