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“And yet, throughout the play, there is comedy that will have you laughing right up until the point when you’re suddenly choking back sadness…”

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I was pleasantly surprised by the preservation of the original script, as I expected the African approach to drown out De Wet’s magical realism. The Africanisms, however, were not overpowering, and instead transported the performance to a more relatable, contemporary South African context.

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…but the treffer of their set was ‘Shit Happens’ a spontaneous song to keep the crowd entertained while a guitar was fixed.

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Mirkovic’s enthusiasm for instructing yoga outdoors comes across easily, and she often suggested that while in the pose, we feel the sun on our skin and breathe in the fresh scent of the sea. Add to this the sound of the waves and the children playing nearby, and outdoor yoga becomes an experience which delights the senses. She is quite right when she notes, “There is nothing quite like the feeling of that orange glow on your skin as you say goodbye to your week.”

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As Forrest Gump’s mother said, “Life is like a box of chocolates” – you never know what you are going to get next. The same might be said of the Cape Town Philharmonic’s Winter Symphony Season in which the deliciously rich truffles have been interspersed with the occasional lemon cream. After the genius and precision of the previous week’s performance, the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra’s winter of discontent concluded with another mild performance in the City Hall this past Thursday.

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Starring Nicholas Pauling and Mark Elderkin, and directed by Greg Karvellas, The Frontiersmen is a venomously poetic two hander following the plots and pains of two South African property developers who will stop at nothing to get what they want.

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Much as I wanted to read the informative captions my eyes were constantly drawn to the displays which included life-sized recreations of the deadly vines of Colombia’s Choco forest, and the three witches of Macbeth huddled over a large cauldron, bubbling with a poisonous broth of “tooth of wolf”, “tongue of dog” and “toe of frog”. Snow White lay unconscious in a glass case, condemned to an endless slumber from a single bite of a poisonous apple, while a medieval enchanted book revealed its grim toxic recipes with the touch of a finger.

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“The content of Bash is very dark, but make no mistake: although certain lines may illicit giggles, this is by no means a dark comedy.”

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The trouble with the circus is that the sight of anything simpler than a performer hanging from their toe on a piece of rope or balancing with one finger on somebody’s head can become, well, dull. Once the standard has been set, the audience anticipates the extraordinary and lives for the “wow” moments. Happily, with Cirque de la Symphonie, extraordinariness is par for the course.

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“It’s always surprising when a play written in 1664 is just as relevant today as it was then. It’s at once charming and chilling, with physical theatre so subtly incorporated that, by the end, you feel like the human condition is light on its feet.”

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This show definitely won’t lighten the load that money places on you, but it will lift the emotional burden associated with cash, even if just for a while. Ultimately, it will change your perspective on those little coins, notes and cards in your wallet. I’ll put my money on that.

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Not only did the evening entail an opportunity to meet the fantastic cast, but each character from the show was paired with a great Spier wine: from Daisy Buchanan proffering a Sauvignon Blanc to Meyer Wolfsheim pouring out the Shiraz. Jostling for top spot within my sommelier sensibility, incidentally, were the wines offered by rivals Jay Gatsby and Tom Buchanan, serving Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinotage respectively, the competition bringing to mind the tension between the characters.

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Forget the term “razor-sharp wit”. Instead, prepare yourself for satire that hits more like a stabbing javelin. Gut-bustingly funny, while at the same time underlining South Africa’s sad political state, Return of the Ancestors shines a spotlight on how former political activists might view the New South Africa.

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With his relentless busyness on stage and his child-like inability to keep still, the audience can sense the aggravation of Ivan. The way in this disturbance manifests in human form is handled with a subtle dark humour through Buckland’s exemplary comedic timing and his extraordinarily expressive physical comedy skills.

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If you’re getting to the “been there, done that” stage of boozy weekend festivaling, then Spiritfest may just be the breath of fresh nicotine-free air that you’ve been looking for.

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The dark woods and earth tones in the décor, the jar-lined walls, the wooden boards heaped with fresh-baked artisan bread, and the lilting Italian music in the background all call for a slow enjoyment of these “lifestyle and leisure wines”.

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The Mother City’s vibrant contemporary art scene is coming alive this summer. There’s the current institutional graduate and award shows, and commercial galleries are having their prime exhibitions.

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The Meditation from Tchaikovsky in particular had some audience members erect in their seats shouting ‘Bravo’. Charmingly. Avigail seemed completely taken aback and surprised by this display of appreciation and excitement from the audience.

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In the toy-strewn chaos of a Kalk Bay kindergarten recreation room, Ms du Bois the drama teacher (Kasia Vosloo) remains the cynical, quiet center of the storm. Perched on a bar stool with her guitar or walking around with a ukulele, she narrates the unfolding of Parents’ Day with razor-sharp satirical lyrics. If you get a giggle from Flight of the Conchords, then Dear Breeder will have you rocking in your seat with hysterical laughter.

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The band, fronted by Zolani Mahola, opened their Kirstenbosch show with the catchy ‘Buttercup’, and Zolani’s voice is possibly even more clear and spectacular when heard live than on a CD.

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Between songs the cast hardly uttered a word to each other. Instead, a lot of incoherent mumbling was exchanged. As a mode of communication, this amused the crowd immensely, and more importantly it served to throw into sharp relief the crystal clarity of those same voices when singing.

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Perhaps the most remarkable thing about him is his near-encyclopaedic repertoire of recital, chamber music, and vocal pieces which demonstrate the quality of his overall musicianship. In short, Nel has at his fingertips an astonishing number of pieces that can be performed on command, a skill not common even among the world’s best musicians.

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Spending an entire evening listening to a wind band might not seem as attractive as hearing a full orchestra in concert. To some, it might even seem painfully exhausting. One might think the complementary, soothing sound of strings would be missed. When the WindWorx ensemble announced their tenth anniversary concert, however, with guest appearances by the Cape Town Philharmonic Youth Wind Ensemble and Stadskoor Tygerberg, one look at the varied programme, featuring pieces ranging from Handel’s “Halleujah” chorus to the Star Wars theme “Duel of the Fates”, suggested that this would be a performance well worth attending. We were not to be disappointed.

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Don’t miss a concert because you don’t know all the songs, or you haven’t listened to the band in a while – go along, see the show, and you might just be surprised.

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I walked out of the concert hall as the audience’s applause released my ears from the cacophony to which it had been subjected just moments before. It was supposed to be Mendelssohn’s Andante and Rondo Capriccioso in E-major Op. 14, and it was only just the opening piece of the evening, but I had heard enough.

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This show almost certainly intends to subvert the tropes of the traditional romcom and be combative and raucously offensive in an interesting and provocative way. What is the dark secret behind this duo’s latest salacious venture? Beneath all the rampant swearing, graphic sex talk and in-your-face scatological humor, Porno 88 is – gasp! – deeply moving and entertaining.

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