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Nieu Bethesda Events


2010 Fugard Festival
2010 Fugard Festival
23 Sep 10 - 26 Sep 10
Several venues around Nieu Bethesda -
Arts & culture


We are glad to announce that Nieu Bethesda will be hosting the second Fugard Festival to honour one of the world's greatest playwrights. With the financial support of our sponsors the Nieu Bethesda Arts Festival Association is in the position to present an even better and bigger 2010 Festival. Not only will Nieu Bethesda introduce a unique STREET ART competition in the village, but Athol Fugard himself has donated a trophy and cash prize for the best amateur theatre performance during the Festival. Judges’ names to be advised.

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Nieu Bethesda is known for many things but the most outstanding is the Owl House of Helen Martins made known to the world by Athol Fugard with his play “The Road to Mecca”. Nine of his plays were either written in Nieu Bethesda or are based in Nieu Bethesda. The 2010 Fugard Festival boasts with 6 plays, including 5 Fugard plays and the the hilarious locally produced play Hotel Paradiso. For the not so ‘play-crazy’ crowd there are seven music performances from the internationally acclaimed pianist Christopher Culpo, Lize Beekman, Anton Goosen, Andre Swiegers, Ha!man to our own Emma Haines not to mention Boudine Groenewald and Karien Vandoolaghe.

Ticket sales open July 2010. Be sure not to miss this event - the biggest Fugard celebration in the world and the only place where you can see so many Fugard plays in one festival.

Fugard Festival 2010

Victoria by Athol Fugard

Stellenbosch University’s Drama Department proudly presents the first Afrikaans production of Victory, by Athol Fugard. This production takes a hard look at the life and struggles of young brown South Africans from rural areas who cannot foresee hope for the future. In classical Fugard style the drama comments honestly on the current state of our social relationships and moral standards, how we misunderstand each other and so doing are too late in recognizing our shared pain and fears.

Victoria was translated by Idil Sheard of Nieu Bethesda. The production Victoria, is directed by Zoettje Hofmeyr and stars Pierre Nelson, Simone Benjamin and Ruan Cornelissen.

Friday, 23 September and Saturday, 24 September at 16h00 at the VGK. Duration: 90 minutes

Fugard Festival 2010

Met Kerslig na Mecca deur Athol Fugard

Met kerslig na Mecca (The road to Mecca) is ook vertaal deur Idil Sheard. Yvonne Batista gaan ons weereens vereer met haar teenwoordigheid in die rol van Helen, waarvoor sy al vantevore bekroon is.

The road to Mecca het nie net Helen Martins se werk aan die wereld bekend gestel nie, maar ook Nieu Bethesda wereldwyd bekend gemaak. Nieu Bethesda en Helen Martins is so in mekaar verweef dat die een nie sonder die ander sou bestaan nie en dus ‘n moet is vir enige fees wat op Nieu Bethesda opgevoer word.

Fugard Festival 2010

Playland by Athol Fugard

The University of the Orange Free State will, under the direction of Thys Heydenrych, bring this Fugard play to the Festival. This amusement park will be remembered by supporters when they were children in Port Elizabeth and the play is as relevant to today’s theatre goers as it was when it was first performed …. maybe more so.

Playland is a two-hander set on New Year's Eve 1990. This was a critical point in South African history and Fugard uses two characters, one Black and one White, to symbolise the years of Apartheid and the hope that is developing in the new South Africa. Like so much of the playwright's work, this is set in the Karoo. Playland is an opportunity for the white ex-army officer and the black handyman to get together and talk about life and death. It soon becomes clear that for each of them, the latter is far more significant.

Friday, 23 September and Saturday, 24 September at 10h00 at the VGK. Duration 80 minutes

Fugard Festival 2010

Hotel Paradiso by Georges Feydeau

George Feydeau’s 19th century farce, about two would-be adulterous lovers who try — with disastrous results — to have an illicit tryst at a nearby hotel.

Dusty Kenyon and a substantial cast wil provide entertainment seldom experienced in small towns with this French farce. Actors David Langmead and Martin Haines who will be remembered with glee from last year’s.Langenhoven extract at the festival will also be in this well known comedy.

