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Saturday, April 13, 2024

VINCENT – HIS QUEST TO LOVE AND BE LOVED

 


(Above: Performers: Paul Ferreira and Daniel Anderson. Production team: Amanda Bothma, Jacques du Plessis and Germaine Gamiet. Pic by Val Adamson)

It is an hour of amazing story-telling, music and visuals. You will definitely come away from the show having been blown away by the performances of an incredibly talented and amazing pianist, Paul Ferreira, and an equally-talented and versatile performer, Daniel Anderson. I know I was. (Review by Carol King)

I had the privilege and opportunity to see a second amazing show this week and cannot believe I was so lucky.

Although Vincent – His Quest to Love and Be Loved has been at the Rhumbelow Theatre before, this was the first time I had seen the show. And what a magical and mind-blowing experience it was.

Through word – narration and letters (written to Theo, Vincent’s brother) – and music (well-chosen songs) – and supporting visuals, Daniel Anderson takes you on a sensory journey through the life of Vincent van Gogh. The journey is interesting and informative – particularly if you know as little about Van Gogh’s life, desires and torments as I did.

The essence of the story is Vincent’s need to love and to be loved. Unfortunately, he looked in all the wrong places and fell in love with the wrong women. This all added to the torment of a very troubled, unsettled artist with the most amazing creative talent – only recognised after his death.

(Right: Daniel Anderson. Pic by Val Adamson)

Van Gogh had a turbulent life – and made it very difficult for himself in so many ways. He was never able to hold on to a job for long. 

He was incapable of handling a relationship. Pressure from family, friends and the girls he tried to bring into his life eventually pushed him over the edge. 

The story Daniel Anderson narrates shows us so much more of the human side of Vincent and not just what was limited to his paintings.

The stage set is unassuming and simple – a desk, a stool, the piano and a framed portrait of Dr Paul Gachet, who treated the troubled artist. The simplicity of the set allows for the visuals of Van Gogh’s paintings to surround the stage – a huge backdrop and two side screens. The first visual is his painting Almond Blossoms – beautiful, serene, calming.

The visuals change constantly as Daniel Anderson leads you through his story – with both well-known and lesser-known paintings. These visuals included self-portraits, paintings of Paris and Arles, paintings reflecting his view of the world around him and, of course, portraits of some of the women he loved. These visuals in no way detracted from the performance but rather enhanced it.

Daniel Anderson is amazing – both as an actor and a singer. He is a true artist whose performance can only be described as stellar as he quickly draws the audience into his story. His performance is perfect and effortless as he moves from the narrative to the voice of Vincent himself to the singing. He manages the appropriately-chosen songs with well-practised ease – and moves through the emotions of the story and the songs seamlessly. He takes the audience with him as he graduates from acute grief to hysterical desperation to utter despair. He is a versatile singer, able to handle a wide variety of songs and genre in his telling of the story.

Songs included are those of Nat King Cole, Freddie Mercury, Jacques Brel, Bread, Stephen Sondheim and, finally, Don McLean. All were recognisable and I am certain many in the audience were mouthing the words as the music drew them in. My favourites were Somebody to Love, If a picture could paint a thousand words (how appropriate in the context of the show?), Carousel, What’s going on? and, of course, Vincent. The music and the story intertwined, as did the emotions on the part of Daniel Anderson – taking the audience on highs and lows. WOW!

I have to mention the accomplished Paul Ferreira who accompanied on the piano. His performance was slick, professional and as versatile as Daniel’s. He and Daniel were so obviously in tune with each other. The music was in both of them!

The show has just returned from a very successful tour at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. It has also garnered several awards and nominations both locally and abroad – all well-deserved.

Vincent has a performance at the Rhumbelow in Umbilo tomorrow, Sunday 13 April, at 14h00.

The running time is 60 minutes.

It then moves across to the Rhumbelow at Northlands Bowling Club in Durban North –

Friday 19 April at 19h30

Saturday 20 April at 19h30

Sunday 21 April at 19h30

Ticket prices vary. Drinks and food are available at both venues.

Venue opens 90 minutes before show for drinks. Food is not available at the theatre - bring a picnic (no alcohol may be brought on to the premises)

The show runs for 60 minutes. It is an hour of amazing story-telling, music and visuals. You will definitely come away from the show having been blown away by the performances of an incredibly talented and amazing pianist, Paul Ferreira, and an equally-talented and versatile performer, Daniel Anderson. I know I was.

