Fest off t o wet s tart
‘Everything is running smoothly’ — Festival director
The Witne ss YESTERDAY’S wet and chill y weather f ailed t o dampen the spirit s of those w ho turned out t o enjoy the feast of theatre, music and art on off er at The Witness Hilton Arts Festival.
The Grolsch Marquee w as buzzing with f estivalgoers enjoying the live music on off er and the chance t o get out of the drizzl y r ain.
At the bo x offic e the s taff had a bus y day dealing with people w ho w ere either collecting or booking tickets for shows and during the da y the v enues around the Hilton College campus were full to capacity with the 1 300 J ongosi p articipants fr om high schools ar ound the pr ovince.
On Thursday nearly 800 primary school pupils enjoyed a number of childfriendly performances as p art of the J ongosi pr ogramme.
Festival dir ector Sue Clar ence said the y were hoping t o be able t o incr ease pupil number s t o 1 500 f or primary schools and 2 000 f or high schools in 2015 .
“We would lik e t o ha ve childr en funded b y a sponsor t o be her e ne xt y ear,” she added.
“Everything is running really smoothly thanks to our cr ackerjack technical teams. We are really happy with the ne w ticketing system and are expecting a bumper cr owd t omorrow.”
Among those enjo ying the f estival was Hilton resident Wendy Line, who popped into the festival yesterday to take a look at the various exhibitions by artis ts and cr afters.
Another Hilton resident, Fiona DunstonSmith, told Weekend Witness, while waiting to go and see Tim Plewman in Designer Genes XXL: “I have been coming t o the f estival e very single y ear sinc e it started.”
Enjoying the live music yesterday evening were Ro Bennett, Gael Muir and Wendy Erasmus, who travelled to the Midlands from Mtunzini in Zululand.
They said they were looking forward to watching The Witness flagship production, Six Dance Le ssons in Six Weeks, the hilarious Dur ban comedy, Dear Breeder, and the stage adaptation of Paul Gallico’s The Snow Goose, as well as the music of Maritzburg pianis t Chris topher Duig an.
The festival also got the stamp of approval from high school pupils, including C ole Meaker, from Hillcrest, a f orm three pupil at Hilt on College.
After watching Woza Albert!, The Snow Goose and his favourite, Designer Genes XXL, yesterday, he said: “It’s brilliant to have all these shows because we don’t often get to see theatre. It’s nice that the y c ome t o us.” • Find out mor e about the f estival at www.hiltonfestival.co.za
Pianist Chris topher Duigan, artis ts Siyabonga Sik osana and He ather Conynham and festival dir ector S ue Clarence at the opening o f the Chemspec Persepective e xhibition at Hilton Arts F estival.