Fugard Theatre transforms into Bioscope with Classic Film Festival!


I was impressed with the screening of the film of the Fugard play “The Road to Mecca” at the Fugard Theatre two weeks ago, given not only the content of the 1970’s movie, but also how well The Fugard Theatre had been transformed into the Fugard Theatre Bioscope.

The Fugard Theatre opened about a year ago, and its service teething problems have been largely sorted, other than the slowness of the ticket buying procedure if one has not pre-booked.  A few months ago the management fall-out was widely documented.  But all seems to have settled down now, and the management cleverly has transformed the theatre into what it calls a Bioscope, and even sells popcorn now, to fit the theme!   In addition, one will be able to buy soup and Thelema wines. The Theatre now has proper individual and most comfortable seats, having originally had benches, which did not allow one to book a specific seat, and seating then was on a first come first grabbed basis.  The movies are projected onto a giant screen on the stage.  One may take one’s popcorn and drinks into the theatre, showing a huge relaxation of the management in its attitude to its clients relative to when it opened.

Earlier this month the Fugard Bioscope kicked off with a week of films made about Fugard plays, a different film every night.  I enjoyed ‘The Road to Mecca’, starring Yvonne Bryceland, Athol Fugard and the very youthful Kathy Bates and Soli Philander.  It told the story of Helen, the owner of the now National Monument Owl House in Nieu Bethesda, with superb acting by Bryceland in particular.  Fugard received the Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre in New York last week, ironic that his recognition should come from outside the country.

From today, running for four weeks, the Fugard Theatre Bioscope is running a themed Winter Classic Film Festival, costing R40 per ticket, and screenings start at 8 pm on Mondays – Saturdays, as follows:

20 – 25 June : Award-winning German and French Thrillers: Z, The Baader Meinhof Complex, The Lives of Others, Carlos, A Prophet, Mesrine

27 June – 2 July: Classic Political Thrillers: Seven Days in May, The Day of the Jackal, The Conversation, Three Days of the Condor, All the President’s Men, Network

4 – 9 July: Gay Movies: Brokeback Mountain, Dog Day Afternoon, Philadelphia, Bad Education, Sunday Bloody Sunday, Milk

12 – 16 July: Rock Concerts: Woodstock, Pink Floyd live in Berlin, Simon & Garfunkel – Concert in Central Park, The Last Waltz – The Band, Bob Dylan and Neil Young, Gimme Shelter – The Rolling Stones 

Winter Classic Film Festival, The Fugard Theatre Bioscope, Caledon Street, Cape Town.  Tel (021) 461-4554. Book at Theatre or at www.computicket.com

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com  Twitter:@WhaleCottage

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