Curtains open for festival’s second leg

Pupils from Curro Independent School in Durbanville backstage at the Artscape Arena before their 30-minute version of Shakespeares A Midsummer Nights Dream.

The second leg of the 9th Shakespeare School Festival (SSF) opens at the Baxter Theatre on Monday May 13.

This year the SSF SA is dedicated to the late freedom fighter Sonny Venkatrathnam who smuggled a copy of The Complete Works of Shakespeare onto Robben Island during his incarceration.

Tafara Nyatsanza, a SSF alumni, will MC the festival nightly.

The festival started at the Artscape Arena last month and saw schools including Darul Arqam Islamic High School, Curro Independent School, Westerford High School, Chris Hani High School, Westlake Primary School, Vista Nova High School and the Lalela Project taking part.

Last year, the SSF was held for the first time in St Petersburg, Russia, and the inaugural festival was launched in Moscow last month by SSF SA founder and director, Kseniya Filinova-Bruton, who comes from St Petersburg.

Under guidance from the SSF teams, schools throughout the country prepare and perform 30-minute abridged versions of the play of their choice and those taking part this year hail from all over the Western Cape and as far afield as Hermanus, with 31 schools in the Cape alone.

The De La Bat School for the Deaf, using South African sign language (SASL), and the Pioneer School for the Visually Impaired, delivered ground breaking performances of Romeo and Juliet and Macbeth respectively in 2018 and both schools will perform again this year at the

The SSF SA is an education programme aimed at improving language and social skills through the performing arts.

This is the fourth year that the event will be held at the Baxter Main Theatre. Performances are open to the public and the season runs until Saturday May 18. The complete works of the Robben Island Bible will be on exhibition in the Baxter Theatre foyer on Friday May 17 and Saturday May 18.

Performances start at 7pm with booking through the booking office on 021 680 3989 or through Webtickets. Email or visit for more information.