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Wits 969 Festival Celebrates 13th Birthday

The Wits 969 Festival is to theatregoers what exciting and original pop-up shops are to fashionistas.

Wits Theatre hosts this festival of dynamic and edgy productions every year, which provide diverse entertainment for a short period of time. This year promises to be all of this and more, from 13 – 24 July, when the Wits 969 Festival celebrates its 13th birthday with a line-up of 21 theatre, dance and music presentations that will blow audiences’ minds.

“We are showcasing diverse artistic productions from South Africa and abroad, the majority forming part of the main stage at the National Arts Festival this year. I love the work featured in 2016 because it’s all about great theatre, wonderful stories, proven talent and fantastic technique.” – Gita Pather, Director of Wits Theatre.

In fact, the Wits 969 Festival offers the most convenient way to experience a cross-section of South African talent. The programme has been specifically structured for theatregoers to enjoy several shows in one evening with time for a drink at the theatre bar in between.

Dance features prominently on the festival this year with stunning pieces from KwaZulu-Natal including …If the World was Listening presented by KZN Dance Productions and celebrating 21 years of democracy. Other dance productions include Burn which is best described as intense, powerful and explosive, as well as Moving into Dance’s exquisite multi award-winning production Feathers. Everlast, Road and My Black is Black: all taking us on various journeys which are relevant and exploratory.

The diverse selection of plays provides a feast for all theatregoers across age groups, languages and cultures. Among these is Sifiso Zima in Apple, a poignant play about a young orphaned boy trying to make a better life for himself and Secret Ballot, which is part protest theatre and part political satire farce and is directed by Jefferson Tshabalala and features the award-winning talent of Tony Miyambo.

Wits 969 Festival
bRENT – A Mobile Thriller. Photo Jaco Jansen van Rensburg & JacoPhotography

Multi award-winning director and designer Quintin Wils is bringing his latest production, from the extremely popular Mobile Thriller series, called bRENT – A Mobile Thriller. His innovative series has been described as “…the most thrilling immersive theatre production ever experienced in South Africa!”.

Chapter 2 Section 9 is a play based on interviews with forty lesbian women, their families, the perpetrators and police officers to get their view and understanding of hate-crime. The play is interwoven with music and the spoken word to provide a poignant, sad and sometimes funny look at the section of our constitution, which guarantees the right to gender equality and sexual orientation.

Amsterdam (UK) and Unveiled (USA) are the international offerings. Both featured on the Solo Theatre stage of the National Arts Festival Main and highlight the female experience. Unveiled with Gulshan Mia brings to life the heartbreaking yet often humorous stories of five courageous Muslim women who faced Islamophobia following 9/11, while Chanje Kunda in Amsterdam tells the story about a woman who risks everything for love.

Finally, Brahms lovers are in for a treat with The Wits Trio comprising Malcolm Nay, Zanta Hofmeyr & Maciej Lacny playing some of his best loved sonatas for piano, violin and cello.

Tickets are available at and you can choose to book online or through any Pick ‘n Pay store. Tickets can also be purchased at Wits Theatre’s Box Office.

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