Must watch: James Stoffberg stars in How to Hold the World, by Juliette Rose-Innes, at the Fringe at National Arts Festival, #NAF2022

How to Hold the World- family theatre on The Fringe, 2022 National Arts Festival

When and venue: June 29, 30 and July 1, 2, 3 at noon, at Victoria Theatre, Victoria Girls High School, Beaufort Street

Booking link:
Performer: James Stoffberg
Writer: Juliette Rose-Innes
Director: Juliette Rose-Innes
Artistic director: Nancy Rademeyer
Duration: 35 – 40 minutes
Target audience: Ages 3 – 8 and parents, teachers, caregivers

Originally workshopped and performed with Timothy Stadler

#NAF2022 #ItWillChangeYou
2022 National Arts Festival programme: #NAF 2022 dates: June 23 to July 3, 2022

In October 2021, I attended a performance of How to Hold the World, at The Drama Factory in The Strand (near Cape Town). I loved this poignant, upbeat and charming piece of theatre for young people, written and directed Juliette Rose-Innes. Link to review follows as does the interview with Rose-Innes in which she speaks about what spurred her to write this play. She is an individual who is not accustomed to asking for help and through personal circumstances, she realised that it is okay to seek support from others. The play is very much about harnessing one’s happiness and finding a happy place. It is about acknowledging the extraordinary people in our lives who manage to balance everything – such as the character’s mother – who does it all.  We can do with inspiration and fun–especially now. Children need to play, cuddle the world and marvel at its creatures and wonders. How to Hold the World is filled with hope, magical realism and prompts to get the imagination and creative juices flowing. There is a felt clad world (globe) and a cute penguin. Rose-Innes is staging the play on The Fringe, at the 2022 National Arts Festival. The production is traveling to Makhanda with The Spark in the Dark Collective and is part of the ASSITEJ Family Fare Programme at NAF 2022. When I saw How to Hold the World in October 2021 at The Drama Factory, the performer was Timothy Stadler. He was involved in workshopping the play with Rose-Innes. For NAF 2022, James Stoffberg is leading the audience, in lessons on how to hold on to and hold up the world. His bio follows, in box, together with the bio of the super-talented creative, Rose-Innes. It takes tremendous drive to develop a new script, produce and stage it, close to home, in a pandemic. And then to get the funds together, to take it to The National Arts Festival; well, that deserves a round of applause. Factor into all of that, the 50% seating restriction rule as per pandemic rules and that one is unlikely to break even in terms of box office. Bravo to Rose-Innes for making it happen. A shout-out to Sue Diepeveen – owner/operator of the Drama Factory for providing a nurturing space and stage for young creatives like Rose-Innes. During the pandemic, she kept her theatre open and encouraged creatives to keep going and enabled them to produce their work, on a shoe-string budget. Without Diepeveen, How to Hold the World may not have found a launch pad and here we are with the play, touring to NAF 2022. There are only five performances of How to Hold the World at NAF 2022. Booking link in boxes, above and below.

About the play – How to Hold the World- written and directed by Juliette Rose-Innes- at NAF 2022

“When a young boy is tasked with holding up the world, he faces the scary (but rewarding) prospect of growing up. He learns that being alone doesn’t mean being strong, being helped doesn’t mean being selfish, and bravery is about being open to imagination and friendship. Join us on an exciting adventure full of dancing with the moon, playing with the stars, and very big birds. This play is fun, imaginative, immersive (in a Covid-conscious kind of way), visually appealing, and thought-provoking. Also, there’s a penguin.”

Juliette Rose-Innes

Juliette Rose-Innes is a performance maker, writer, director, and UCT Theatre & Performance graduate. In 2017, she was a finalist in the Scribe Scriptwriting Competition, and has previously been published in The Sol Plaatje European Union Poetry Anthology (2018), Good Housekeeping Magazine SA (2017), and English Alive (2016 & 2017). She has been working on How to Hold the World since 2020 – with performances at The Drama Factory, The Cape Town Museum of Childhood, Jungle Theatre’s African Storytelling Festival, various schools, and in collaboration with ASSITEJ. She is excited to be giving it new life with James, the second performer to take on the show. Juliette has also just finished directing a sold-out run of Baked Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night.

James Stoffberg

James Stoffberg is a 23-year-old, professionally trained, actor and performance artist who has graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre and Performance from UCT. He has always been drawn to expressing himself, leaning towards the arts from an early age. He has played supporting and lead roles in all theatre productions that he has been a part of, including “Like Tjips on a Gatsby” (2013), UCT’s rendition of “Kinnes” (2019), and “Theatre is Dead, Long Live Theatre: A Documentary Theatre Project” (2021), as well as a variety of roles in student films, and smaller roles in larger film productions such as the acclaimed feature film “Barakat” (2020) directed by Amy Jephta. Most recently, he was a part of the theatre company Baked Shakespeare, cast in the role of Orsino in their version of the classic Shakespearean comedy “Twelfth Night”.   Bios and splurb in this box – supplied.

Direct booking link for #NAF2022:

Full programme:  

Upbeat family theatre: James Stoffberg in How to Hold the World, which will be staged on The Fringe, 2022 National Arts Festival. Image supplied.

Related coverage on TheCapeRobyn of How to Hold the World:

Interview [October, 2021]:

Review: [October 2021}:

Preview [September 2021]:

❇ James Stoffberg in How to Hold the World, which will be staged on The Fringe, 2022 National Arts Festival. Image supplied.