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Daneel is accompanied by a booze-guzzling keyboard-playing Lion (Roelof Colyn). Colyn’s musical talents stretch far, with past involvement as conductor/musical director/arranger and more (Rocky Horror Show, Hairspray, Fiela’s Child). This time, as accompanist, backing vocals and resident Lion, he balances out van der Walt’s dramatic voice and presence beautifully. Together they weave the audience in and out of tales of Gerry the Giraffe, a lonely whale, odes to slow driving and a favourite murder ballad.

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The show boasts a striking set design by KMH Architects, beautiful costumes by Dicky Longhurst, and subtle lighting by Nicholas Michaletos. Together with the sumptuous sound of the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Paul Hoskins, the result is a lavish production, giving Spartacus the potential to be something truly epic.

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The Open Design Festival is a melting pot of creativity, innovation and ideas that leaves the city fragrant with inspiration. From artistic expression to intellectual debate, all paradigms are challenged and the world cracks open with possibilities.

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For an hour and a half, we were transported back in time, steered by nostalgia. Although it was somewhat jarring to see the man in my childhood bedroom posters so much older and greyer, his rich, soulful falsetto and vocal range have not been weathered by time. Brian McKnight not only hit every note in his impressive range, he thrashed it.

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“The show captivates from start to finish, but a notable highlight is the Oscar Pistorius scene – a classic trampling of the fine line between humour and utter insensitivity.”

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As the university-rich Western Cape calls back old students to resume their academic (and party) lives, a new batch of bright-eyed and bushy tailed first-years make their way into the often treacherous world that is student life. Well-timed at the beginning of the year, the talented theatre youths Grant Jacobs and Liam Mcdermott bring their own creation to stage at Kalk Bay Theatre in the shape of a pop rock musical: A Beautiful Wreckage.

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“The use of these raw materials in her work creates textured, layered compositions that writhe and breathe, almost coming to life through interesting layered surfaces and shining metallic highlights.”

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“As the cast of Ubuze Bam took a bow, I let out a sigh as I reached for my cellphone to text my friend. I wanted to tell him how freaked out I was by what I had just witnessed.”

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From its menacing start to its unexpected end, Pieter Toerien Productions’ Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street is the perfect balance of grisly revenge and morbid humour; everything you could hope to experience in this iconic musical. Featuring a South African cast directed by Steven Stead, all the elements of sound, set, production, costume and cast come together flawlessly to blast the audience with a full-frontal sensory overload.

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“It is a highly visual production. With frosted glass sliding panels, the set changes dynamically within seconds, almost as fast as the actors switch roles.”

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It is an exceptionally large restaurant, spanning across two floors – the upper level providing sweeping views of the Waterfront. Once the sun goes down and the lights flicker on across the harbour, it is even more magical, especially with the lit up Cape Wheel in the corner of one’s eye. The décor is simple and elegant, with the tables inside positioned around a stage for live entertainment – a mainstay of the Moyo experience.

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I know that liking a politician for their appearance is as shallow as choosing a racehorse for its name or a wine for its label, but, well… I am that shallow. I am more likely to be found reading the derring-do exploits of The Four Marys from the Bunty Annual 1965 than perusing the political pages of the papers, but for what it’s worth, I liked the fact that Thabo Mbeki was always immaculately tailored just as I liked his upright posture, his quiet demeanour and his reputation for academia. [Read more…]

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“They weaved seamlessly through high octane indie rock songs, power ballads and heartfelt acoustic tunes – making for a fully rounded, world-class show that would give any equivalent a run for its money.”

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The tasting consisted of ten (ten!) beers, so we were glad we’d booked accommodation. The beers range from the Sungazer (a light one, at 2.6% alcohol) through wit (wheat) beers, lagers and ales to the Black Mist black ale. There’s something for everybody’s beer palate here.
Lunch came in the form of a cheese and meat platter to which other platters should look up in awe. Generous servings of fresh bread, cold meat, biltong, cheeses and preserves provided more than enough for two people. Everything on the platter is locally sourced and delicious. The caramelised onion marmalade is the stuff of culinary dreams.

