This year Wits Theatre’s 969 Festival celebrates its 14th birthday with music performances featuring some of South Africa’s greats between 14 – 30 July.
The 969 Festival is not only diverse in performance genres it also offers variety from all sides of the arts & culture spectrum, from theatre and dance to music.
To open the festival, the festival offers audiences some mellow, feel-good music to ease them into a hectic, culture-filled 2 weeks. Catch Dikelo & Bongile on the opening night with one performance only on July 14 and allow them to soothe the stressed-out work week away.
Something to get really excited about is Samthing Soweto performing on Thursday July 20 at 8pm in our Main Theatre. Hot off a record-breaking sell-out performance at The Soweto Theatre and with rave reviews at the National Arts Festival 2017, this multitalented singer, writer, composer and producer is ready to rock 969 with his experimental neo-jazz, alternative and acapella sounds.
Let There Be Music (July 25) is an epic musical celebration which is at once exciting and beautiful. The music in the production is drawn from genres around the world and performed by the award-winning hundred voices of the Hoerskool Randburg Choir with the highly acclaimed Majazi Ensemble.
What would any festival be without the likes of world-class musical veterans Steve Newman & Ashish Joshi. Newman is a master manipulator of the guitar strings, drawing on intricate flamenco melodies with remarkable ease, while Joshi compliments his style beautifully with the rhythmic beats of his table. This acclaimed duo close off the festival with a bang on July 30 at 4pm.
Then, for some gripping musical theatre, The Market Theatre Laboratory presents Hani, the story of Chris Hani’s life. This remarkable piece is inspired by the hit American musical, Hamilton. However, Hani is told through the contemporary song forms of hip-hop, rap and ballad by a dynamic and energetic young cast. Leila Henriques directs this lively yet meaningful production which was a 2017 Ovation winner at the National Arts Festival.
Offerings for kids
Since the festival falls right in the middle of government school holidays this year, there will be a fantastic choice of children’s theatre lighting up the stages at Wits. In addition to all the productions for kids, there will also be a selection of exciting plays perfect for the entire family to enjoy.
Children between the ages of 4 and 8 will be entranced by Space Rocks, a new play combining science, technology and mythology to create an innovative and playful theatrical experience about early childhood development and emotional growth.
Other shows include Jitterbugs, for the whole family while older primary school children will love Mainane! The delightful award-winning Rat Race is perfect for little kids. Our teen audiences will be enthralled by Insta-Grammar, a heart-wrenching love story in the whirlwind era of Instagram and Snapchat.
Tickets are available at www.webtickets.co.za or you can book online or through any Pick n Pay store. Even better, you can load your ticket on your Pick n Pay Smart Shopper card.
Tickets can also be purchased at Wits Theatre’s Box Office. Contact Yuhl on firstname.lastname@example.org / Bridget email@example.com for block bookings.
Wits Theatre Box office:
011 717 1381
Full price online – R75.00
Full price at Box office – R 80.00
Pensioner, Wits Staff and Student Discount online – R 60.00 on presentation of ID document or valid student card
Pensioner, Wits Staff and Student Discount Box office – R 65.00 (on presentation of ID document or valid student card
Online staff and public – R 50.00
Box Office staff and public – R 60.00
Online Students – R 40.00
Box Office students and block bookings – R 50.00 on presentation of ID document or valid student card
No WSOA passes accepted