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“Frontman Black Francis still has it, and was fantastically supported by the rest of the band. They got the crowd – many with the grey starting to show, and a smattering of youngsters – screaming and jumping and rocking out as if, well … as if it were the 90s.”

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“Bouwer is well known for his stark and shocking stage designs and Marat/Sade lives up to this, providing a visual spectacle that echoes in the memory long after the curtain drops.”

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“Ginja checks all the boxes for a great night out, watching the city lights come up as you enjoy a delectable meal. Though it has to be said, its enviable view of Table Mountain makes it a great spot for any time of day”

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“While most of the exhibits carry a serious, even sombre atmosphere, ‘Kirizenze’ by Thonton Kabeya caught my eye with its palpable expression of joy.”

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“This premiere collaboration provides terrific innovation in its unique rendition of traditional circus legacy. Indeed, it is an evolved and spectacular show with all the razzmatazz trimmings of a bygone era.”

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The name for some may conjure up a rough, tough, smoke­filled, meat­-orientated eatery. But from the decor to the wine, Charcoal Dining is a relaxing place: a quiet, as­ yet­ unknown restaurant perfect for a date night or an evening out.

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The third and final step is into the Tent of Dreams itself, the domain of Madame Zingara, a three levelled velvet speigeltent echoing with the ghosts of 100 years. What daylight is left trickles through two rings of small windows at the top of the first and second tiers, supplemented by the flickering candlelight from 70 tables reflected a thousand times from the many mirrors lining the walls. The spell is complete, and the entertainment is only just beginning.

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Seattle-based main act Night Beats got almost everybody out of the annexe and into the main hall of The Assembly with their soul-flavoured garage psych, which replaced some of the genre’s dreamy naivety with a feisty spirit. Having played the Austin Psych Fest and performed with names such as The Black Angels or Roky Erichson, they extended the international neo-psych network by gracing our South African shores with a refreshing but knitted-into-the-niche sound.

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It is the intimate and joyful portraits of families capturing tender and spontaneous moments that show us as we truly are. Unadorned and unaware, Pinto’s subjects reflect the honest and warm way in which she sees the world.

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Malherbe, star of the one-man show, was quite at home chatting with the audience about their musical memories and teasing those who admitted to being Nickelback fans – speaking to us as if we were not just his audience, but his friends.

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Director Pieter Bosch Botha has some clever tricks up his sleeve to make this quite believable. This is an enchanting and amusing story, told through music, song, dance, shadow puppetry, even a few soccer moves, and some simple but clever multi-functional props.

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Two star-crossed lovers, cosmologist Marianne and beekeeper Roland, meet at a barbeque. In a series of similar-yet-different encounters their fates brush past each other, briefly intertwine or collide… resulting in a series of possible realities based on fractionally different choices and chances. Along the way there’s attempted elbow licking, soggy sausages and sauna-like crotches – humorous moments skilfully contrasted with the fallout from infidelities, break-ups, missed opportunities and dreaded illness.

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Copperplate engravings celebrating the magical flora and fauna – beheld with such awe by the early Europeans – are but a fraction of this remarkable exhibition. The 1904 photographs of sturdy nudists at SandyBay become the echo for the naïve colourful posters of the post-war euphoria, with their sun-bronzed couples beaming into the camera.

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Driving to the Vintage Ideas Market in cold rainy weather considerably lowered my propensity for being inspired. But as I turned into the grounds of the quaint Simondium Country Lodge which nestles amongst the beautiful Franschhoek mountains I could sense my creative side perking up. The light-hearted attention to detail was clear from the friendly greeting by a man in a top hat, to the entrance sporting old motorcycles and sidecars for a ride through the country.

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Bringing these two incredibly powerful solo artists together was like fighting fire with fire; dancing with fire, at the least – in a very good way. The first song was Grierson’s ‘Fighter Plane’, a love/loss/maze of perception song. Even without Beckmann’s vocals, the original song furrows a deep groove in the wood of one’s aural and emotional conscience. With her higher harmonies and almost operatic Lark voice running over Grierson’s deeper tones, I was transported; the veins of my heart taut.

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Now it could be that they are quite genuinely all good mates, but the guest appearances of not only Ross Learmonth, lead singer of Prime Circle, but Theo Crous, lead guitar for the Springbok Nude Girls, led a further endorsement to the rising star that is Dan Patlansky. This boy is going places and even those who have already ‘made it’ want to be a part of the ride.

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Based on vanitas, the seventeenth-century Dutch genre of painting that contains symbols of death or change as a reminder of their inevitability, the curation of art in Death Speaks beautifies the contemplation of mortality.

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A cappella has the potential of being completely ridiculous. Think about it. It’s a bunch of people onstage with no instruments, singing with no backup other than the knowledge that their mothers love them.

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It takes exceptionally gifted actors to capture and deliver all the elements embedded in this epic love affair, and to portray them convincingly with such acuity and flair.

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