Do not miss this opportunity – you will regret it. – Carol King

Tickets R200. Booking is essential through roland@stansell.co.za or Computicket http://events.durbantheatre.com/

 

Thursday, April 11, 2024

COMPANY: REVIEW


(All pics by Val Adamson)

If you want to enjoy a show that is highly enjoyable but leaves you thinking as well, don’t miss “Company”. (Review by Caroline Smart) 

When the show opens, the audience is presented with the most intriguing set design I think I have ever seen. The set consists of hundreds of picture frames (no images) which cover the sides of the theatre and eventually morph into images of the New York skyline which represents the location of the performers.

I was eventually sufficiently intrigued to ask KickstArt’s highly inventive designer Greg King to give me some clarity. He said he had looked at the idea of how people react when they get in (or out) of a relationship – they invariably get photographs taken and frame them all over their living places.

Company deals with relationships and how people deal with them today – engagements, break-ups, marriages, divorces, etc. Add emotional cross-fires and differences, and the idea of linking your life to someone else for the rest of time is enough to find people staying firmly single.

One of these people is the star of the show – Robert (Bobby) – on the verge of a surprise birthday party. I have seen Bryan Hiles in many productions and know he has huge acting and directing (as well as technical theatre) talent. But this is the first time his singing talents have been pushed to the extreme and he handled them with ease, surprising even me with his capacity for the complexities of the musical score. His powerful rendition of the final number blew me away, totally!

His friends all arrive, plus birthday cake, to offer their good wishes and thereafter we get to individually meet the talented couples of this storyline.

The large cast is directed skillfully by Steven Stead, who manages to extract noteworthy performances from each of the talented performers. Not a poignant moment or comedic beat is missed.

There are some highly amusing scenes as we meet the various couples and their individual situations. The cast includes top talents such as Lyle Buxton, Lisa Bobbert, Anne-Marie Clulow, Liesl Coppin, Jessica Sole, Anthony Downing, Peter Court, Keryn Lynne Scott, Roshanda Lewis and Leah Mari. Fairly new to Durban theatre is Johannesburg-based Yamikani Mahaka-Phiri. 

A special addition to the cast is the welcome temporary return of the highly-popular Charon Williams-Ross, currently based in the UK.


(Above: Bryan Hiles, Peter Court & Charon Williams-Ross)

Roland Perold is not only in charge of Musical Direction, which he handles with his acknowledged strength, but he’s also in the show. Not only in the show but forms one of the cast’s most powerful members. He’s the perfect kind of actor you need in these productions which deal a lot with sensitivity and companionship. I truly was delighted and impressed by his performance. Real not dramatized!

Other top talents for me included Leah Mari who I have watched grow in this industry for a number of years. Now moving around the country and appearing in a number of top productions, she has matured as a major professional. Also showing major developed talent is Jessica Sole (who also visits us from the UK for this production) with a performance at blistering tempi in Getting Married Today, which was incredible.


(Above: Anthony Downing & Jessica Sole)

Well done to choreographer Simone Mann and lighting designer Tina le Roux as well as Stephanie Pais on sound design. Blending the voices while maintaining that Sondheim bite is no easy task.

While the name of the show – Company - might be unfamiliar to many potential theatre-goers, don’t worry – you’ll know the show when you see it. If not, you’ll certainly know the music. Songs such as The Little Things You Do Together; Another Hundred People; Getting Married Today; Side by Side and The Ladies who Lunch and the show stopper, Being Alive are handled with extreme polish!

If you want to enjoy a show that is highly enjoyable but leaves you thinking as well, don’t miss the SA premier season of Stephen Sondheim's Company.

It runs at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre for a short run (April 9 to 21). Performances are scheduled Tuesday to Saturday at 19h00, Saturday at 14h30, and Sunday at 16h00. Book for all KickstArt’s 2024 shows at WEBTICKETS.

Visit www.kickstarttheatre.co.za for more details and to make bookings. - Caroline Smart


 

Saturday, April 6, 2024

ROLY STRUCKMEYER FOR BERG MUSICIAN CLUB

 

Pietermaritzburg-born acoustic guitarist and vocalist Roly Struckmeyer will be joining the Berg Musician Club as a guest artist on April 10, 2024.

