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With all the wines coming from the Western Cape region, festivals like these bring good wine from the estate cellar to the city, reaching new and emerging markets that all too clearly are ready to embrace the wine-drinking culture.

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The viewer is treated to a finely crafted, delicate explosion of paint revealing a masterful relationship between the fragile, serene stillness of the model’s gaze and the wild sweeps of colour. Instead of obscuring the finely drawn form, the chaotic layer of abstraction enhances it.

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The pain of loss is explored in a brave, sincere, and emotional way. Two exquisite portraits – ‘Dead Dog’ and ‘Dead Dog Too’ are instantly eye-catching in their simplicity, honesty and their black-and-white starkness.

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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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I am always overwhelmed by the magic of theatre. Luyanda Somkhene and Solomon Mashiane have created a simple, well structured, softly lit setting in which the world of Fruit takes place.

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The Alexander Bar has done a great thing in giving a platform to both established and upcoming talent in South Africa. It has been the venue for many a great show but – almost inevitably – some do not quite hit the mark.

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“The Fall is not only a fresh in-your-face piece of theatre, it is a command for attention and a plea for support.”

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Cape Town is cooking and my otherwise pale and blotchy legs are now complemented by orange streaks of fake tan. In this regard, I remain resolutely British. True Capetonians blossom in the summer. Endless lithe and perfectly bronzed bodies roam about, relaxed and laughing. Even their hair remains shiny and tangle-free whereas mine sticks out in small frizzy clumps where I’ve repeatedly got it caught in my sunglasses. [Read more…]

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When someone says opera, you might think of corsetted ladies hitting high notes, epic romances played out over multiple hours, Shakespearian plotlines that end in death or disaster. You might not think of surrealistic landscapes, Dadaesque vocals or absurdist scenarios. Having left the Artscape theatre with my mind twisted and released by the utter weirdness that is Postcard From Morocco, I feel like we’ve been given a glimpse of the psychotic side of opera.

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Solomon and Marion is the story of two broken people, each haunted by their past. Marion is a white English woman in her 60s living on her own in a farmhouse.

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It is a rare privilege to hear complete collections of works at one recital and Myer ambitiously included not one but three collections in his programme: The whole of Debussy’s Book I 12 Préludes, the three Sonnet movements from Liszt’s Années de Pèlerinage: Deuxième Année: Italia, and Iberia Book IV (Málaga, Jerez and Eritaňa) from the Spanish pianist and composer Isaac Albéniz

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Tutus, little ballet shoes and an all round show of pink flooded the passages and hallways of the UCT School of Dance. The Cape Town City Ballet’s Open Day saw aspiring ballerinas and experienced ballet fans jostling with the City Ballet’s large pool of talented dancers hoping to showcase their talents, in an unmissable day for anyone with a love for dance.

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Prince, The Jackson Five, James Brown and Kool & the Gang…. Yeah, baby – take me to Funky Town! I had my hairspray, legwarmers and neon headband ready until I realised that this was not a dress-up event. What a pity! We need more of those.

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The annual Riesling & Rarities Rock wine festival, set on the picturesque Hartenberg Wine Estate, is a showcase for some of the lesser-known white wine varietals such as Riesling, Viognier, Semillon and Gewürztraminer. If you think it’s much too hot for these ‘heavier’ whites, think again: wine, food, and music at a shaded garden party is just what you need to beat the heat.

Riesling is a modest but versatile wine. Depending on the terroir and a winemaker’s discretion, a Riesling can be as light and fruity as a Sauvignon Blanc, as acidic as a Chenin Blanc or as beautifully wooded as a Chardonnay.

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“Dwayne, played by Paul Slabolepszy, stumbles into his workshop, out of breath, clutching a blood-stained baseball bat in his hands. Immediately, there is a sense of secrets untold.”

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“You heard it here first – seaweed is the new kale. This was one of the many talking points at Dine4Six’s collaboration with Chef’s Table at the Mt Nelson.”

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Lifting the Artscape curtain is to be hurled into 18th century Europe. Royalty and wealth spill over the edges of the stage with reds and golds and exuberant costumes – intricately fitted corsets, enormous bulging skirts and powdered wigs on men’s heads.

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Morning Tea and Afternoon Tea have become so popular that the Mount Nelson has now responded to requests for an Evening Tea. It’s scheduled from 6pm to 8:30pm, but because it’s at the end of the day, guests have a chance to linger long after. The Evening Tea puts greater emphasis on savoury snacks, but still offers a substantial dessert, and is priced at R 295 per person.

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As a psychologist and professor of trauma, forgiveness and reconciliation, Gobodo-Madikizela started her journey into De Kock’s mind after she noticed him at the Truth and Reconciliation Committee hearings. Following the honest confessions of his crimes he requested private time with the families of the victims of these crimes, so that he could personally ask their forgiveness. A Human Being Died That Night – written by Nicolas Wright – is based partly on Gobodo-Madikizela’s book by the same title, and partly on transcripts of over 40 hours of her interviews with De Kock and his hearings at the Truth and Reconciliation Committee.

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From beginning to end the energy is high, in a blistering exultation of spinning, darting, falling, jumping, zooming and any other action you can think of, but also in the quieter moments, where there is a sense of the same crackling energy wound tightly in, to subtly dramatic effect.

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“I couldn’t help but wonder if Steyn is a painter herself. The nuance of her gestures seem remarkably practiced, as if these movements have long been committed to muscle memory.”

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