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Swedish dancer Gunilla Hammar, the protagonist character in the production, moves with finesse, effortlessly creating beautiful lines.

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Buckland’s portrayal is bang-on: he not only administers slapstick humour effectively, but also taps into a degree of self-laceration which plumbs the dark psychology of a man racked with failure. He plays it straight, which is exactly what a story of this extreme requires.

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Elizabeth Nienaber dances the lead role of Thumbelina. Her crisp clean technique and articulate facial expressions capture the essence of the character and show her to be a wonderful performer.

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Wavescape is, at its base, surf porn: a showcase of beautiful barrelling bodies of water seducing even this ignorant land dweller into wanting to join the surf culture. All of the films experiment with mesmerising soundtracks and impressive cinematography, capturing chiselled bodies balanced nonchalantly on their surfboards as they weave in and around sublime scenes of nature.

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Unfortunately the huddled concert goers were at the mercy of a temperamental mother nature. What should have been a perfect summer’s evening turned into a wintery affair, driving many to leave the concert before its end. But despite the reduced numbers, the stage presence of rockers Just Jinjer was nothing short of exemplary. Highlights of the performance included a soulful rendition of Rodriguez’s ‘Sugarman’ and an introduction to one of their latest releases, ‘Providence’.

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Marimba Vibrations, the live entertainment on a recent Thursday night at Mama Africa, plays especially loudly. It has to; the fight for attention is fierce – the food is exotic (crocodile, ostrich), at least for this Tevas-and-button-down crowd and, outside, the patrons of Long Street’s double-decker bars are living up to their reputation for revelry.

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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 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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The Open Design Festival is a melting pot of creativity, innovation and ideas that leaves the city fragrant with inspiration. From artistic expression to intellectual debate, all paradigms are challenged and the world cracks open with possibilities.

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For an hour and a half, we were transported back in time, steered by nostalgia. Although it was somewhat jarring to see the man in my childhood bedroom posters so much older and greyer, his rich, soulful falsetto and vocal range have not been weathered by time. Brian McKnight not only hit every note in his impressive range, he thrashed it.

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“The show captivates from start to finish, but a notable highlight is the Oscar Pistorius scene – a classic trampling of the fine line between humour and utter insensitivity.”

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As the university-rich Western Cape calls back old students to resume their academic (and party) lives, a new batch of bright-eyed and bushy tailed first-years make their way into the often treacherous world that is student life. Well-timed at the beginning of the year, the talented theatre youths Grant Jacobs and Liam Mcdermott bring their own creation to stage at Kalk Bay Theatre in the shape of a pop rock musical: A Beautiful Wreckage.

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“The use of these raw materials in her work creates textured, layered compositions that writhe and breathe, almost coming to life through interesting layered surfaces and shining metallic highlights.”

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“As the cast of Ubuze Bam took a bow, I let out a sigh as I reached for my cellphone to text my friend. I wanted to tell him how freaked out I was by what I had just witnessed.”

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From its menacing start to its unexpected end, Pieter Toerien Productions’ Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street is the perfect balance of grisly revenge and morbid humour; everything you could hope to experience in this iconic musical. Featuring a South African cast directed by Steven Stead, all the elements of sound, set, production, costume and cast come together flawlessly to blast the audience with a full-frontal sensory overload.

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“It is a highly visual production. With frosted glass sliding panels, the set changes dynamically within seconds, almost as fast as the actors switch roles.”

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It is an exceptionally large restaurant, spanning across two floors – the upper level providing sweeping views of the Waterfront. Once the sun goes down and the lights flicker on across the harbour, it is even more magical, especially with the lit up Cape Wheel in the corner of one’s eye. The décor is simple and elegant, with the tables inside positioned around a stage for live entertainment – a mainstay of the Moyo experience.

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I know that liking a politician for their appearance is as shallow as choosing a racehorse for its name or a wine for its label, but, well… I am that shallow. I am more likely to be found reading the derring-do exploits of The Four Marys from the Bunty Annual 1965 than perusing the political pages of the papers, but for what it’s worth, I liked the fact that Thabo Mbeki was always immaculately tailored just as I liked his upright posture, his quiet demeanour and his reputation for academia. [Read more…]

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“Sandra Prinsloo plays Martins, bringing to her character a naiveté of life with a passion for the one thing that filled her with joy: her art.”

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“The followspot soulful six are back at it, and this time they are riffing on the heart strings of everyone who loves a classic. Taking you through an alchemical medley of the songs that stood the test of time.”

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“Why Shiraz? This sophisticated, full-bodied wine with its tendency towards red fruit or spicy notes tells you, in three sips or less, that winter is here; and oh my, are we glad indeed.”

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His latest offering, Dark Imaginings, was a very well-planned and thought out show, with every little detail under his masterful control. With a non-stop narration throughout, Lightbody taught some psychological advertising techniques and demonstrated the effects of colour on a few hand-picked volunteers.

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There is an obvious chemistry between Mohr and her band but there lacked a synergy between song changes and “stage shakeups”. After almost every song the people on stage were rearranged.

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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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This was the most accessible, eclectic and sustainable lifestyle festival I’ve encountered thus far. Everybody was tasting everything and an assortment of people flitted between the myriad wine stalls like boisterous bees in Bacchus’s backyard.

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