Platteland Preview

At the heart of this annual fest you’ll find artists taking their productions to the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown. We invite them to showcase their work here en route as a final rehearsal and the Platteland Preview is the result: a feast of drama, music, comedy, dance, poetry and visual art. Welcome!

A Successful Platteland Preview 2016

By Martin Booyens ~ Our Platteland Preview committee is always keen to get started on its feedback session as each year’s programme ends. The meeting is considered vital as the first step in planning for the following year. This year was no exception and so the 2016 committee went into session on 4 July, immediately after the end of another successful preview. Their aim is to see what lessons could be learned which would help in their planning for 2017. Not only is it useful to learn from any mistakes but the impressions and experience gained from committee members themselves as well...Read more

Another Good Year for Platteland Preview

Monday sees the formal ending of the hard work that went into arranging another successful Platteland Preview. Irene Swanepoel, popular chair of the organising committee, has called for a 4pm meeting at the Bowls Club. What is more she has issued an open invitation to all Smithfielders, whether or not they were actually involved in putting the successful event together, to come to the meeting.. The importance of the Monday meeting cannot be over-emphasised. It signals the need to get cracking on preparations for 2017. As is inevitably the case with functions of this importance, planning a...Read more

Lights! Action! Atmosphere! It’s all happening!

Smithfield’s very own Platteland Preview 2016 is here! Getting it all underway are pre-show cocktails followed by captivating music and song with Tonya Koenderman in "Born to Diva". Ahead of us is a great programme which promises to appeal to a wide audience, including as it does, not only fascinating theatre but also good eating and exhibitions of the type of art for which our town is well known. Congratulations to the people behind the Preview; the organising committee and the many individuals who have thrown themselves into the demanding job of bringing to fruition the idea...Read more

Platteland Preview 2016 Programme Grows

The line-up of performances accepted for this year’s Platteland Preview is virtually complete, with the organising committee confirming that show, Creature is now a certainty. The other shows, most of which we have already reported, are: OPENING NIGHT – Friday, 24 June Born to Diva , which opens the festival at the Red Barn features the “pint-size dynamo” Tonya Koenderman, known internationally as one of the hottest properties on the cabaret circuit. Playing at the high school, Lust is aimed at creating an awareness of the notorious Aids virus. Saturday At the Chapel...Read more

Another Three Platteland Preview Shows Tied Up

Platteland Preview 2016 comes closer to being a reality with the news that three more shows have been signed up for this hugely successful series of annual previews to the famous Grahamstown Festival. Following details of three shows we revealed last week , we can now add another three which have been confirmed: Ingrid … …Celebrates the life and work of acclaimed poet Ingrid Jonker. Described as mixed media theatre with image-driven scenes inspired by various Jonker texts, it is brought to life through mask work, puppetry and imagistic theatre techniques. A certain theatrical...Read more

The Preview 2016 Comes Together

The lively committee putting the Smithfield’s exciting annual Platteland Preview together, has tied up most of the acts to be performed in June ahead of the Grahamstown Festival. It is also hard at finalising all the peripheral details to ensure that this major project is even more successful than in the past few years. Preceding the show will be a cocktail party at the Red Barn celebrating the opening of another in the famously successful annual event. Born to Diva Opening proceedings at the Red Barn will be the widely acclaimed Tonya Koenderman, hailed by critics as “one of the...Read more

Platteland Preview 2016 call to Performers

THE Plattleland Preview festival in Smithfield, south east Free State, is calling for applications for the 2016 edition of the festival. Performing artists including musicians are invited to apply to be part of this exciting venture, 24 - 26 June 2016. What is the Platteland Preview? The tiny dorp of Smithfield lies half-way between Gauteng and Grahamstown, on the N6. It’s a convenient stop-over for audiences and performers headed to the National Arts Festival. We invite performers to break their journey here for a last technical rehearsal before arriving in Grahamstown. We provide free...Read more

Platteland Preview Experiences

by Barbara von Ahlefeldt ~ Rarely these days, given the economic situation, expensive long distance travel and the ever-rising cost of living, are we able to feel free to enjoy the privilege of theatre going. Here in Smithfield, however, we are afforded the exhilarating experiences each year at the end of June when we stage our very own Platteland Preview - plays being rehearsed for the famous Grahamstown Festival in July. In the 1960's when we lived in London we would take day-trips by rail to the Chichester Festival to enjoy experimental theatre with upcoming or famous actors. There,...Read more


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