Iphulo Drama Fest promises exciting local performances

PERFORMANCE ART is at the heart of the Eastern Cape. Every single year on of our own brightens their star throughout the country and we exclaim at TV screens “Yes! I know this person!” whether from local live shows or from literally being their next-door neighbour. Sure enough, artists always begin their journey through the massive support the people and culture-centric institutions provide them by believing in them. OPERA House is marked as one of those points for artists in the Nelson Mandela Bay scene more specifically through Iphulo Drama Festival.

The Iphulo Drama Festival that is coming up from the 26th to the 31st of March is the active performer’s festival and the perfect guide into Eastern Cape theatre. Focusing more on drama productions this year, the festival consists of 6 top quality stage productions. Cingiwe Skosana, Opera House’s PR and Mraketing Officer admitted how difficult it was to pick which productions to choose from several submissions. “We did a call-out in December (2017) inviting producers to submit their works…through the office of the general manager which also has an artistic element, and along with our curator Xabiso Zweni who scaled it down to the final six productions we’ll be having,” she said.


There will be open mic sessions every evening from day up to the end of the festival where audience members can join in and introduce their own art from poetry, dance, music and comedy. The festival will end in laughter, featuring a range of comedians, including up and coming comics. “In keeping with the theme of Iphulo being an Eastern Cape brand and promoting creatives in the Eastern Cape we will be having the Eastern Cape Comedy Show featuring Mbulelo Manylaughs, Khanyisa Bunu, Tshepo Nzayo, Sqhazolo (along with) an up and coming comedian, Anga, who’s doing really great work as well.”

Phenomenal playwright Nompumezo Buzani will be part of the festival too with her Stones in a Whirlwind production, bringing in conscious story-telling through subjects considered taboo in our society. Iphulo will also have a “young female force” Abongile Ntshuca from King William’s Town with a production called Umthandazo. “She featured in a production last year but now she’s coming on as a stand-alone producer and writer,” shared Skosana.

One of the traits of progressive art is of education and conscious-raising elements. This seems to be the underlying thread between the chosen production locals will get to experience at Iphulo. “These are just the kinds of stories that jumped up to us. Stories that need to be told because in most cases we have these corner discussions about real-life issues (that) affect us all” says Skosana; mentioning the play Rest in Peace, Mama which touches on the hardships of mental health and other social issues.

IPHULO Drama Festival will be a six-day event happening from 12h00 until 22h00 daily the activities cater to everyone especially young learners who need to experience a new path into the performance arts and of course for engaging, local entertainment! Check out IPHULO DRAMA FESTIVAL Facebook page for daily updates and ticket options for you, your friends and family.