The Fresha Festival is a brand new free fun family al-fresco theatre festival to be staged for the first time on Durban’s North Beach for three days on 20, 21 and 22 January.
Festival Director Emma Durden considered: “What could be more quintessentially Durban than a summer festival of free theatre, and an early morning Saturday dance class, right on the beach?”
The Fresha Festival starts late afternoon on Friday 20 January with a promenade procession and perfomance showcase to provide an overview of the weekend ahead.
The festival programme runs on Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 January, from noon until 5pm, offering a full afternoon of diverse, family-friendly free short shows.  Each day will culminate with a Sundowner Showcase under the especially-erected beach Bedouin tent on the Bay of Plenty Lawns at 5pm.  All shows are free of charge, however although the evening shows will be free, there will be a donation box available should audience members wish to contribute towards the cost of the performance – on a pay-what-you-can donation basis.
A varied day-time line-up of carefully-chosen participants takes place on the beach-promonade and has been selected to ensure that the programme is diverse, fabulous and entertaining. Among the performers are the multi award winning Moving into Dance Mophatong in Road choreographed by Oscar Buthelezi who recently returned from Germany with a handful of international awards for the work; fun street theatre comedy interventions by Gerard O – a street performer from the Netherlands; physical theatre pieces by respected Durban choreographers / performers Mdu Mtshali and Shelby Strange; an installation by Doung Anwar Jahangeer; Feedback: a comedy / physical theatre piece by TQ Zondi and Mpilo Nzimande; productions from various theatre groups working with the innovative Twist Theatre Projects; a piece by Durban Deaf mime artist, Sibo Masondo, and guest productions from Isil Vos of the Netherlands.
Each production will have two 15 minute performances over the weekend.
Shelby-Strange-Taken-by-Luca-Barausse-800x533 15220071_1173338159381600_6924830293109758100_n
As part of the festival, there will be a free dance class for all levels of dancer – from inexperienced, so social to serious, on Saturday morning from 8am to 9am on the lawns. Entry is free and all are welcome.
Fresha Fest replaces the popular Musho! Festival. After 11 great years, the Musho! Theatre festival of one and two hander theatre had its final festival in January this year. With the simultaneous closing of the Catalina Theatre in Wilsons Wharf and the KZN offices of the Performing Arts Network of SA, Musho! in its current incarnation, was no longer viable. It should be noted however, that the wharf side theatre’s management company, Catalina Unltd is still very much operational and has a full year plan for 2017.
The Fresha Festival is directed by Emma Durden and Roel Twijnstra and is presented by Twist Theatre Development Projects. Twist is funded by The National Lotteries Commission. Additional funding for Fresha has also been graciously provided by the Department of Arts and Culture KZN and the KZN Performing Arts Trust. The festival would not be possible without the support of eThekwini Municipality.
Fresha is a hip and happening street / beach open-air festival – the perfect event to wrap up the Durban summer holiday season. For more info, visit / or email And find us on social media for regular updates.
5pm:  Opening event – procession and performance showcase – FREE
5.30pm: Sundowner theatre showcase Road (Dance – Moving into Dance Mophatong) – in Bedouin marquee – PAY WHAT YOU CAN DONATION
8:00 – 9.00   Contemporary Dance Class – FREE
12.30   See Power (Performance art – Doung Anwar Jahangeer) – FREE
1.00:    Gerard O (Street comedy – Netherlands) – FREE
1.30:    Dustbins (Theatre – Thandimpilo) – FREE
2:00:    Alive Kids (Performance art – The Gift) – FREE
2.30:    The Furry Glove by Sibo (Street mime) Ideal for children – FREE
3:00:    Dung Beetle (Theatre – Mzansi Theatre Projects) – FREE
3:30:    Overload (Theatre – Nansimpumelelo Arts Initiative) – FREE
4:00:    Dislocation (Physical Theatre – Rickshaw Collective)  – FREE
4:30:    Road (Dance – Moving into Dance Mophatong) – FREE
5:00:    Sundowner theatre showcase – Hit and Run (Theatre – De Veenfabriek – Netherlands)  – in Bedouin marquee – PAY WHAT YOU CAN DONATION
12.30   See Power (Performance art – Doung Anwar Jahangeer) – FREE
1.00:    Le Mot  by Sibo (Street mime) – Classic French-style mime – FREE
1.30:    Gerard O (Street comedy – Netherlands) – FREE
2:00:   Dislocation (Physical theatre – Rickshaw Collective)  – FREE
2.30:    Dung Beetle (Theatre – Mzansi Theatre Projects) – FREE
3:00:    Overload (Theatre – Nansimpumelelo Arts Initiative) – FREE
3:30:    Hit and Run (Theatre – De Veenfabriek – Netherlands) – FREE
4:00:    Dustbins (Theatre – Thandimpilo) – FREE
4:30:    Alive Kids (Performance art – The Gift) – FREE
5:00:    Sundowner theatre showcase – Feedback (Physical theatre – TQ Zondi & Mpilo Nzimande) – in Bedouin marquee – PAY WHAT YOU CAN DONATION

Share this post!