From traditional music and crossing the rural-urban divide to gay stand-up and naked girls reading, productions on this year’s Cape Town Fringe cover a wide spectrum of the experience of being South African. Here’s a short guide to 13 exciting shows…

  1. ISMISM is an independent work Makukhanye Art Room directed by Lotanang Makoti and featuring Katharien De Villiers and Khayalethu Mofu which poses this intriguing questions as its premise: What is it in this -ISM? In being, existing?
  2. Iziqhamo Zobomi is the sound of untold stories told through a journey of music. The group’s melodic voices blends from soul, African, traditional and pop music. I-Liso Art Media is based in Khayelitsha.
  3. Gay Capetonian stand-up comedian Eugene (Gina) Mathews and lesbian Gautenger stand-up comedian Chantal (Jax) Venter join forces for Jax & Gina, the gayest stand-up comedy show in Africa where no topic is off limits…
  4. Jenny and the Jameses is a Celtic folk band comprising singer-songwriter Jennifer Eaves on lead vocals, guitar and piano, James Hall on violin and vocals, and multi-instrumentalist James Harvey on accordion, harp, flutes and vocals. Look forward to a high energy and deeply emotive Celtic folk experience.
  5. In Joe Ma Se BBQ South Africa’s American Joe Emilio talks about his experience of living in South Africa as a Texan. Joe takes everyday scenarios and flips things around for South Africans to see how confusing our country can be for foreigners.
  6. Let’s Eat Hair is an absurdist, word-fest by Carl Laszlo written in 1956. In this new adaptation, the dialogue is coupled with post-modern dance and a fresh interpretation of the text creates a new story that contemporary South African audiences can relate to.
  7. Momentum celebrates the vibe, energy and talent found at 34 degrees latitude and 18 degrees longitude. Fast paced modern movements with a vertical lift of ballet makes for an exciting local offering of pure dance.
  8. Naked Girls Reading is for everybody who has an appreciation for women, art and storytelling and is open to the magic that occurs when all those elements come together. (Due to nudity, this event is not suitable for anyone under the age of 18.)

    Iziqhamo Zobomi

    Exploring untold stories through music and song in Iziqhamo Zobomi

  9. Ndendile is that rare South African piece of theatre that bridges urban and rural traditions and, in so doing reflects the fact that, regardless of our origins, who we fall in love with is a matter of a heart not head.
  10. One Big Blink is a performance collage choreographed for two performers. Arising from an exchange between choreographer Moyikwa and Director Dubazane, it exposes the different sensibilities of these two artists, exploring the relationship between movement, image and performing bodies.
  11. Phefumla/To Breathe is a Norwegian-South African theatre production directed by Thando Doni, building on his previous acclaimed piece with ex-offenders, Ubuze Bam. The work has been developed through a devised process with four young men who have been involved or affected by Cape Town’s gang culture.
  12. Following a sell-out run at the 2017 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, multi-awardwinning comedy trio The Pretend Men bring their critically acclaimed theatrical blockbuster Police Cops in Space to South Africa – sequel to the 2016 Cape Town Fringe and 2017 National Arts Festival smash hit, Police Cops.
  13. Pop-up Improv: ImproGuise brings its special brand of outrageous, unmissable theatre made-up on the spot, to their favourite theatre, the Alexander Bar.

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