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Festivities underway at annual National Arts Festival

CEO Tony Lankester says the themes of most show reflect an angry and discontent nation.

Students at the Market Theatre Lab. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Festivities are underway at the annual National Arts Festival with organisers saying they've had a healthy start.

The festival started in Grahamstown on Thursday.

CEO Tony Lankester says the themes of most show reflect an angry and discontent nation.

"I think a lot of South African are angry and frustrated. We have a lot of concerns about the state of the country at the moment and that is coming through in the work of our artists."

Meanwhile, the director Pusetso Thibedi says he is happy that his students get the opportunity to tell their story on a world renowned stage.

"It was inspired by where the country currently is. It is a type of modern age protest play and there's strong edge of volcanic eruptions that are happening in the country."

Thibedi directed Of Spells And Monkeys, a production by the Market Theatre Laboratory.

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