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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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Elsabe Daneel taps into her wealth of experience as one of the country’s most diverse entertainers as she takes on her most challenging role to date. The stoic Rika’s matter-of-fact recounting of her rape ordeal is both graphic and yet touching. Her composure and self-assurance extend to more than just her outwardly middle-class sophistication, and as she rationalises other tragic chapters in her life, we begin to suspect she is silently crusading against any form of sympathy from her spectators.

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A true absurdist performance – I understood nothing but felt everything, and left questioning my own existence.

Blythe Stuart Linger and Kathleen Stephens’ adaptation of Athol Fugard’s People Are Living There showcases the slow unravelling of a mind. The play is filled with beautiful monologues and dialogue, but its circular structure revolves around an axis of mundanity as a means of exposing that tedium.

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Unfamiliar with Taylor’s comedy, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but was happy to discover his quirky stage presence and a likeable personality. Taylor introduces the show with some light-hearted humour – “I aim to work with the best in the industry but they were unavailable for December” – followed by the familiar sound of the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme song, to which the trio raps their own hilarious rhymes.

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“The entirety of both lake scenes in which Bosenberg appears are stunning, aided by the aesthetic purity of 24 dancers in white romantic tutus floating across the stage like smoke.”

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“Harvey has big shoes to fill as Brice, but she comes out swinging with brash confidence and a disarming sense of humor. By the end of ‘I’m the Greatest Star’, which not only shows off her vocal range but comic timing as well, you know that Fanny is in good hands.”

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“I See You is a riveting and thought-provoking new play by Mongiwekhaya, created as part of the International PIaywrights: A Genesis Foundation Project. Its topical storyline explores very current issues surrounding South Africa’s continual negotiations with its traumatic history.”

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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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When Mr Jack Parow took the stage the whole crowd was on its feet in one clean sweep. If there was a drinking game to take a shot every time he said his own name then everyone would have been passed out till Tuesday.

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As far as I’m concerned, the concert could have ended after three songs, and I would have been satisfied that I had gotten my money’s worth. It’s one thing to see a live band which – great as it may be – rattles off the CD versions of their songs and then departs the stage. This was something different altogether.

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The List has a dark undertone and its complex protagonist takes some getting used to, but the play is peppered with gentler moments which uplift it and serve to develop the main character.

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Two Capetonians who are doing EXTREMELY well for themselves are Dominic Peters and David Poole of electronic jazz duo Goldfish. WhatsoninCapeTown caught up with them just after they’d signed to major international label, EMI.

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Clearly The Good Wife’s Guide is not all it’s cracked up to be. Inside, Sam and Dinah are churning, desperate for something elusive to them both, haunted by the memory of their former love, each yearning for a sign of genuine kindness from the other. Can they break through the rift in the communication barrier and rekindle their connection?

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Bit by bit the Assembly filled up with ravey looking club-goers for the much anticipated launch of the Dim Mak release of internationally acclaimed DJ Haezer’s, The Wrong Kid Died.

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For all the adrenaline, beauty and culture on offer in Cape Town, for true inspiration you can’t do better than to head to the townships. Most people assume that these are places of crime and squalor which should be avoided at all costs. But go with the right guide and you’ll find that behind the rows and rows of shacks that line the road from the airport there are real life stories full of proud, positive and caring entrepreneurship.

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From experts to amateur tasters, the WineX is a hub of knowledge for everyone. As UCT student Chelsea Wallace said, “I had lots of fun and all the stalls had people who knew what they were talking about.

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His sweat-drenched handkerchief, flung into the audience after a powerful rendition of ‘I’ll Be There for You’, found a happy home in the grappling arms of a euphoric, virtually hysterical young woman. Kenny Wizz reawakens the exuberance of Jackson’s songs so effectively that, as far as the audience is concerned, that IS Michael Jackson up on stage. And it’s infectious, experiencing a crowd so delirious with adoration.

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Liesl Stolz really performed, putting her all into the music so that every note came alive. Her gorgeous sequinned lashes and pert form were very bird-like, and the quality and energy of her playing were a treat, allowing music lovers to sink into the music with eyes closed. Stoltz is a musician who should be performing full time for large international audiences, she is that addictive. ‘The Black Bird’ (Messiaen) in particular gave free rein to our imagination and allowed piano and flute to engage in an airy dance.

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