Review: The CapeRobyn watchlist -exciting diverse offerings at vNAF 2022 – available until July 31, 2022

vNaf – virtual National Arts Festival 2022

When: Available until July 31, 2022
Click on: 
Click on the tab: NAF Online. You will see two tabs: 2022 NAF Online and 2022 Fringe.
Click on 2022 Fringe:  

#NAF2022 #ItWillChangeYou

The National Arts Festival was on LIVE in Makhanda, from June 23 to July 3, 2022. However, the vNAF – the virtual platform – on the Fringe- is up until July 31, 2022. See box above for details. Direct link is here: There is a wonderfully diverse programme of shows – multi-genre and multi-disciplinary. TheCapeRobyn recommends: Everything. Binge watch, from your devices, at home. The festival takes a nominal percentage of door (tickets). Creatives do not pay admin or submission or admin fees – unlike many festivals. It is an opportunity to see an array of work – ranging in duration from a few minutes to over an hour.  My picks are archived on Instagram TheCapeRobyn, in the stories tab, #NAF2022. Here are some of the shows that I have watched so far. The vNAF is available until July 31, 2022.

And Not A Word Was Spoken- screendance film

Tickets: R35
Direct booking link:  
Duration: 38 minutes
Language: English  

As I write in an interview, with director: Jacques Batista,this dance film- taps intensely into being unhinged and disconnected, even when we are physically together.” It is a beautifully made and edgy film which I think could be developed into a feature film. Although it is dance film, there is dialogue and a strong narrative. Batista won a Standard Bank Ovation Award at NAF 2021 and this is worthy of another award.  Interview: Review: 

Breathing Through The Feet- art film

Tickets: Free

Duration: 5 and half minutes.

Direct booking link:

Language: isiZulu, Ndebele, Sesotho and English (surtitles)

Directed by Sibusiso Mkhize, this stirring art film features: Nomvuyo Buthelezi, Moeketsi Kgotle and Nonhlanhla Precious Masombuka. Dramaturgy is by Claire French. It is described as “a call and response film, featuring autobiographical poetry and improvised responses in the body…My voice is my body. My body breathes and sounds each day as I live. I breathe English but I do not live it. I live isiZulu, Ndebele, Sesotho…This is me, breathing through my feet.” Poignant, powerful and lyrical.

Feeling Pretty – film of show- variety/musical theatre

Direct booking link:

Tickets: R140

Language: English – song and voice overs- variety/musical theatre

Duration: 60 mins

“Set in the recording studio of the fictitious Good Time Radio”. Lovely entertaining musical variety show, set in an old style radio recording studio – but with millennial awareness of taking ones power as women. The way the three performers insert themselves into the studio adverts of old school radio and re-frame them – reclaiming their power as women- overriding toxic masculinity. Feeling Pretty was staged early 2022 at SixtyNine (formerly Gate69) and filmed for #vNAF. I missed this show when it was staged in Cape Town. It is great to see it at vNAF.

Cigarettes After Sex

Duration: 11 mins

Tickets: R25

Language: English.

Direct booking link:

Relationship drama – gritty, finely tuned performances by Neo Dube and Khwezi Ntanda. He: “I don’t know what you want me to say. She: “Anything.” He: “Did you forget how I made you feel?” She: “I never want to forget… loving you was like breathing but the breath disappearing …” Direction by Tiffani Joy.


Direct booking link:

Tickets: R25

Duration: 9 minutes

Language: English

 “Everything is about sex – except sex. Sex is about power…” Bodies intertwined in this dance-art film. It reminds me of Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights. The tomato and seeding are leitmotifs:  ”The proper way to plant a tomato… remember tomatoes need one inch of water to survive each week..”; except for conditions that require more- hotter, drier…” Outstanding piece of intense screen-dance/drama. Interesting to see that there is an intimacy choreographer: Ѐmil Haarhoff (and responsible for the design). Artistic director: Marié-Heleen Coetzee. Performers and co-Creators: Priya Bandu, Kirsten Dickinson, Zuziwe Kubheka, Hope Masethla, Siya Radebe, Human Van Der Merwe. Superb piece.

Amazing Adventures of Her Majesty -Platinum Jubilee Edition

Direct booking link:

Tickets: R60

Language: English

The stand-up edition of the Queen’s Jubilee, performed, written and directed by Carole Shaw. This show delighted me and surprised me with Carole Shaw sending up the Queen – of England- after her Jubilee. Beyond the mirth, Shaw presents a wry take on social justice, the need for compassion, assisted death, Alzheimer research and being kind and compassionate to elders. Prince Phillip told her to keep her nose out of politics and keep her crown. Now that Philip is dead she quips that she could become a barrister (as in coffee maker – barista). She proclaims that Royal Britannica brew “is mildly offensive and rather wishy-washy.” There is a cool theatre/culture quiz, at the end, with the audience in Shaw’s kitchen/living room. At NAF 2022, Kate Pinchuck, announced on The Very Big Comedy Show, that she was the only female stand-up comic at the 2022 fest. Bring on Carole Shaw for NAF 2023.

Butlers and Babysitters

Tickets: R40

Direct booking link:

Language: English and delicious Cape argot

Duration: 42 minutes

Radio play- the latest installment in the Butler’s series, by Justin Wilkinson and it is fabulous. He won a Standard Bank Ovation Award in 2021. Butlers and Babysitters deserves another award. There is a babysitter, who has been dumped by her significant other. She gets a job at an undertakers. This is a radio play and the voice work and sound effects are fabulous. In my opinion, this is the best-ever Butlers. The dialogue is a scream – clever – each word rings out- with snappy delivery and timing. It’s very funny and droll, hyper millennial/hipster/off the cuff, with WhatsApp voice notes, with Siri. The charchters talk about #loadshedding stage 9- oy vey. Very prescient. This was made before the current round of loadshedding. This is a hoot.

Voracities: Appetite for wonder and growth- emotional, personal and political. Direct booking link:

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#NAF2022 #ItWillChangeYou

Featured image: Breathing Through The Feet– screenshot.