He will present a mixed set of his own songs and a great selection of his favourite covers.

The dinner evening will take place at the Underberg Country Club with dinner from 18h00 and music from 19h00.

Bookings 033 701 113018h00

 

AN EVENING WITH THE STORYTELLERS

La Popote in Hilton will host An Evening With The Storytellers on April 13, 2024 at 18h30 for 19h00.

The programme will feature Sven Axelrad, Makhubalo the Storyteller, Bridget Krone and Rob Boyd.

Tickets R290 includes a three-course meal. There is a cash bar. Book via watsapp: 066 254 8112

FRIDAY NIGHTS AT KZNSA

Members of the KZNSA community have been wondering what happened to the First Thursday activations at the gallery. Due to the Glenwood load-shedding schedule (18h00-20h00 on a Thursday) they have moved the First Thursday vibes to Fridays.

Instead of once a month, the KZNSA Arts Café is open every Friday night until 21h00 and the gallery has extended viewing hours until 18h00.

Each Friday has all the attractions of a First Thursday with live acts such as Sbu Shabalala, Flatfoot Dance Company, Zawadi Yamungu, DJ Zen and The Grand Duke, plus many more. Friday evenings are made for people who love culture and art and want to enjoy themselves in a safe, relaxed and family-friendly space.

The Arts Café has a complimentary cocktail hour where you buy-one, get-one-on-the house from 17h00-18h00. Think Aperol Spritz, Cranberry Sidecar, Mojito and Shaken Margaritas. There’s also a specials menu for all palates that includes our spicy bean enchilada, prawn pasta, pizzas and burgers.

KZNSA - KwaZulu Natal Society of Arts is situated at 166 Bulwer Road, Glenwood, Durban. Contact 031 277 1705 or visit www.kznsagallery.co.za

SURAYA TEWARY FOR ELIZABETH GORDON GALLERY

 


(Above: "A Sense of Space" by Suraya Tewary. 1040 x 804 mm framed in a Light Oak Box Frame. R25,500)

The Elizabeth Gordon Gallery in Morningside introduces a new artist to the gallery, Suraya Tewary.

After matriculating, Suraya completed a diploma in commerce, and thereafter another in textile design. She gained experience in different textile industries but realised her passion was for painting. She then studied under a few notable artists, namely Grace Kotze, Fiona Kirkwood and Andre Gouws. She now devotes her time to full-time painting.

In her statement Suraya says of her works :

"My works speaks of cocooning and introspection, a rebirth of sorts, of renewed attitudes to living within these limitations.  It's about harking back to the times of real community and communions, as a way of holding ourselves and those around us in safety and love.


(Above: "Tree of Life" 1040 x 804 mm. framed in a light oak shadow box frame. R25,500)

"My marks and shapes are intentionally soft as they are intended to give hope for a meeting place of the spirit of our land, functionality and the basic requirements of us as humans. It symbolises the tree of life and of having infinite possibilities."

The paintings are at Elizabeth Gordon Gallery, 120 Florida Road, Durban. Contact Joy on 082 2100 641, email joy@elizabethgordon.co.za or visit https://www.elizabethgordon.co.za

KZNPO CLASSICAL FAVOURITES

 


The KZN Philharmonic Orchestra is pleased to announce a performance of classical favourites by members of the KZNPO.

Part of their programme includes:

Antonio Vivaldi: Sonata in A minor for Flute, Cello and Basso continuo

Johann Sebastian Bach: Sonata in C Major for Flute and Basso Continuo

Ludwig van Beethoven: Allegro from the Cello Sonata in A Major Op. 69

Carl Maria von Weber: Trio in g minor for Flute, Cello and Piano

 

Marguerite Spies is a vibrant, lively, and versatile Music Performer and Educator in and around Durban. She spent 12 years as a tutti cellist for the Orchestra, and now spends her time educating the next generation of musicians.

Sabine Baird began her music studies in Germany, won a scholarship from the Comite Albert Roussel, Paris, studied with the principal flautist Genevieve Amar-Vonin of the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, and was associate principal flautist with the Hofer Symphoniker in Bavaria. Since immigrating to South Africa, Sabine has performed with all of the major orchestras in Gauteng, and has been the KZN Philharmonic's principal flute since 2006.

