Darling’s Voorkamer Festival 2013 sees the festival celebrate its 10th year in operation. Based on the Dutch performing concept, the Voorkamer Festival is exactly that – the lounge festival! Performers are placed in various houses all over Darling, from manor houses to township houses, everyone is included. Taxis take the audience from house to house, 3 per route.
This year I managed to catch 2 routes, that is, 6 performances. From funny to quirky to brilliant to out right weird, there’s something for everyone at the Voorkamer Festival. Tannie Evita is nogal even there to sign autographs at the Peron as well as a Saturday night disco!
Anele Mhlahlo – a violinist from Imizamo Yethu, the township in Houtbay. I was initially hesitant to sit through 30 mins of violin because I did music in high school – I’ve heard violinists practise and it ain’t pretty! But Anele is a true professional and told us his story, played beautiful as well as comical pieces.
The Cape Celtic Dance Company – Whenever I’m being goofy and trying to make people laugh then I do an Irish gig. You could imagine my surprise when I sat down to watch a REAL Irish dance performance! It was really interesting and the lecturer, Lindy Raizenberg, from UCT was incredibly welcoming, warm and her passion for the art form shone through. It was very enjoyable.
Mr Cat & the Jackal – This band has had their name on many events, none of which I’ve ever managed to attend! Therefore, I was very pleased to catch them at the festival. They sing about quirky subjects like shoes and the weather which I enjoyed as a change although I’m curious as to how often one could watch them in a year? The write balkan influenced music so it’s more “theme-y” than every day music. I’d like to watch them again to make up my mind further 🙂
Wil van Der Meer – This Dutch performer was one of the very first acts I ever saw them attending the Voorkamer Festival about 8 years ago. I was pleasantly surprised to see him again and enjoyed this cabaret/theatre type songs (singing).
To the couple with their baby drawing our attention constantly away from Mr Van Der Meer – your child’s only going to be little for a short time – stay away from theatre shows as you ruin it for everyone else! *rant over*
Shimmy Isaacs – Shimmy performed a monologue about breast cancer. I thought, “eh oh, here comes the emo!” But it couldn’t have been further than the truth. She was absolutely BRILLIANT! Definitely the performance of the trip for me. Her impersonations of various characters in the story, her “own” feelings, the Cape slang and accents she used (yes it’s her heritage but it was still executed without flaw) were just exceptional. I could watching this piece every week for a year! A really incredible job.
Jori Snell – Jori is another Dutch performer, although I couldn’t tell this at the time. I’d characterise this piece as “nut case” IF I didn’t know any better. After going to theatre school myself I understand performance art. Yes, it is incredibly quirky but there is a certain amount of freedom and joy in simply watching a performance for the performance sake and not seeking a metaphoric meaning in everything. She played various characters in the piece, a story about lemons is the best I can describe it!
Ensure that you book your accomodation EARLY if you want to attend the Voorkamer Festival. Accommodation is a problem in Darling so try to confirm your tickets and attendance asap.
Here’s a video of the performances I caught: