All the Smithfield News

Record ticket sales for festival

Despite the unexpected and unseasonal (though always welcome) rain, Smithfield's Platteland Preview arts festival drew record audiences again this year. Here are the statistics: In 2013 we sold 250 tickets of which 50 were sponsored. In 2014 we sold 600 tickets of which 100 were sponsored. This year, 2015, we sold 900 tickets of which 300 were sponsored. That's 300 children who had never seen theatre before, getting to enjoy a show for the first time. Some of them had the extra fun of being able to see for themselves what goes into making a show. We thank all our sponsors, once again, for...Read more

Platteland Preview Workshop at Red Barn

by Thandi Novasi ~ 13yr. old Student at Relebohile Secondary School, Smithfield. After the really nice story dance show Once Upon a Fire, the actors - David, Sandile and Mike - asked us to stay for a workshop so that they could teach us how to act on a stage drama and how dance is involved in the drama. There was quite a crowd of us and at first, as we gathered in the hall, they asked us to dance. They said it was the best warm-up to do before starting. After the warm-up they asked us questions based on the play. I found them easy because we had watched the play. After everyone had answered...Read more

Local Arts Group

These are members of a group of art-minded young people from Mofulatshepe known as Modomo Unplug Theatre Productions which aims to encourage talent in all art form and provide outlets for such talent. Members get together regularly for workshops and discussions and believe they offer an important alternative for the young to indulge in such undesirable activities as involvement in drugs. Formed in 2012 by Lefu Lebohang Lekoala (seen here with the co-ordinator Thembile Rabela) the group has about 30 members and works across a wide range of art forms, including writing, drawing and music.Read more

Smithfield Museum

Smithfield Museum, Douglas Street, will be open on Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 from 09:00 until 14:00. Visitors Welcome.Read more

Children, enthralled, see theatre for the first time

The kids wriggled in their seats with delight: this was what they had all been looking forward to! Seated in the quadrangle of the Mofulatshepe primary school, hundreds of children watched a production of Die Ashoop Prinsessie on Friday morning, shouting answers to the actors, singing and dancing with pleasure. The play was about junk that had been thrown on the town scrap heap - but it was also about accepting differences and embracing them. It is one of several performances specially aimed at children, forming part of this year's programme. The Platteland Preview has a strong outreach...Read more

There's dancing in the streets ...

When the festival's free outdoor concert with MangaRimba kicked off this morning outside the DRC church hall, people quickly signed up to dance as well as listen. MangaRimba was a huge hit last year and it seems set to win just as many hearts this year, judging from the whistles, feet stomping and dancing in Smithfield's main street. You can see the band tonight again, as they will play a set before the festival's official opening show, We didn't come to hell for the croissants. Miss MangaRimba, and you miss a chance to keep warm and smile!Read more

Art exhibition opener kicks off festival weekend

Getting started early, Fresh Paint gallery kicked off the weekend's events on Thursday evening with its opening of a special exhibition of work by Koos Bronkhorst and Willem Pretorius. The gallery also displayed paintings by local artists Lynden Lund and Mbali Mfundo and photographs by gallery owner Greg May, who had his camera much in evidence during the opening. Seen here, festival director Irene Swanepoel with Neil Jardine who was taking a break from keeping kids in order. But you'll see him in a completely different light on Friday at 16:00 in Bell's Chapel when he stars in the festival's...Read more

'Quirky', 'mystical' shows bring this fest goer

What makes a South African academic with an international reputation - and a problem with the cold - persuade three of his buddies to pack up their warmest gear and schlepp all the way from Gauteng to Smithfield with him for the Platteland Preview? As you read this, Pierre Brouard, who heads the Centre for the Study of Aids at the University of Pretoria, and has an international reputation for his work on HIV-Aids, will be driving down to Smithfield with three friends for the weekend. Pierre is a long time friend of the festival and earlier this year he also grabbed the chance to help the...Read more

Best wishes for the festival from long-time backer, Martin Plaut

When the Platteland Preview was struggling to get off the ground, British journalist and writer, Martin Plaut came to the rescue: with a generous donation he helped the festival organisers pay for a performance that was specially staged for local school children. He was also one of many backers who contributed to the festival's Thundafund efforts earlier this year, to raise funds to stage the 2015 Platteland Preview. Not many Smithfield people may know this, but Martin also wrote about our festival in one of his popular, internationally-read blogs. Writing about South Africa in September last...Read more

Coming for the 'propvol' festival: Amanda Fitschen

While the festival committee adds finishing touches to the performance venues, our out of town audiences are starting their trek to Smithfield. One of the first to arrive will be Amanda Fitschen, economist from Pretoria, who gets in on Thursday afternoon, determined to beat the rush. She bought a house in Smithfield some years ago, "because it's so peaceful and safe; maybe I will even more there permanently at some stage." Amanda was one of the stalwarts who came to the very first festival. "I thoroughly enjoyed it and now it's an annual on my calender." This year's programme is once again "...Read more

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