The Voorkamerfest

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The Voorkamerfest (Die Voorkamerfees in Afrikaans, I.e literally: "the living room festival") is an annual festival, taking place in the West Coast town of Darling on the first weekend of September.


It was founded in 2004 by Inge Bos, Wim Visser and Pieter-Dirk Uys, supported by founding sponsor Stichting Doen (NL) and the collaboration of the Darling community. It is now produced by Tasha Reid and co-produced by Antoinette van Heerden.


Intended to be a multiple genre showcase of cross cultural theatre, music, dance and comedy, performed by South African and international artists, the yearly festival takes place in the front rooms of the people of Darling. It uses eighteen homes in the community, while Evita se Perron forms the festival hub with a daily outdoor market co-ordinated by I love Yzer, offering local crafts and fare.

What sets this festival apart is that it is based on a principle of blind booking, with audience members buying tickets for show routes, i.e. a route of three houses to which they are taken by taxi. Audiences thus do not know exactly which shows they’ll be seeing until they are seated in the front rooms (voorkamers) of homes spread throughout the community. There are seven colour-coded routes from which to choose, each offering three shows in three houses. Minibus taxis ferry patrons from Evita se Perron to venues that range from grand old Cape Dutch manors to RDP houses, where local hosts receive visitors a warm Darling welcome.

R5 of each ticket sold is donated to The Darling Trust NGO

In 2018, the 13th festival was presented in association with the Fugard Theatre.

Works produced at the Fest

Shows range from mime to cabaret and comedy to drama, and may include stand-up comedy, circus, opera, classical music, jazz, popular music, singer/songwriter events, flamenco, tango, hip-hop, modern dance, classical dance, and so on. Performers come from all over, including many from Holland. In addition there is outside entertainment, as well as arts, crafts and food stalls, at Evita se Perron, where each route departs and ends.

Over the years , the Voorkamerfest has hosted performers from the UK, Holland, Belgium, France, Surinam, India, Zimbabwe, Angola, Algeria, Canada, and Switzerland. This year, audiences can look forward to performances by several talented companies, ensembles and individuals, such as Jazzart, Nylon Dance Company, Jitsvinger and The Buckfever Underground.


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