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Scrape might be a one woman show but it is far from being a one woman production. The efforts of all the role players are delicately layered together to form a multidimensional piece.

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What sets Eclectica apart from the many minimalist contemporary galleries in Cape Town is the combination of art and carefully selected furniture. Raw leather matches the deep, rich browns in Matthew Hindley’s Forrest series of paintings, while a brightly coloured couch parallels the quirky styles of Marna Hattingh and Norman O’Flynn. All the furniture complements the art, highlighting the underlying tones of the paintings or key aspects of the works.

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Cue thoughts of “Where am I, what happened and why the heck are there cows in my house?” crossing the minds of many before they realized they were on a farm, in a tent… and seeing Biffy Clyro live in less than 12 hours.

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“Jaco Bouwer’s Orfeo reinvents the genre with a young cast in contemporary dress and metafictional playfulness. The soloists deliver strong performances, and despite the fact that there are only twelve members in the cast, their powerful voices meld into a rich sound.”

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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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Once the concert started my doubts were soon put to rest. These artists were musically assured and had engaging stage personalities to boot. The programme offered an interesting choice of works that alternated between different ensemble combinations, showcasing each performer’s abilities, as well as the interesting new sound possibilities that the unusual combination of voice, piano and marimba has to offer.

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This small, fascinating and in-depth show – which ran at the National Arts Festival earlier in 2013 – is an exploration of complex, searing emotions. Such a vast amount of personal unprocessed emotion would be hard to put into words but makes for great dance. As such, Below My Feet is breathtaking.

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Known for his influence in rediscovering and reinventing the traditional Jewish music of Eastern Europe, David Krakauer’s clarinet took the audience on a journey ranging from classical Brahms pieces to improvised modern Klezmer. He was accompanied by South African pianist Kathleen Tagg, who is known for being a sensitive, insightful collaborative pianist.

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He doesn’t care much for an audience, only really to sing. And play. He performs songs he loves, and you’re welcome to listen. Or not. The songs don’t care.

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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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My partner in adventure announced it a triumph before they’d even started singing. As my first opera, I thought it sensible to tag along with someone who could tell me what on earth was going on. But in fact the story was a cinch, the set was superb and the singing was sublime. I hardly needed the tears coursing down my friend’s cheeks to tell me that Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail was a massive success.

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The entrance to Mint Wellness is rather grand and mysterious. At the end of a winding, foliage-laden lane on the exclusive Glen side of Camps Bay stands the entrance to a stately manor house. Beyond, lies a four-acre estate with a mountain pool, waterfall, streams, manicured lawns, lush woodland and superlative views of the Atlantic Ocean. This is Camps Bay Retreat, and in its verdant nature reserve, hidden by a thicket of trees, lies the Mint Wellness Spa.

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Love, Loss and what I Wore is light without being frivolous. It’s a fun night out with the girls that will still turn in your head after the white wine hangover of the next morning has worn off. Alternatively, drag along your significant other to make him appreciate the value of a woman’s wardrobe.

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“In the midst of all the goofing around, there is an open, honest humility from both performers, despite their monstrous talent.”

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Ziziou Corder’s best-selling trilogy is retold by award-winning British theatre company Complicite in a performance that makes an even bigger beast of the bold story.

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Appliances, solar heaters and ceramic knives seem to dominate at this year’s Decorex, but amongst the more practical items there are also some exciting, well-executed, original products – many of them by as yet little-known designers. Here’s the pick of some of our favourites.

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Six beers went with six foods. The beers went from light to bitter, and the chef discussed his reasons for the flavours of each accompanying dish. It’s a lot of information to process, but you’re sure to walk away knowing more about beer than you did before and a slightly more cultured pallet with which to annoy your friends at the pub.

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Glasshouse has created a grooming emporium with overtones of a gentlemen’s club. Hot cappuccinos, cold beers and refined whisky can be enjoyed whilst watching the rugby – as a therapist skillfully attends to your toes.
The décor successfully reflects the ethos behind Glasshouse: masculine, comfortable, contemporary and suitably slick, yet not intimidating.

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There’s a special fascination about people who appear to have no regard for danger. It’s amazing that no one died as kayakers were filmed hurling themselves down impossibly high and freakishly tumultuous rapids in nothing more than bright yellow Tupperware clogs.

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A fascinating aspect of Stern’s work is the way in which she usually shows the human figure as facing away from the viewer in a heavy coat of black or blue outline. Those that happen to peer out of the frame have little to no facial detail. It seems that Stern felt that the landscape and the boats were so mesmerising, so animated, that the people surrounding them lost all prominence.

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Watch out Brazil, Africa has arrived! Last Saturday all the diversities that make us a proud rainbow nation came together in a professionally packaged gift, wrapped with the expectancy of the renowned Rio Carnival.

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Rock the River was no exception. Hell, I only stayed for one night and I still feel like death. The location for the mayhem was Westcoast Ostrich farm where there was not an ostrich in sight. Dim as they are renowned to be, even these birds saw the wisdom in moving to a neighbouring farm before the hordes of inebriated partygoers invaded their space.

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With some excellent South African artists included in the lineup, it was still a surprise to feel the energies of some of the lesser known musicians. Former Idols season 6 contestant Lloyd Cele in particular was a real icebreaker, flipping the switch from ‘gentle picnic fest’ to ‘vibey concert fest’.

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There was already quite a long queue of people, but the expo absorbed us all effortlessly and it didn’t feel crowded until lunchtime and by then we’d seen and tasted everything to our hearts’ content.

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When we entered the Caribbean-themed restaurant Jamaica Me Crazy early on Tuesday evening, we were greeted by reggae music, friendly waiters and relaxed patrons who were casually chatting and sipping their beers. I was one half of a pair playing against groups of four and five – which is probably why we lost. That, and we hadn’t a clue.

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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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