Fest off t o wet s tart

‘Ev­ery­thing is run­ning smoothly’ — Fes­ti­val di­rec­tor

Weekend Witness - - Ne Ws - ESTELLE SINKINS

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.

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