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Paul Weinberg, curator and contributing photographer, has lived in Muizenberg for the past seven years during which time he walked his camera and his dog around the area in an attempt to explore and understand his surroundings. His neighbourhood snapshots reveal the eye of a documentary photographer. The scene of black church worshippers on the beach in ‘Church Service, Sunrise Circle’ also contains the small figure of a lone, older white man, observing them. Is he merely an innocent onlooker? Is he inspired by the service or does he judge it?

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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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Wavescape is, at its base, surf porn: a showcase of beautiful barrelling bodies of water seducing even this ignorant land dweller into wanting to join the surf culture. All of the films experiment with mesmerising soundtracks and impressive cinematography, capturing chiselled bodies balanced nonchalantly on their surfboards as they weave in and around sublime scenes of nature.

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we are treated to solos that include the iconic Bournonville jumps and stylised arms as well as colourful, high energy group numbers into which Bournonville ingeniously infused elements of Highland dancing giving these scenes a fun folky feel. The fast and intricate footwork is performed in perfect unison by the cast, and though the spacing and lines could be sharper in the transitions between shapes, the timing and musicality is on point.

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The viewer of The Music Shop feels less in the theatre and more as though they are in a living room being entertained by family and friends. The feeling expresses a time when people sang and danced together as an escape from the trials and tribulations of life. The Music Shop is like a family gathering at which each of the characters finds some sort of comfort in the others, even when the end takes a surprising turn. Nicholas Ellenbogen has produced a brilliant work which should be appreciated by all.

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Plan an outing with friends or family to make use of the leisurely picnic-like atmosphere, rather than expecting a wine and olive tasting marathon.

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The raw truths in Siembamba brought me to tears. The raw truths about being born into the wrong side of history deeply resonated with the captivated audience.

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Four Small Gods turns out to be as riveting and enjoyable as any mainstream feature in the city. Just when I began to worry that our theatre scene was rapidly becoming a place of dramatisations rather than original drama, along comes director Joanna Evans with a fresh and impassioned moral debate. The play was the winning entry for the Imbewu Trust’s 2014 SCrIBE Scriptwriting competition, with the top prize being a professional run in Cape Town. Although only 25, Evans is already a celebrated theatre maker: she won a Standard Bank Silver Ovation Award for The Year of the Bicycle, the 2012 Mavis Taylor Award for Theatre Making and Best International Show at the 2015 Iran International Theatre Festival for Children and Youth. And you can see why: there’s immense beauty and power in this tale, which delves into deep philosophical themes such as the lifeboat dilemma and the conflicts of human nature.

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Speaking about his “baby”, Nyanga-based theatre producer and director Mhlanguli George says, “In Theatre in the Backyard we are breaking boundaries in theatre. There is no auditorium; there is no stage. It goes beyond acting and into real life.”

This innovative, raw and uniquely South African theatre concept stems from George’s “artistic curiosity of wanting to know what is happening in people’s backyards”, and needing to “reveal the secrets of this unknown world”. George uses real-life backyards as the site for his intimate and even voyeuristic theatrical productions.

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There are few better ways to celebrate the festive season than watching a performance of Cape Town City Ballet’s The Nutcracker. With Tchaikovsky’s magical music and E.T.A. Hoffman’s colourful characters, it’s a true holiday treat. The company is joined by young dancers from around Cape Town to bring this iconic story to life, infusing the production with contagiously playful energy.

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“This production of Annie delivers a refreshing energy to an old-fashioned tale while at the same time paying homage to the glory days of great chocolate box-style theatre productions.”

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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 violin pyrotechnics that Boriso-Glebsky summoned from his instrument had the audience bursting into well deserved applause. But this was not the end, and both soloist and conductor pleaded embarrassingly for silence, as if to say, “You ain’t seen nothing yet”.

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“Seasoned actors Nicholas Pauling and Brent Palmer use razor-sharp story-telling to deliver an immaculate performance that allows the spotlight to shine on the superbly taut script.”

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“After a seven year hiatus, international rock band Live treated a packed Grand West Arena to a wall of nostalgic, 90s post-grunge that had audience members screaming and spilling beer all over their 40-something spouses and friends.”

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Organised by Top of the Food and hosted at Clarke’s Diner and Bar, Lady Godiva focuses on foraged ingredients, serving delectable dishes that are sure to tease with your taste buds. 

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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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Highlights included a Company Class taught by ballerina Tracy Li, face painting and costume ‘experiences’, an ‘Introduction to Ballet’ class open to all ages, a performance by Jikeleza (Cape Town City Ballet’s Outreach group) and a look into the life of a student dancer at the UCT School of Dance.

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The characters of Romeo and Juliet tend to be considered either as Shakespeare’s most popular personalities or his most annoying. The two young lovers go through so much to be together only to both die at the end.

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This may be a one woman show but with all the characters that kept popping out, the stage became quite crowded. With no costume changes Isaacs shifted easily between multitudes of characters, each with its own accent, facial expression and body language, from her hairdresser mother to the two local gossips to an American version of herself and more.

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There is surely no better place for his work to be exhibited than the edgy, hip 34 Fine Art Gallery in Woodstock, Cape Town. The venue is well-known as catering for serious art-collectors and the gallery’s professional staff are always on hand to give detailed background to each image.

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I was not quite sure where to put this boy with one of South Africa’s greatest musicians’ blood running through him. His music is easy listening, the kind that might one day be of the better songs on adult contemporary radio stages.

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Throwing everything they have at two pianos, von Memerty and Roxmouth take the audience on a magical musical history tour: from Beethoven and Bach all the way through ragtime, rock’n’roll and Broadway, to Stevie Wonder, Elton John and Alicia Keyes. There’s hardly a musical note left unturned.

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“Participating artists have been challenged to deliver work that uses the written word to find meaning in our daily lives. The results – mostly photography, text and mono-print – depict and analyse the reality that as human beings, we live our lives following rules of conduct, both spoken and unspoken.”

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