Award-winning trio of productions head for WITS 969

Author: JT Comms
Date: 30 Aug 2011


WITS 969 – named for the distance in kilometres between Grahamstown and Johannesburg – is presented by Wits Theatre as part of the 2011 Joburg Arts Alive International Festival. It is renowned for offering theatre fans in Joburg the opportunity to experience the best of the National Arts Festival, right in their hometown.

This year, WITS 969 runs from September 21st to 30th at the Wits Theatre Complex on the Wits East Campus, giving Joburgers a chance to experience three productions that helped turn the 2011 National Arts Festival into such a success.

Flicker, directed and co-created by Gerard Bester and performed and co-created by Andrew Buckland, Craig Morris and Athena Mazarakis is on at the Wits Downstairs Theatre from September 21st to 30th.

Flicker comes from the same artistic team responsible for the award-winning Attachments nos 1-7 – this time with Bester, Morris and Mazarakis, joined by the award-winning Andrew Buckland. Already having played to capacity houses at the National Arts festival, Flicker explores the notion of ‘loss’ through a playful exploration of the disappearances that happen in people’s daily lives. This is conveyed through the interplay between the projected video presence of Buckland and the live performance of Mazarakis and Morris.

Flicker was first presented by the National Arts Festival, Grahamstown.

Directed by Fred Abrahamse from an adaptation by Joe Calarco, Shakespeare’s R&J has been described by the press as “very powerful” and “one of the most engrossing love stories ever to grace the South African stage”. Featuring performances by Marcel Meyer, James MacGregor, Rory Acton Burnell and Alistair Moulton Black, Shakespeare’s R&J plays at the Wits Main Theatre from September 21st to 30th.

The play is set in a Catholic boarding school during the 1950s, when four pupils discover an illicit copy of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and start acting it out. Perceptions and understandings are turned upside down as the fun of play- acting turns serious and the words and meanings begin to hit home and universal truths emerge.

Completing the line-up of must-see productions is Big Boys Don’t Dance, which was described by the official National Arts Festival publication, The Cue as a “South African version of The Hangover meets Flashdance with all the technical perfection of a Broadway musical”.

The sold-out show is directed and choreographed by Vanessa Harris and performed by Ash Searle and Bradley Searle and is suitable for theatregoers of diverse ages. The show sees these two real-life Pretoria brothers, Ash and Brad, set the stage alight using witty physical comedy, phenomenal dance talent and ingenious scripting. From late 80s Hip Hop to Kwaito, Dirty Dancing to the Shuffle, the dance takes this brilliant comedy play to new levels of entertainment.

With three theatre productions of this calibre, WITS 969 2011 yet again makes it easy for Joburg-based theatre fans to experience the best of the National Arts Festival in their own city.


Booking and show details below:



Wits Downstairs Theatre

21-30 September 2011


Running Time: 50 min

Tickets: R70 full price, R45 for students at the door (Witstix R10 on 21 September 2011)

For a discounted price pre-book on strictlytickets.com


Shakespeare’s R&J

Wits Main Theatre

21 September-30 September


Running Time: 140 min including interval

Tickets: R70 full price, R45 for students at the door (Witstix R10 on 21 September 2011)

For a discounted price pre-book on strictlytickets.com


Big Boys Don’t Dance

Wits Amphitheatre

21 September-30 September


Running Time: 60 min

Tickets: R70 full price, R45 for students at the door (Witstix R10 on 21 September 2011)

For a discounted price pre-book on strictlytickets.com

For media interviews, please contact Andrea Botha or Hlumisa Mbanga on (011) 788 7631 or info@jtcomms.co.za

Issued on behalf of the University of the Witwatersrand by JT Communication Solutions.

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