Hilton Arts Festival online treats

Samantha Peo (third from left) as she appeared as Velma Kelly in the 2019 international touring production of Chicago. Peo will chair a discussion as part of the 2020 Hilton Arts Festival online programme, A Celebration of the Arts.


FREE online entertainment is to be provided by the organisers of the annual Hilton Arts Festival which, due to COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, will not be held this year, as usual, at Hilton College.

A highlight will be a free, Absa-sponsored, streamed performance by top actors Fiona Ramsay and Graham Hopkins. They star in Green Screen, about two actors, a married couple in late middle-age, who film a TV ad for a retirement estate. On the surface, Sandra and James are the archetypal retirees, who have lived a thoroughly respectable and unexceptional life. But are they?

Directed by Bobby Heaney, this piece has been created to celebrate the arts with the Hilton Arts Festival.

“This is the time of year when people are normally planning their trip to the festival – what to see, where to stay and how to cope with the unreliable weather. This year the challenges are different! The management team has put together a Celebration of the Arts for you to watch from the comfort of your own home,” says festival organiser Sue Clarence, who adds that festival dates next year will be September 10 to 12.

From September 11 this year, all one needs to do to access various arts treats is to log on to www.hiltonfestival.co.za and decide what to watch.

Fiona Ramsay, who stars alongside Graham Hopkins, in Green Screen, to be streamed free from September.

Among options will be @Artify – a new ecommerce art gallery allowing a tour of the boardrooms of Absa; to get a peep at the African Art Collection housed there, or watch a workshop with Marco Cianfenelli, the sculptor who created the magnificent structure the Mandela Capture Site.

“Are you wondering about a post-Covid world where nothing is as it was? How will you create a new life? Tune into a dynamic panel discussion: Creativity: Future Proof your Existence. Chaired by the glamorous Samantha Peo, the event will feature panellists Ismail Mahomed, Neil Coppen, Kanchana Moodliar and Keke Chele. Again, free to the viewer, thanks to Absa,” says Clarence.

Also on offer will be the Absa-sponsored, free opportunity to watch South African actor-playwright, Paul Slabolepszy, with director Bobby Heaney and actors Lesedi Job and Anthony Coleman, rehearsing Slabolepszy’s new play, Borderline, and discussing the rehearsal process.

There will also be a selection of 21 varied entertainment options for which tickets must be bought. Among them is Pieter-Dirk Uys’s Unmasking Evita and Pieter-Dirk Uys Says Hello Darling.  Other highlights include Ian von Memerty presenting Prince of the Piano and Alan Committie’s No Contact Comedy and Streaming with Laughter.  All these shows are individually ticketed.

“Should you wish to make a donation to the Hilton Arts Festival in order to ensure the future of the arts in KZN, please be generous. Details will be on the website from September 11,” says Clarence.

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