Thursday (23/9) 14h00 and Sunday (26/9) 10h00 at the Kerksaal (Duration 120 minutes)

Fugard Festival 2010

Christopher Culpo

Christopher Culpo, internationally acclaimed pianist and composer, will be performing at the Fugard Festival. The music of Christopher Culpo is diverse; it has its place in the world of dance and the theatre as well as the club and the concert hall. As performer and composer he moves from contemporary classical music to jazz and free improvisation. Culpo performs regularly in solo, and in various formations with different artists. Over the past 5 years Culpo has released three albums: Portrait in Black & White with saxophonist Jean Charles Richard, Love & Bananas Are Here with the Culpo/Richard/Herbert Trio and the newly released Fresh Frozen with clarinettist/saxophonist Achille Succi and tubist Oren Marshall (available for download at El Gallo Rojo records)

Saturday (25/9) 18h00 in Bruce se Voorkamer

Fugard Festival 2010

Francois le Roux

The HA!Man (Francois le Roux) is a spontaneous cellist, creating music that fuses his classical background with Africa and the world. An independent artist, he performs globally, records prolifically and gives inspirational workshops to all ages. His rare skills as an improvisor are well respected in South Africa, where he is based. Francois will be performing in the Nieu Bethesda Church using the church organ - something he wanted to do for a while. For more information on HA!MAN visit his website.

Friday (24/9) 18h00 at the Tennis Club

Fugard Festival 2010

People are Living There by Athol Fugard

Anex Theatre Productions, under the direction of Margot Wood, will stage “People are living there”.

This is a touching and passionate play which tells the extraordinary story of an ordinary woman as she reveals the sadness and frustration of her life. Millie, the feisty and volatile landlady of an old, sleazy boarding house, is dumped by her lover on her fiftieth birthday. She is determined both to have her revenge and to celebrate - even if it kills her - and she persuades her downbeat lodgers to join her in a painteresque birthday party which none of them will ever forget.

The play is set in Millie`s boarding house in Braamfontein and deals with the characters` existential fears and their anguish at the thought of being forgotten.

The production stars Margot Wood as Millie; Dawie Fourie as Don; Shedrick Jacobs as Shorty and Alicia Daniels as Sissie.

Fugard Festival 2010

Post Script

The Waterfront Theatre School is proud to present Post Script, an exercise for actors.

Using the style of similar exercises used by Fugard, Post Script tells a story of hope for a new generation of young South Africans.

Drawing on key images and themes from a range of his plays - including Master Harold and the Boys, My Children! My Africa!, Orestes and The Drummer amongst others - Post Script examines a world where one oscillates between hope and despair but ultimately makes the choice to define one's own destiny for hope.

The text is a collection of Fugard pieces reconfigured to create a whole new message for our younger generation. It confirms how relevant and resonant Fugard's voice is for our time.

Facilitated by renowned director Paul Griffiths - the cast will include a cross section of students from The Waterfront Theatre College and will be developed through a similar process of workshopping as defined by Fugard in some of his writing!

Friday (24/9) 14h00 and Saturday (25/9) 14h00 at the Kerksaal Duration 60 minutes)

Fugard Festival 2010

Andre Swiegers

André Swiegers is ‘n bekende in die Suid Afrikaanse musiekbedryf. Hy het veral bekendheid verwerf met sy treffer ‘Blou’ (wat deur Riana Nel opgeneem is), asook die Coleske Broers se treffer ‘Take me where the sun is shining’. Na ‘n afwesigheid van 8 jaar op die verhoog is hy terug en het onlangs sy nuutste cd Bakhandmaan bekend gestel.

Volg gerus die volgende skakel.

Thursday (23/9) 20h00 at the Tennis Club

Fugard Festival 2010

Lize Beekman

After a magical performance during the 2009 Fugard Festival and due to popular demand, Lize Beekman will once again be back on our stage. Lize is one of the most respected and loved female artists in the South African music industry. Her lyrics and melodies have crept deep into the hearts of her fans, always bringing them back for more. A performance highly recommended!

Head to Nieu Bethesda and listen to the soothing sounds of singer and songwriter Lize Beekman, live at the Nieu Bethesda Theatre on Saturday 25 September 2010.

Saturday (25/9) 20h30 at the Tennis Club

Fugard Festival 2010

Klavier Duo

Karien Vandoolaeghe en Boudine Groenewald het vriendinne geword toe hul saam musiekonderwyseresse by Wynberg Girls High School was. Albei het hul musiekgrade en nagraadse kwalifikasies met uitstekende resultate behaal. Die afgelope aantal jare woon beide op Stellenbosch en het besluit om hul individuele klavieroptredes te kombineer in 'n duet en tree nou gereeld in konserte op.

Samespel is vir hulle en ook vir hul luisteraars 'n dubbele vreugde. Vir hierdie geleentheid konsentreer hul hoofsaaklik op musiek uit die Klassieke en Romantiese periodes. Veral as gevolg van die emosionele komponent van laasgenoemde tydperk word 'n wye spektrum van stemminge aangebied.

Saturday (25/9) 14h00 in Bruce se Voorkamer

Fugard Festival 2010

Emma Haines

Emma Haines, a talented young singer from Nieu Bethesda will present her debut concert singing some of her favourite songs including music from the recent and popular ‘Afri-frans ‘ show.

Martin Haines will also feature on vocals, accompanied by Alet Kingwill on piano.

