The biennial Afrovibes Festival is returning to venues across the country this October following 2010's inaugural UK dates.

Afrovibes 2012 offers a programme of performance from South Africa and beyond, including theatre, dance, music and spoken word.

In addition, tour venues will host 'Township Cafes' serving authentic African fare plus debates, post-show talks, late night music and workshops. Produced by UK Arts International who brought reggae musical The Harder They Come to the stage, Afrovibes runs from 1 to 20 October 2012 at venues including the Albany in London, The Dukes in Lancaster, The Drum in Birmingham, Sherman Cymru in Cardiff and Contact in Manchester.

The programme includes Mother to Mother, which tells the story of American Fullbright scholar Amy Biehl killed in the Gugulethu township of Cape Town by four youths, Inception, which is a complex, textured dance solo and an intense physical and psychological journey into the psyche of a young female artist and Thirst, which depicts the fortunes and misfortunes of three water carriers from an African village that has run dry.

Also in the festival is And the Girls in their Sunday Dresses by Zakes Mda, performed by Lesego Motsepe and Hlengiwe Lushaba, My Exile is in My Head, a solo dance / physical theatre piece inspired by Wole Soyinka’s prison notes, The Man Died and The Sibikwa Arts African Indigenous Orchestra, a ten-piece orchestra that gives a celebration of the traditional and the new.

Jan Ryan, director of UK Arts International, said: "Afrovibes invites discussion around both artistic and social issues affecting contemporary South Africa, in a way that a stand-alone piece can never do allowing audiences and participants to dig deeper into the life and mindset of this extraordinary country."

For more info visit www.afrovibes2012.co.uk

- Rosie Bannister