It’s touching, hilarious and exciting watching the NAF get into their groove far, far out from their comfort zone.
I got the tour. City Hall, acres of grand olde space meets the bunting fairie lights, the Jackson Pollock-splash logo.
Dudes in climbing helmets and harnesses stepping out the clunky little grill-door lift, and funky, weather-proofed arts lovers take the majestic marbled staircase.
This is not your over-designed glass and metal sustainable feel-good space. This is better: its’s old, high-ceilinged splendour meets upscaled, retro-fit theatre. Even Lankester looks gritty today in his sublime eirie office where the NAF crew have set up simple tables and bedecked the walls with highly-organised printouts of schedules.
It’s humble and humbling, but you know, I get the feeling that NAF is relishing the out-there gamble of it all. There’s even a wall smashed with posters.
Cape Town city has opened it’s space and added some hearty décor with letterset signage, smart blue drywalling. It’s kooky, fresh, honest and genuine.
How symbolic to see Gilly Hemphill, that warm, ever-glamorous media manager sitting at a thick-legged but small table on a plastic chair dwarfed by an enormous high-ceiling and eight other empty tables. Her first billet, so echoey we can hardly hear a word.
The Fringe Club is a Long Table already in the making and the fringe theatre family is gathering to make it noisy and divinely infamous.
The big question is no matter how many eff-ups and gremlins in the system, will Cape Town’s arts community find its rough genius to their liking?