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Started 30 years ago by Annie Snowden – who just wanted to organise a birthday party for her partner at the time – Up the Creek is still the intimate, music-focused and well-planned festival that it has always been. Only now it has growth and maturity.  In spades.

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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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A golden thread of references to old Python sketches runs throughout the evening, which is thick with dramatic wordplay, cross-dressing as old ladies (and a sexy one in a too-tight dress), plenty of double entrendes and competitively bizarre gaits.

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The cast is tight, able to navigate the complex narrative landscape. Child brings an air of apathy to her character which lapses and visibly deteriorates, showing unbridled desire and rage. Pauling and De Lancey shine. Pauling’s character is not merely a foil for Laura, but multi-layered and intriguing in his own right.

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The show entranced the little girls in the audience who stared at the beautiful Snow White (Joanna Abatzoglou) in awe, but it may not be as well received by younger children, as was the case with my nearly-three year old brother. The play is simply one for children to watch, not interactive children’s theatre.

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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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Classic miscommunication, all resolved through hilarious skits and dance-offs. Can’t agree on whose toothbrush goes where? Bring on the Toothbrush Tango.

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“2017 may have gotten off to a rocky start, what with the dire water situation and the political turmoil in America, but one thing is for certain: where there is wine, there is hope.”

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It was the last installment of the 2015/2016 Kirstenbosch Summer Sunset Concerts, and the usual crowd of beer-drinkers and champagne-sippers had trickled onto the grass when The Vanilla opened the show to warm daylight and the buzz of concert-goers’ chatter. Their music is characterised by distinctive vibey tunes and a spunky, almost African sound that’s definitely pleasing to the ear.

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“Their Estate Blend consists of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot. As these hard-hitters suggest, the blend is full bodied and speaks of a cold winter’s evening curled up in front of the fire after a venison dinner and dark chocolate based desert.”

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I may have been coaxed out of hibernation with the promise of a meal, but I also feel enriched having been on this tour. Many Capetonians miss out on the wealth of hidden treasures their city has to offer.

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A red-lipsticked Robert Smith, grey hair teased skywards, led the rest of his indie-pop/rock outfit The Cure as they pulled out of the starting gates with ‘Plainsong’.

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“Multi-award-winning theatre director and producer, Lara Foot, has done it once again. Along with her unquestionably talented team of actors, Foot has created a South African story fuelled with honesty, pain, suffering and love.”

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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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Despite the large crowds, there was an anticipatory stillness in the air, broken only by the occasional squawk of a hadeda. Then a loud boom sliced through the quiet evening air as a drummer announced the arrival of the 16 strong Male Vocal Ensemble, who gave a very impressive performance, which was improved still further by the accompaniment of James Grace.

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The Bird Watchers is the latest offering from Fugard’s pen. This production is the premier staging, and before the play even started my eye was caught by the beautiful set design by Saul Radomsky.

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With his simple lines Zapiro captures the essence of those who make the news. And in this, his latest exhibition,n Zapiro celebrates one of South Africa’s biggest news makers: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.

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The talent of these rockers – together now for 12 years – has been finely polished and their songs were slickly delivered, with old favourites such as the ballad ‘She Always Gets What She Wants’ being particularly well received.

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But the vibe was broken for me. It was nearly 1am and I was embarrassed, squashed, and tired of waiting for the headline DJs. If they’d been playing I might have stayed but now my bed was calling me.

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Considering that Stellenbosch-born Zoe Beyers has performed with some of the world’s most acclaimed musicians from a very young age, it was no surprise that her performance of Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in D minor was effortlessly breathtaking.

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The sultry sounds of jazz could be heard echoing in the passageways all night, adding to the festive atmosphere and keeping heads nodding and hips swinging. But for all the trumpets and saxophones, there was also plenty of contemporary music on the menu, giving the event a real music festival vibe.

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Undoubtedly Sylvia Strike’s meticulous direction has succeeded in vandalising the classical work, but with such style as to pay it the greatest homage whilst reviving it for a modern audience.

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Venus in Fur is a play within a play inspired by Sacher-Masoch’s novel within a novel, Venus in Furs. The 1870 novella was a few decades ahead of its time exploring masochism – in fact it is credited for inspiring the term.

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An acoustic performance to a small audience tests true musicality in its purest form. And likewise, as an audience member, you too have to focus all your attention on the music. Thus all other distractions were set aside and Zebra & Giraffe ‘stripped down’ won me over in a couple of (heart)beats.

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South Africa’s talented superstar Inge Beckman was thus received with electrified excitement, when she dramatically appeared out of the smoke with band members Paul Ressel, Simon “Fuzzy” Ratcliffe and Sean Ou Tim.

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This adaptation of the novel does justice to the book’s aesthetic, presenting the audience with an imaginary and undefined time and place, employing an evocative surrealism that strikes the perfect balance between alienation and sensory indulgence.

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Most exciting were the productions which straddled multiple theatre formats. The Door by Grahamstown-based physical theatre company Ubom! was a multimedia feast of visuals which saw mobile doors dance across the stage as a reinterpretation of conventional puppets accompanied by live visuals on an overhead projector.

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