Saturday (25/9) 12h00 in Bruce se Voorkamer

Fugard Festival 2010

Anton Goosen

Dit is die een naam wat geen bekendstelling nodig het nie. Anton het meer suksesvolle liedjies (treffers) agter sy naam as enige ander Suid-Afrikaanse sanger. Sy liedjies sluit in Boy van die suburbs, Byeboerwa en Simone.

Friday (24/9) 20h00 at the Tennis club

Fugard Festival 2010

“Master Harold and the Boys” by Athol Fugard

“In this emotionally charged, partly autobiographical play Fugard, the master playwright, turns a critical eye on his own childhood, and his relationship with two black servants at the St George’s Park tearoom where his mother worked and where he often used to go after school. The schoolboy Hally (Master Harold) is played by the highly experienced young actor, Cameron Robertson, while Gift Buqa plays the wise and world-weary Sam, and Phambili Ngcayisa takes on the part of the less sophisticated, uneducated Willie, who sparks much of the humour in the play and helps to dissipate the tension at crucial moments.

This is an extremely tense, dramatic work that can’t help but draw its viewers into the capsule world of the tiny tearoom, the rain falling steadily outside on a weekday afternoon in 1950.

Under Rother’s direction, the cast of three acquit themselves wonderfully, their love of the work obvious as the drama builds” (The Harold 10/5/10)

Presented by the Rother-Swain Studio with Gift Buqa, Cameron Robertson and Phambili Ngcayisa. Directed by Sharon Rother.

Friday (23/9) and Saturday (24/9) 12h00 at the Marion McDonald Theatre (Duration 90 minutes)

“Meanings”- an exhibition by Dumisani Abraham Mabaso

Meanings by Dumisani Mabaso

A very exciting latecomer to this year’s exhibitions at the 2010 Absa Fugard Festival is top South African artist, Dumisani Mabaso. Mabaso’s work will be on display at Murrayfield’s barn daily from 9:00 to 17:00 and his will be the first opening on the “Galleries on the Wine Route”. Mabaso will also be artist in residence for the duration of the festival. The opening of Dumisani’s exhibition will be with Joubert Tradauw wines and a Belgium chocolate taste at 16:00 on Thursday, 23 September 2010.

Other galleries on the Wine Route

Galleries on the Wine Route

The opening of some of the other art exhibitions will also take place on Thursday afternoon. The “ware on earth” gallery opens its doors for the first time at 16:30 and is the second stop on the wine route. The Village Inn will be opening the “Canvas & Clay” exhibition of Volga White, Gerrie van Tonder, Charmaine Haines and Martin Haines at 17:00. A short stroll will take you to the opening of a contemporary art exhibition of Wilna Meiring and Dirkje Louw at 17:30. To round off the wine route the last stop is at the opening of the “Life aspects” exhibition at the Tennis Club18:00.


This coming weekend visitors to the Fugard Festival will have the opportunity to attend lectures by two outstanding speakers: one from the world of science and the other from an art background.

Dr Michael Jarvis, of the zoology department at UCT, who thrilled his audiences at last year’s festival, will again be present with new insights and stimulating ideas. Dr. Jarvis approaches the Christian beliefs of creation and the scientific proof of evolution with enlightening insights. Those who are prepared to get up a little early on a festival morning can look forward to more exciting biblical and scientific discoveries made by Dr Jarvis and presented in an entertaining way. Quantum Physics and the Timeless Dimension and Understanding the Theory of Evolution will be the titles of the talks in the Marianne McDonald Theatre delivered on 24 and 25 September respectively and both at 08h00 in the morning.

Anne Graaff was one of the early people who recognised the value of the work of Helen Martins at the Owl House and has helped to promote and preserve the work of ‘Miss Helen’ for a long time actively and by the publication of two books, The Owl House and Journey through the Owl House. Anne, who is an artist in her own right will give two lectures on Helen Martins and her work, A Touch of Immortality: Helen and her Far-seeing Owls on 24 September at 10h00 and The Whisperings of Many Voices: The Owl House and Creative Collaborations on 25 September at 10h00 both at The Owl House Foundation Conference Room.

Having attended these lectures visitors to the festival may feel the need to pay a(nother) visit to The Owl House and the James Kitching Fossil Exploration Centre next door.


Several venues around Nieu Bethesda

Common misspellings of Nieu Bethesda

In 1878, when the town was first formed, the name nu Bethesda was misspelt as "Nieu Bethesda". "New Bethesda" is also a popular spelling. The town has has more creative misspellings like: New, Nu, Nieuw, Niew, Bethesda, Betesda, Bathesda, Batesda, Bethesta, Betesta, Bathesta and Batesta.

For group bookings please contact us directly via email or telephone.

Contact us

   Martin Street, Nieu Bethesda
   Tel: 049 841 1642
   Fax: 049 841 1657


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