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Youngleson’s script is poetry in motion. Smooth and staccato words pour out of Makin-Taylor like a meth-addict’s disconnected ramblings as she recites names and dates and gives a whirlwind tour of South African colonial history.

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In a befittingly tender pas de deux, Bosenberg and Weyershausen poured themselves into the harmony of their movements, with an emotion that flowed off the stage and into the hearts of the audience.

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Music, it seems, creates its own subculture. So you like classical music? You must be a square in sensible shoes. A rocker wears painfully skinny jeans. An RnB chick is stylin’ in stilettos and a figure-hugging dress.

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This exhibition is a testament to the power of the human spirit. Many of these young men and women are likely to end up the victims of their surroundings, but for all of them there is hope, particularly at the very moment captured on film. Even for those gangsters portrayed in Life After there is hope, as hinted at in the very name of the essay and the exhibition.

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It had been a big gig at the castle the night before, and leaping around to the pumping sounds of Prime Circle while downing vodka shots had seemed a good idea at the time. Less so now as I found myself rinsing large chunks of raw meat under an industrial tap in a converted container.

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I was concerned for my pride – that I might look like a total spanner on a plank. And I was concerned for my body – this excursion was bound to result in a few hard knocks. But I manfully rose to the challenge and headed off to Atlantis for a day of sandboarding…

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We started with a handmade Pizza Focaccia con Rosmarino e Sale. This we paired with Prosciutto con Gelato di Grana Padano– small cones of Parma ham wrapped with a filling of marscapone and parmesan cheese. It was a delicious taste sensation and I would highly recommend visiting just to taste it.

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One would have thought it would be difficult to empathize with an SS officer responsible for gross crimes against humanity. But Cairns is irresistibly charming as a dry and somewhat clumsy ex-theatre-critic-turned-Nazi-cleric. Equipped with his signature wit and physical comedic ability Cairns creates a character who soulfully reflects on his existence as an “evil, evil German” as he tries to save the life of his love interest, a captive stage actress, by convincing his superiors that “sie weiss alles” (she knows everything).

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Just 12 canvases hang in the Christopher Moller gallery. Large, impelling portraits throbbing with colour and life. In keeping with the international shows by the same artist, this one also sold out. On opening night. In thirty minutes. Online and in print, Salgado’s work shows its brilliance. But to see it ‘in the flesh’ is to recognise that his work is truly sublime.

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An exclusive party requires top entertainment, and even before the music started guests were thrilled by an impressive acrobat gracefully suspended by two ropes of white fabric hanging from the ceiling between the upper and lower floors. Then the music started: a line-up including P.H Fat and Fistaz Mixwell and headed by electronic instrumental duo Goldfish.

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The conference – aimed squarely at die-hards – is both exhausting and exhilarating. One is immersed in creative concepts and imaginative ideas for three long days, literally eating, breathing and sleeping design (case in point – I dreamed about Dave Hakken’s edible pen).

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The late afternoon sun gleams over the Atlantic Ocean with the Twelve Apostles looming majestically over the waves. Throw in some good old Mother City breeze, a terraced lawn shaded by pomegranate trees, the right time of day, and you get the perfect sundowner venue.

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Multi-layered characters are needed to build such a story and they flow effortlessly from Piekaan’s body in an almost schizophrenic fashion. Piekaan plays every character in the show, and his ability to fully encompass such diverse characters is nothing short of astounding.

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In his former role as a maths and history teacher, Oliver reveals he was full of stern reprimands. As a comedian he brings out the lighter side of some dark school musings.

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Anticipation builds whenever Darkroom Contemporary announces a new production. It is certain that theirs will not be a typical conventional staged dance performance but rather a creative collaborative live art show.

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The music, composed by the creator of the show, Johnny Ray, aims unashamedly for the epic musical: fierce with emotion and hope for the personal and global dramas being enacted on stage.

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From there our nerves were soothed by Schumann’s ‘Cello Concerto in A Minor’, with the fabulous Georgi Anichenko as soloist cellist, accompanied by violins that moved from sad, to plucky, to frenetic. There is something so heartachingly, beautifully, sorrowful about a cello. Anichenko kept the audience mesmerised and had them on their feet for a standing ovation.

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Without doubt, the main focus of the production is the puppetry, created by Adrian Kohler and Basil Jones of Handspring Puppet Company (based in Muizenberg). The main puppets, Joey and Topthorn, are each controlled by a rotating team of puppeteers who have worked out a painstaking method to create seemingly effortless and lifelike movement of the horses, all choreographed by Tony Sedgwick and based on Handspring’s reputation for detail. Every action, down to each twitch of the ears and flick of the tail, brings life to a puppet that can literally be seen breathing.

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Wild is a mashup of How I Met Your Mother, Defending the Caveman and The Lion King condensed to 80 minutes and directed by Alan Committee. The narrative bounces back and forth punctuated by a phrase the audience grows to know very well, “Let me start again”.

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Another Day sees a wide variety of dance styles in stylized outfits, with choreographed awesomeness of mindbending backbends and dancers being flipped, thrown, elevated, trawled and spinned. There is never a dull moment; in contrast, there are plenty of moving moments, awe-inspiring moments and moments of pure beauty. Oh, and let’s not forget the sexy, sweaty, sassy fun element!

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Supported by an able cast, on a fantastic set that looked like a Visi cover, it was nonetheless Mpofu who carried the show and had the audience thrilling to her voice.

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The apex of the show is ‘Inkululeko’ by Indoni Dance which is truly one of the most powerful dance works I have seen in a long time, bringing the audience to their feet even before the curtain call. As the dramatic music started I had my doubts as to whether the piece could live up to such iconic music but I was thrilled to be proven wrong

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Neo Muyanga describes the score of the production as “based on the choral modes and harmonies of the old apostolic church playing in call-and-response against songs of ‘redness’ – the music of the Nguni tradition” and I, a descendant of both of these musical traditions became frenzied: singing along and clapping uncontrollably to familiar songs from the classic kwaito tune Thathi’ Isgubhu to the bewitching drumbeat of the folk song We Majola Phum’etilongweni. What an unexpected enjoyment!

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A performance showcasing new dancers and the versatility of familiar ones. The orchestra is on stage, highlighting the relationship between the music, dancers and choreography.

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“Their performance is nothing short of mind-boggling – not a beat missed between character changes or dramatic moments. They play a lot in the world of montages, using the simplest of props in wickedly intelligent ways.”

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Igor Stravinsky’s original score seamlessly combined with dance and giant puppets is a thrilling multisensory experience.

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