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Their performance at The Fugard Theatre this weekend was outstanding to say the least. From the get go these four handsome gentlemen with their big voices, elegant attire and heart-warming stage personalities won the audience over wholeheartedly.

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His is a humour that is clean and nostalgic, reminding us for instance of how our mothers would slap us all the way out of Pick’n’Pay. Palmer’s ability to take us back is where he really shines.

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I was interested to see how these pony-tailed musos would perform. I felt rather embarrassed that I’d not heard much of their music before, despite the fact they’ve been playing together for longer than I’ve been alive.

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Rose Korber has been showcasing the best of innovative and contemporary South African art for over 20 years, and this exhibition features an eclectic mix of contemporary South African art from both past and present, featuring paintings, mixed media works, original limited-edition prints, photography, sculpture, ceramics and contemporary beadwork.

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Ladies, take my advice and grab your man some ginger pudding… This is one of the many tips I got from this bawdy peach of a play, Relationsh!t. Apparently a little ginger pud does wonders for your man’s you-know-what in the bedroom!

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These boys chose great songs and the crowd lapped it up. Like me, I think many of them had been transported back to their childhood. I could even smell the room in which, as a 6 year old, I’d danced along to Paul Simon in gumboots.

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Twitchers, as ardent birdwatchers lovingly refer to themselves, are a rather odd bunch, often rather more birdbrained than the feathered beings on the other side of their binoculars. Fridjhon unerringly taps into this deep well of ridiculousness to create a uniquely South African piece of theatre.

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Inzolo Spa is small but perfectly formed, with unique touches that create a special and restful experience, which lingers long after the aroma of wild honey fades away.

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One lady, in paroxysms of voluminous laughter, nearly de-seated herself more than once. Committie’s facial and vocal expressions combine a platter of surprises that could be enjoyed as a separate offering altogether and his interaction with the audience is legendary. In our case, the occasional: “Please, Sir, laugh with everyone else” became a rotational classic. ??

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“I’m sure you won’t be hearing that on 5fm”, quipped Tony Cox after his blistering harmonics driven guitar piece. That much was true. His brand of guitar playing, which flies against formulaic contemporary pop arrangements, won’t gain him much plugging on popular radio. Not that the man isn’t talented.

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The annual Franschhoek Uncorked Festival is a unique wine festival that offers wine enthusiasts the opportunity to discover exciting new releases from wineries in and around the scenic Franschhoek valley. And this voyage of discovery is not limited to the confines of an oversized marquee tent… Whether it is the Franschhoek Literary Festival, the Franschhoek Uncorked Festival or the Bastille Festival, the people of this small valley certainly know how to throw a good party.

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Visibly growing in confidence as the set went on, Kruger’s unique voice revealed a subtle strength and a quirky toned-down high pitch. Backed by South African talents Albert Frost (guitar), Schalk Joubert (bass), Melissa van der Spuy (piano) and Kevin Gibson (drums), Kruger held her own as the voice of a super-team with a gentle folky sound.

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‘Poison Arrow’ had me trailblazing down the Dallas memory lane, particularly when the sax came out. Ah, that epitome-of-the-80s-in-an-instrument. Doesn’t it just scream rolled up t-shirt sleeves, white socks and mullet hair? Sax nostalgia washed over the crowd, and when Fry, cascaded in sea green light, launched into ‘Look of Love’, those around me freaked out in a total synthpop euphoria.

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As Zoid showed when she shared the stage with the great Vusi Mahlasela, she has an extraordinary ability to synergize with other musicians, and it’s a beautiful energy to experience. Zoid’s creamy, powerful and soul-piercing voice combines perfectly with the guitar – taking the audience on a musical journey, from soulful rock, to blues and smooth ballads.

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