With a fresh new focus, the Cape Town Fridge will be opening on 21 September this year and is “staying relevant by going local”, according to Executive Producer Ashraf Johaardien.
Organisers and independent theatres across the City have been working hand in hand to present an innovative and creative body of work. The Fringe will be putting theatre at the centre of the Cape’s communities by expanding to 14 performance spaces in the Cape Town metropolitan area, while giving audiences and artists the opportunity to expand their horizons.
This year venues include the Makukhanye Art Room in Khayelitsha, Zolani Centre in Nyanga, the CBD’s Alexander Bar and Little Theatre, Theatre Arts Admin in Woodstock, the Delft Black Box and Alma Café in Rondebosch.
Johaardien says the Fringe has created a ‘hyper local’ model that have given rise to new partnerships between theatre makers, producers, venues and the Cape Town Fringe.
“We’ve spent a lot of time listening to the arts community and have developed a collaborative approach to programming the Fringe that manages to keep the programme fresh and exciting while also creating opportunities to view our world through a lens of authenticity,” he says.
“There is a huge appetite for theatre in Cape Town and there are lots of producers, artists and venue owners and administrators who are working hard to create work and space for it. By its very nature, fringe theatre is edgy independent and groundbreaking. In working with these small theatres this year, we feel the fringe concept in truly being realised.”
The festival is the newest member of the prestigious World Fringe Alliance, receiving a record of 268 submissions this year of which a third have been matched to venues and will be presented as 80 productions throughout three weeks across theatre, dance, music, comedy, illusion with a range of genre-busting works in between. The programme also includes a family theatre, running during the school holidays.
The City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security (Events), Alderman JP Smith, says the City supports the festival.
“The City of Cape Town is a proud supporter of the Fringe festival. I am amazed at how the festival has grown and developed in a short space of three years. It is quite a niche event that gives up and coming performers the platform to showcase their talent in the arts. Importantly, in a truly inclusive manner, it takes the theatre to the people by hosting performances at venues around the metro making the event accessible to even more communities. While our very own home-grown talent will dominate the festival, some international performers will form part of the mix. I urge our local artists to come out in their numbers and wow the audiences. This could be the big-break you have been waiting for.”