Afrovibes can lift your mood

The Sibikwa Arts African Indigenous Orchestra, part of the Afrovibes Festival at The Dukes
The Sibikwa Arts African Indigenous Orchestra, part of the Afrovibes Festival at The Dukes

Out of South Africa and in to Lancaster’s Dukes theatre comes a festival guaranteed to banish the autumn blues this October.

Afrovibes will transform The Dukes into a little South Africa from October 1-6 with the very best contemporary theatre, dance, music, film and spoken word from the region.

And there will be a chance to enjoy a taste of South Africa too at The Dukes Township Café, which will be serving authentic African food and drink.

It’s also the place to meet and soak up the festival atmosphere and see a host of fringe events, including post show talks, impromptu jamming sessions and other surprises.

The Dukes is one of only eight venues nationwide to host the biennial Afrovibes Festival, produced by UK Arts International.

The festival kicks off at 6pm on October 1 with a launch including free beats and eats in The Township Café.

Monday also sees performances of And The Girls In Their Sunday Dresses and Thirst, which are repeated on Tuesday.

Thirst is a magical theatre piece based on the eventful journey of three water carriers trying to find the source of their dried-out river and features dance, physical theatre, song and African storytelling. Age guidance seven-plus.

And The Girls In Their Sunday Dresses is performed by two of South Africa’s most acclaimed comedians.

This entertaining, comic drama centres on two women from different backgrounds who discover they have more in common than first thought when they meet in a queue to buy rice. For ages 11-plus.

Drama with a more serious edge is presented on October 3 with Mother To Mother, a tour-de-force monologue telling the story of an American Fullbright scholar killed in Capetown by four youths.

The mother of one of them recounts events in an imaginary conversation with the victim’s mum. Age guidance 14-plus.

The festival steps up to the beat of The Sibikwa Arts African Indigenous Orchestra on October 4.

This exuberant and award-winning 10-piece orchestra evokes the true spirit and ancestry of South Africa and gets the audience on their feet and joining in. Age guidance seven-plus.

Festival Friday on October 5 gives visitors a chance to pay what they can for a range of Afrovibes activities, including dance, film, spoken word, beats and eats.

And the festival comes to its finale on October 6 with a Dance Double Bill.

Originally performed in2011, Inception is a complex dance solo which has already evolved into a classic.

My Exile Is In My Head is a solo dance/physical theatre piece inspired by Wole Soyinka’s prison notes, The Man Died. Age guidance 11-plus.

Tickets for all Afrovibes events are priced separately, or you can buy a Festival Pass and see all shows for £30/£20(concessions).

For more information and to book, ring The Dukes box office on 01524 598500, or visit www.dukes-lancaster.org.