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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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Based on the children’s TV show from the 1970s, Bangalory’s Back is a collection of tales on a brightly coloured set perfect for busy little minds. Janice Honeyman is back on stage as the storyteller and plays many of the characters. Zoleka Helesi and Marty Kintu are brilliant in their portrayals of a range of people – from bullies to gentle marimba players to children lost in the city.

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For collectors, it is the most convenient way of seeing such a vast array of talent in one place and for anyone interested in art it is quite simply a superb exhibition.

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From the very beginning, Salt dances along the border between reality and a beautifully portrayed dreamscape. Set in a psychiatric ward in which the shadows come to life, this is a tender glimpse into an innocent and carefree life confronting a new world with wide eyes.

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No doubt you remember the episode of Hart to Hart when Mrs H gets kidnapped by the baddie. Held in a room with a glass wall, she uses her large diamond ring to cut her way through the glass to freedom. It is surely the perfect example (note to husband) of just how useful diamonds can be in day to day living. [Read more…]

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The name for some may conjure up a rough, tough, smoke­filled, meat­-orientated eatery. But from the decor to the wine, Charcoal Dining is a relaxing place: a quiet, as­ yet­ unknown restaurant perfect for a date night or an evening out.

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What resulted was a market fair which proudly nourishes a sense of wholesome, frolicking, lighthearted entrepreneurship. And its success is reflected in the well-known names that gained their first foothold here. Before Kauai became an icon of healthy organic food, for example, it consisted of two brothers with a box of gourmet sandwiches and a single smoothie-maker touting their wares at the Obs Holistic Fair.

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“Be open for electronic music, a new European music,” declared Michael Wertmueller, the drummer of Swiss experimental/avant-rock duo Hadron, before they ripped the Mahogany Room’s sensitive eardrums apart with an out of the ordinary stir-up of aggressive techno and something like a teenage-angst-infused metal genre sans screamo vocals.

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“The end result is not only an immaculately staged piece of theatre, but also a tribute to South Africa’s performance arts legacy.”

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This show almost certainly intends to subvert the tropes of the traditional romcom and be combative and raucously offensive in an interesting and provocative way. What is the dark secret behind this duo’s latest salacious venture? Beneath all the rampant swearing, graphic sex talk and in-your-face scatological humor, Porno 88 is – gasp! – deeply moving and entertaining.

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“The Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra opened their winter symphony season with a bang, thanks to some outstanding playing under the baton of Bernhard Gueller.”

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The afternoon’s headliners, Hot Water, are either visionaries or mad men. They did the pantsula – complete with the rolled up trouser legs – on the same stage as the sakkie-sakkie! The crowd, which had been mellowed by Wrestlerish, jumped up and attempted both of those dances so I guess it’s the former: they are visionaries.

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Hipsters in tight, primary coloured trousers were everywhere, but in between the unkempt beards and round, thick-rimmed glasses were people of all colours and creeds, as young as 15 and old as 55, all gathered to see a cult, Brooklyn-based indie rock band in a strange hall in Wynberg opposite the municipal electricity department.

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But the highlight of the evening was without a doubt guest speak Stafford Masie. Best known as the former CEO of Google Africa, this successful technology futurist shared some inspirational thoughts and insights as well as a number of entertaining and enlightening anecdotes from his life and the world of business, technology and human ecosystems

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The artist has always expressed an inherently feminine approach to her subject matter in the past, from her ghostly sketches of dancers to the hazy ephemera of softly out of focus domestic scenes.

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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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Mimi dying in the bohemian surroundings of an artist’s flat in Paris can easily be translated to the tragic death of a young South African in the poor surroundings of a township and in the company of her friends.

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What followed was reconstructed from RTLM (Radio-Télévision Libre Mille Collines), a popular Rwandan radio station. Renowned as an instrument of propaganda, its presenters actively encouraged the racial conflict between the Tutsi and the Hutu tribes. As a play, HATE RADIO is based on extracts of actual transmissions that were broadcast during the genocide, so that the audience hears, intertwined with sports reports and song requests, the most chilling re-enactments of phone-ins from listeners who were encouraged to ‘shop’ their friends and neighbours and report the whereabouts of any Tutsi.

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The most heart-palpitating would have to be the 32-song medley which makes the listeners’ heads spin and even the three great live singers lose their breath.

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Ravel’s Left Hand Concerto starts off in the dark hues of disdain and hopelessness. The pianist’s left hand then makes a grand entrance in a savage and utterly impressive cadenza… I’m sure I wasn’t the only one thinking – somewhat ironically – that I’d give my right arm to play like that.

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Brilliantly executed in charcoal, some of the faces are of real people, others imagined; all have been photographed so that acclaimed artist, Richard Smith, can keep reworking them – he carefully builds up, erases, puts back… I found myself standing close up to the huge pictures (typically well over a metre in height) staring in admiration at the huge detail and technical brilliance of each face, and marvelling at their impact.

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His is a humour that is clean and nostalgic, reminding us for instance of how our mothers would slap us all the way out of Pick’n’Pay. Palmer’s ability to take us back is where he really shines.

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The traditional African songs ‘Mela Wami’ and ‘Hlonolofatsa’ are jubilant recitals that came close to bringing a number of audience members to their feet in song and dance. While a few of the ‘opera traditionalists’ were aggrieved by the ululations from the audience, most found it to be an absolutely apt response to a sensational performance.

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The music accentuated the city idyll perfectly as Original Swimming Party’s mind-wandering tunes opened the event on Wednesday or Rose Lombard’s dreamy, jazz-mixed DJ set finished it off on Friday. More exciting though, was the party at Side Show on Thursday.

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Known throughout SA and abroad for her extraordinarily atmospheric wildlife and landscape paintings, Stokhuyzen, using her typical palette knife technique, captures the beauty of what she sees with an exceptional ability to highlight the colours, shapes and lines found in nature. Her paintings are astonishing interpretations, skillfully extracting the patterns that encompass the essence of the scene in front of her. The result is a truly fantastic visual feast of scintillating colours and symmetrical, recurring natural patterns, which radiate loudly with life, joy and the artist’s apparent love for the natural world.

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What was particularly enjoyable about this tour was the way in which the historical aspects were tempered by an insight into the social factors. Young would often begin a sentence “I was surprised by…” or “What is fascinating is…”, a wonderful way of sharing the human and interactive nature of her research into exactly why a mother might be driven to suffocate her child, or how one’s masculinity might be affected by being unable to protect one’s family.

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