Cape Town Fringe: It’s a wrap, with awards and Prettina poetry

Klara and Buhle make pretty.
Klara and Buhle make pretty.

THREE weeks is what it takes to form a habit, apparently. Cape Town Fringe was just four days short. 17 days guys. Yoh! Long enough for us to have to endure withdrawal.

A couple of morning sleep-ins are called for. Lucky us Capetonians don’t really have day jobs, so we can do that.

The techies can’t though. They have to strike the entire venue and although there’re no awards for them, they get Gold. Make that double Gold. Thanks guys. You’re rock solid.

This edition of fringe is a milestone. Three years ago the City of Cape Town committed to three years of funding to check if this whole gig would work out. I think NAF and the artists have proved that it does, and must continue. Not sure what the funding plan is for next year and so forth (I almost wrote ‘going forward’, such is the insiduous nature of corporate speak), but we’ll be asking Tony about that (the tall ginger who has been hanging around the Fringe Club – NAF CEO Tony Lankester).

There’s been quite a few developments this year. Guest artistic director Rob Murray managed to convince a couple of Cape Town Fringe’s most vociferous critics to come on board, and they’ve done some great work. NAF also listened to the criticism voiced over the last two years and have broadened the audience exposed to fringe shows by partnering with the Makukhanye Art Room in Khayelitsha, the Delft Black Box Theatre, Theatre in the Backyard and Guga S’thebe in Langa.

They’ve also taken shows to schools as well as busing school kids in, helping to develop much-needed future audiences.

Cape Town Fringe has been invited into the ranks of the World Fringe Alliance, so that along with the fringe in Grahamstown, that makes two SA fringes in the alliance of ten which includes Hollywood, New York, Amsterdam, Prague, Brighton, Edinburgh, Perth and Adelaide. This means local theatremakers have a door to a global audience. It’s up to them if they want to step up and step through.

Of course this has “delighted” the City authorities. Whether it will reduce the red tape and hoops the City puts in the way of economy and tourism-boosting events such as the Fringe is not something we’re holding our breath for.

There is also the inaugral partnership with the Buskers Festival which unfortunately took place at that shrine to Mammon called the V&A Waterfront, but is a great initiative nonetheless. We could do with top quality busking to brighten up our streets and wash away the memory of City goons beating on blind busker Linda Goodman Nono and smashing his guitar in St George’s Mall in July 2013. Nono was awarded R300 000 by the courts for that incident so he was at least able to buy himself a new guitar.

That’s worth celebrating.

Celebrating a successful third Cape Town Fringe is also called for, which hundreds of fuken amazing theatremakers did at the Fringe Club at City Hall last night where awards were handed out by Prettina de Jager (Klara van Wyk) and Buhle Ngaba. Prettina was dressed in a pink meringue with platform takkies and Ngaba in a flannel pyjama. Nice.

Prettina even got poetic. Here’s the poem to all fringe artists penned by Brighton Fringe head honcho Julian Caddy:

Why do we do this?
What the Hell are we doing here anyway?

The risks are enormous
The hours are ridiculous
The pay is hilarious
The rewards are as rare as

Unicorns, or Successful Arts Council applications

But that doesn’t stop us
There is no logic to us
Living the dream but penniless
Alcohol and hubris nourish us

Not a pension between us
People with ‘real’ jobs look at us
Curious, even jealous
Thinking one day to join us

We are the misfits, the dreamers, the fools, the risk takers
We are the actors, the dancers, the clowns, the mistake makers
We don’t care what people think
Yet we hang on every view, every review
Every gig, every promise, every pay check

The Fringe is our stage, our home, our battlefield
Clinging to the sound of applause, the smile of a child
Joy junkies surviving from hit to hit
Convincing ourselves we’re not actually shit

But we’re here.

Open, exposed, frightened, empowered
Questioning, doubting, believing, proud
We are you and you are us
We are the Fringe circus

Run away with us.

Now that just brings a tear to the eye, nê?

As for the winners in the Fresh Fringe awards, the artists were biting their nails in anticipation.


So here you are, for the record:


International – Police Cops

Local – Dangled


Gold – Thando Doni – Director – Ubuze Bam

Silver – Alan Parker – Choreographer – Sacre for One

Bronze – Jason Jacobs – Director – Stof Rooi


Gold – Fabric of the Universe

Silver – #Ballet Must Fall

Bronze – You Suck and Other Inescapable Truths


David Viviers – The Finkelsteins are Coming to Dinner


Gold – Mzaki and the Golden Circle

Silver – Fish Wives

Bronze – Nombasa


There is no outright winner in this category and it envisioned as being an ongoing Roll of Honour hosted  online which inspires companies to be included on it for future endeavours

Theatre in the Back Yard

Theatre Arts Admin Collective

Makukhanye Arts Room

Ubuntu Arts Academy


Well done to all you FFFs (Fuken Fantastic Fringers). Catch you later.


*Initial publication had The Finkelsteins are Coming to Dinner listed as The Finkelsteins are Dead. They’re not. We also deleted a para. Sorry about that.

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