'Out the Box' is a visual theatre festival. That means designers who can pull miracles from thin air are in huge demand. Carla Lever closes her festival out by chatting to Jon Keevy about DIY, deadlines and the small matter of how to make a realistic-looking severed head. Read more – ‘Form, Function and Fun’.
At any festival, a production from FTH:K is always a highlight. For regular theatre-goers it’s something exciting that we look forward to, like a new album from a favourite rock band. Everyone has a favourite (Mine is Pictures of You). And they’re usually great productions to introduce newcomers to the theatrical cult (Well, not [...] Read more – ‘Looking back at BENCHMARKS’.
- by Yazeed Kamaldien At least sixteen different countries were represented at this year’s Out the Box festival in theatre productions, movies, workshops and a conference. The Greek embassy hosted a reception for the family show ‘The Strings of Music’ during the festival. This Greek production was described as a “wildly entertaining and very funny [...] Read more – ‘Greek embassy at Out the Box festival’.
Well done to Francesco Nassimbeni for jumping on the vampire bandwagon and creating something relevant to pop culture which is pretty good. With all that vampire propaganda all over the TV and movie screens, I expect that this play will do well commercially. It’s great to see a production which will attract the Youth Of [...] Read more – ‘CLAN doesn’t suck’.
A picture may be worth a thousand words, but Carla Lever refuses to be put off...or out of work. Which is why she had a chat with Jesse Kramer, Out the Box's resident photographer and all-round visual wunderkind. Read more – ‘A Focus From Behind the Lens’.
Only 3 more days to go! Don’t miss out! Here are some bite-sized bits about what to expect from the shows that I’ve seen which are showing for the next few days… BENCHMARKS: Only one more performance at 11am. It’s worth running away from work to see this!!! Try everything! Watch it! (More detailed review [...] Read more – ‘Three days left! Do something different this weekend’.
The most confusing thing about Kismet was what it had to do with the blurb. Kismet (meaning Fate) is a series of monologues and the occasional dialogue exploring ideas and themes around identity, destiny, social consciousness, and the meaning of life in general. Just some light-hearted things like that. Although the age restriction guide says [...] Read more – ‘“Kismet” sharply questions identity’.
This was the second piece of miniature marionette theatre that I’ve seen at the festival. The show consists of two puppeteers and several puppets in a “variety show” of music performances. Each has a few minutes of fame on stage to show off their characters and their musical talents. There’s a belly dancer, violin trio, [...] Read more – ‘Well played! The Strings of Music’.
Whilst Carla Lever usually keeps children as far from her everyday reality as possible, during a school performance of 'Isangqa / Sirkelpad' she was forced to sit among them. Despite initial misgivings, read about how she discovered puppetry anew through their eyes. And how she still doesn't want one herself. Read more – ‘Sirkelpad Stirs the Schools’.
A tiny house with little lamplights houses the detailed traditional marionettes of childhood. Out The Box has had so many unexpected surprises, with so many new things, new experiments, that I have managed to forget the very first puppet creations. The grown-ups out-numbered the children by a few, but that strange transition from outer grown-up [...] Read more – ‘LA PLAZA: SIMPLE MARIONETTE MAGIC’.
- by Yazeed Kamaldien Learners from a range of schools across Cape Town have been engaging with Out the Box festival where they have participated in various workshops and welcomed a jolt of entertainment with open arms. The festival’s school programme coordinator Tahirih Cook said that 41 schools and a few children’s homes have [...] Read more – ‘Puppet storytelling entertains school learners’.
- by Yazeed Kamaldien You may have seen these posters around town… Or this banner when heading down Orange Street on your out of town… Well, come on over to Out the Box festival happening at UCT’s theatre school on Orange Street, the Labia cinema across the road from this theatre school or [...] Read more – ‘Follow the signs, find Out the Box festival’.
- by Yazeed Kamaldien The Handspring Awards are back this year and a total R35,000 prize money will be handed to artists on the closing night of Out the Box festival. The awards were launched last year at the Out the Box festival and there are five categories carrying a R7,000 prize for each winner. [...] Read more – ‘Handspring Awards prizes total R35,000 at Out the Box’.
(By Tarryn Saunders) The Moving Things programme offers a varied and exciting buffet of animated films. Unfortunately my first choice wasn’t the smartest one… Film is not my usual territory, so I caught 2 film fundis, including a real live animator with an Irish accent, and took them along to the Labia Cinema on [...] Read more – ‘Aardman’s Darkside disappointment’.
“Red/Ouma” as seen by Tarryn Saunders I don’t think that anything could prepare you for the unreal journey that you undertake as an audience member of Red. This is certainly theatre that transports you to a world beyond yourself. The beginning is startling enough, when a cape- clad “Karlie” meets you at the foyer, [...] Read more – ‘RICHLY DARK MEMORIES BREAK FREE IN OUMA’S HOUSE’.
The message to take an active role in preserving the natural order of the earth is an urgent one. The Last Man Standing opens with a masked figure, whom I presume to be the Last Man, sitting at a table and writing a letter to express his environmental concerns. Puppets populate his flashback to the time [...] Read more – ‘“THE LAST MAN STANDING” IS NO JOY TO SIT THROUGH’.
A twelve storey granny is on the loose, so Carla Lever thought she'd get up close and personal to find out what the fuss was about. Not to give the game away, but after a good look at this ouma, she thinks she might have found her family festival favourite. Read more – ‘Coppen Creates the Perfect Mix’.
- by Yazeed Kamaldien We went behind the scenes during rehearsals for the opening night show of the Out the Box festival. Special guest performer Gcina Mhlope – a renowned South African storyteller – added a burst of energy to mixture of characters and voices. Director Lara Bye seemed to have a blast. And everyone [...] Read more – ‘Backstage and rehearsal for Out the Box opening night show’.
- by Yazeed Kamaldien Out the Box opening night (Saturday, September 3) was a gathering of talent and celebration. It went down at the Little Theatre located at UCT’s drama school on Orange Street in Cape Town. The opening performance was directed by Lara Bye who selected snippets and a collection of characters from various [...] Read more – ‘Opening night of Out the Box Festival’.
- By Yazeed Kamaldien A mermaid, a two-faced woman, a giraffe and a few other very tall, colourful and commanding puppets walked through the streets of Observatory suburb in Cape Town to launch Out the Box Festival on Saturday, September 2. The puppets were from Unima SA and its artists and they were accompanied by [...] Read more – ‘Puppet walk launches Out the Box festival’.
Tarryn Saunders finds out what on earth an Engineering student is doing as an intern in the world of puppetry By day, Daniel Martin slaves away at the drawing board doing endless calculations to graduate as an electro- mechanical engineer. By night (well, mostly daytime actually), he interns with Janni Younge at Handpsring Puppet Company. [...] Read more – ‘TESLA COILS AND HANDSPRINGS’.
Environmental consciousness has taken root at Prince George Primary School where theatre is leading learners on a mission to protect trees. Learners have gained conservation tips and subsequently teamed up with the UK-based Libellule Theatre company to produce a stage play called ‘PopArt’ for Out The Box festival. Read more – ‘PopArt: when green activists meets theatre’.
Carla Lever doesn't believe in ghosts. She's not completely certain about the undead, though, which is how she ended up spending a rather nervous night under a bridge in Claremont with the cast of 'Madame Touxflouwe'. Read more – ‘Things That Go Bump in the Box’.