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Tops’ performance is underlined by a true sincerity which comes through in every note. Charming, flawless and a true romantic, when she doesn’t engender smiles and laughter it is because she is moving her audience to tears.

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The Secret Masquerade Ball gave guests an excuse to be mischievous as identities were hidden behind flamboyant masks that added to the chic-yet-mysterious ambience.

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It was the Rolling Stone Original Voices concert. When a friend told me the bill, I almost fell off my chair. Sara Blasko, Willy Mason and Cat Power. All of them. On one night. No time for falling out of chairs in dramatic surprise, tickets needed to be booked. It’s really hard not to just gush after going to a concert like this so forgive me, please, I am about to gush.

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“a dark and unsettling atmosphere made all the more sinister by an inherent innocence in the otherwise wayward protagonist…”

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Starring Nicholas Pauling and Mark Elderkin, and directed by Greg Karvellas, The Frontiersmen is a venomously poetic two hander following the plots and pains of two South African property developers who will stop at nothing to get what they want.

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Through the use of creative staging, unique and evocative devices to maintain suspense, and masterful manipulation of tempo, Silent Voice is already a grand feat of pure theatrical engineering. Add to this a gripping, unnerving and unpredictable plot, and it is overwhelming.

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Nature’s ever-existing sublimity and beauty may well provide ready assembled artworks, but the photographer is doing a lot more than just snapping a tribute to these natural masterpieces. The captions on each photograph reveal an eye-widening glimpse into a photographer’s lifestyle of trekking through scourging terrains, thwarted by fire and ice. It’s a beautiful amalgamation of man and the elements.

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Then, to heartfelt applause, Sir James Galway made his long-awaited appearance with his iconic golden flute. Mozart’s Flute Concerto served as a wonderful vehicle to showcase the brilliance of this gifted flautist, who is internationally regarded as the supreme interpreter of the classical flute repertoire. Mozart’s delightfully playful melodies, which are – typically for the Austrian composer – interwoven with musical humour, visibly enchanted the audience, many of whom could be seen shaking their heads with disbelief.

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Ranging from shadowy abstract ink, watercolour and bleach drawings to vague, almost blurred images of faces kept in mostly one colour, the paintings provide an interesting glance into what Raaff describes as “the internal landscape of the subconscious”. Each painting warrants a steady gaze, time to allow one’s thoughts to subside, and to appreciate the image on the intuitive level that is unique to every individual.

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Daneel is accompanied by a booze-guzzling keyboard-playing Lion (Roelof Colyn). Colyn’s musical talents stretch far, with past involvement as conductor/musical director/arranger and more (Rocky Horror Show, Hairspray, Fiela’s Child). This time, as accompanist, backing vocals and resident Lion, he balances out van der Walt’s dramatic voice and presence beautifully. Together they weave the audience in and out of tales of Gerry the Giraffe, a lonely whale, odes to slow driving and a favourite murder ballad.

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The lone bagpiper called us to the school hall at Rhodes High School, in from a chilly winter’s night. Youngsters flitted by, all in kilts, carrying fiddles of varying sizes, gorgeous Scottish accents filling the spaces. They settled themselves on the stage, and in front of it (there are over a hundred of them, all aged between 10 and 18!) Amongst them, members of the CPYO settled too.

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We perceive the world around us through our senses and every day we’re bombarded by external stimuli. It’s easy, in today’s mode of living, to get caught up in the multi-sensory distractions from various media platforms, so to be given the opportunity to focus on one sense is something special. Biblioteek Productions has been pushing the envelope with live music concerts, and their innovative In the Dark series not only exposes audiences to masterful works of western art music, but also puts audiences into a space where their ears are given full preference and heightened awareness of the musical output in (relative) darkness, free from the distraction of visually focused experiences.

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“Speaking of versatile, Daniel Mpilo Richards is phenomenal and glides smoothly through multiple characters and accents without losing character.”

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“In a time and a place when literature can feel like an increasingly niche interest, this powerful and collaborative annual event is a reminder of the importance of creating a safe space to discuss the intersection of books and life.”

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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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“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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“The magical world he conjures is brought to life by the stately sets and lavish costumes of Peter Cazalet. From the opulent era gowns to the enchanting tutus of the fairies, this production is visually rich and textured, captivating audiences of all ages.”

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When the first bars of this classic played out across the gardens, the crowd reacted as one body with everyone leaping up to dance. It gave me goosebumps.

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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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The stage was set for an evening of magic and wonder. The empty wheelchair and blank screen at the rear of the stage suggested anything was possible. What eventually unfolded certainly left me in awe, but not for the right reasons.

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If you happen to have some time on your hands, it can get so much better. A hike up to the top of Klapmutskop, for instance, gives staggering views across swathes of forest, vineyards and all the way across to the distinct outline of Table Mountain.

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Not only is it dark, thrilling, and intellectual, but it has an unexpected twist and a mesmeric plot that keeps you intrigued and wondering when the Big Bad Wolf is coming for you. All of this as well as a good few bursts of embarrassing and much too loud laughter is what makes great theatre.

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It seemed as though the energy levels of the crowd rose as steadily as the sun set. The Solid Gold Session Band was phenomenal in their performance as they got the crowd going with renditions of popular sing-alongs and Cape Town classic tracks.

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Ringo Madlingozi is renowned for delivering memorable and emotionally charged shows that leave the audience mesmerised. Not only does he have a commanding stature, a strong yet soothing voice and a powerful energy on stage but he has a unique ability to read and connect with his audience which, combined with his authentic African beats and sing-along melodies have the power to enthrall an audience.

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Cape Town City Ballet’s reproduction of Veronica Paeper’s Camille is a riveting production combining the always-classic tragedy of lost love with the perfection of its dancers.

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Rabinowitz’s comedy is particularly admirable for being so current. I recognised a story that I had sniggered at in the Daily Maverick just a couple of days before and I felt an immediate bond that he, like me, had found it so funny, even though for some reason no one had laughed when I told it.

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