Clover Aardklop National Arts Festival celebrates the theatre greats

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In Schalk Schoombie’s Liefde, Anna the focus falls on the formidable Anna Neethling-Pohl. She was not only one of the big names in Afrikaans theatre history, but also a mentor/teacher for many. Sandra Prinsloo – one of her students at the time at the University of Pretoria – steps into the shoes of the late Tant Anna.

Audiences will have the rare opportunity to see the celebrated veteran actor Cobus Rossouw on stage in Marthinus Basson’s Kind Hamlet. The death of acclaimed playwright Reza de Wet earlier this year is commemorated with a production of Op dees aarde (one of her earlier dramas and part of the Free State Trilogy). The cast includes Wilna Snyman and Joanie Combrink.

Op dees aarde

The political satire Ubu en die Secrecy Bill is testament to exciting new Stellenbosch talent, with contemporary Christiaan Olwagen as director. As a bonus there will be two performances of Woza Andries?! – one of the first productions of the young actors that drew attention. Other productions that will premiere at Clover Aardklop are Nagwond­ from the team of ...miskien­­­ with Tara Notcutt as director; Bloed with Stephanie Hough, Vicky Stemmet and Lulu Botha; and Die ware verhaal van Cornia Koekemoer en Botha Botha Botha in which the TV characters take to the stage.


Athol Fugard’s 80th birthday is celebrated with the first professional production of Master Harold en die boys in Afrikaans; Henry Mylne directs Huis toe – a translation of Nobel prize-winner Harold Pinter’s The Homecoming; and Deon Opperman’s Sweet Sorrows becomes Bittersoet with Elsabé Daneel portraying various female characters. These three productions will also have their first performances at the festival.


Prize-winning productions from other festivals include Nicola Hanekom’s new site-specific Babbel, which won numerous prizes at the Absa KKNK; Wessel Pretorius’ Ont-, winner of the prize for the best production at the Woordfees; and a new take on Chris Barnard’s Die rebellie van Lafras Verwey, winner of three Fleur du Caps.

Die rebellie van Lafras Verwey

Actors flying solo are Margit Meyer-Rödenbeck (Dowwe Dolla dink diep), Nicola Hanekom (Hol), Marion Holm (Holmakiesie), Sandra Prinsloo (Oskar en die pienk tannie), Bettie Kemp (TaMiem van Swellendam), Marlo Minnaar (...Af), Neels Clasen (Annale van ’n windgat), Coba-Maryn Wilsenach (Medea), and David Butler (in Die Bram Fischer-wals and A Teacher in the Bushveld).

Festivalgoers can also look forward to Mafeking Road – Herman Charles Bosman for the new generation; Die vrou vantevore with Brümilda van Rensburg at her best; Dit voel leeg (as die hart weg is, maar nou is dit alright) with Kim Cloete; Dorings en rose (written by Ben Kruger); Magnet Theatre’s new jewel, Kragbox, with Ephraim Gordon and Dann-Jaques Mouton; the frenetic comedy N is vir neurose; Schalk Schoombie’s psychological thriller Risiko; Milan Murray and Marcel van Heerden in PG du Plessis’ Teerling; and Voor ek vergeet with Amanda Strydom and Hannes van Wyk.

As usual the ATKV-tienertoneel: Finaal is a showcase for budding talent. A variety of Afrikaans comedians can be seen in Slaggat and Gatslag, the latter aimed at more mature audiences.

The Clover Aardklop National Arts Festival in Potchefstroom runs from 2 to 7 October. The programme is available on and bookings can be made through Computicket.

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