Margrit Deppe currently holds the position of Co-Principal Oboe with the KZN Philharmonic, but is also a talented pianist. In 2021, she completed a C-Diploma in Church Music in Halle, Germany and also obtained a Licentiate in Piano from Trinity College London with Professor Jürgen Pfuller in Halle.

The concert – titled Music For Cello, Flute and Piano will take place on Sunday April 21 at 11h30 at the Church of the Redeemer: 1 Church Road, Hillcrest.

Tickets are R100 from Quicket (R60 for children under 12), or R120 at the door

 

Friday, April 5, 2024

ACT THUTHUKISANI PROGRAMME ATOLOGA 2024 CLOSES APRIL 12

 


Deadline: April 12 2024

 Arts & Culture Trust announces final call for applications for the Thuthukisani Programme Atologa 2024

 The Arts & Culture Trust (ACT) is excited to announce the last call for applications for the ACT Thuthukisani Programme Atologa 2024, which is open to all nine provinces of South Africa until April 12, 2024. Held in collaboration with Nedbank, the ACT Thuthukisani Programme offers support to emerging and established arts entrepreneurs and independent artists, providing essential entrepreneurship training, mentorship, as well as cash investment opportunities.

 The recently concluded cycle 3 of the Thuthukisani programme in 2023 was exclusively open to Gauteng, Free State, and Western Cape. Now in its fourth cycle, the programme, called Atologa 2024, invites a select group of artists and arts entrepreneurs from all South African provinces to apply. Participants who make it into the programme will commence training in mid-2024, with the training curriculum covering modules that are essential to entrepreneurial expertise such as Asset-based Citizen-led Development, Project Management, Financial Management, Marketing, Strategic Community and Audience Development, Governance, Monitoring and Evaluation as well as Learning.

 Post training completion, participants will have the chance to present their projects, aiming for cash investment and personalised mentorship. Eligible projects must demonstrate the potential to generate income, which requires candidates to work closely with their mentors to develop a robust project plan. Only projects that illustrate merit and viability to generate income will be selected for the monetary investment of up to R35,000 for the project rollout, which is to take place within 90 days. Selected registered companies will be eligible for the maximum amount of R35,000 while non-registered companies will be eligible for a maximum R10,000 investment amount.

 As a business development course, this programme demands a substantial commitment of time and effort. The following are eligible for selection in the programme:

 Registered businesses (companies registered with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission).

Non-registered businesses (companies not registered with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission).

Community art centres from all 9 provinces of South Africa.

South African artists, arts entrepreneurs or organisations actively operating in South Africa within the disciplines of visual arts, digital arts, performing arts, music, and literature.

 

If applying in a music or film capacity, the content, theme, or subject matter must have arts and culture at its core. For example, music videos or documentaries about animals are not eligible.

 Jessica Denyschen, CEO of ACT, says: “ACT is looking for arts businesses or projects that demonstrate both merit and the potential to generate tangible income. In the past, we’ve been privileged to collaborate with dedicated arts professionals who successfully applied the learnings from the training curriculum to revitalise their business models, turning them into profitable ventures. It's a privilege to witness their personal growth, skill refinement, and transformation into proactive business owners, some of whom have been creating a multitude of employment opportunities in the creative sector.’

 Poovi Pillay, Executive Head of Corporate Social Investments (CSI) at Nedbank, says: “Nedbank in partnership with ACT is committed to making a positive impact on society through our focus on sustainable business creation and growth. The ACT Thuthukisani Programme Atologa 2024 is all about the development of small and medium arts enterprises throughout South Africa by sharing of entrepreneurial skills, mentorship and investment. This empowers participants with the tools they need to operate professionally and sustainably as artists and arts entrepreneurs. It also opens doors for partnership opportunities in diverse South African communities.”

 Find out more about the programme and apply before the closing date of April 12, 2024, by visiting www.act.org.za/thuthukisani.

 If you have any questions about this programme, contact Palesa Molefe at palesa@act.org.za

For more information, visit the ACT website, follow them on X, or like their Facebook page. Or click on the ACT logo advert to the right of this article.

 

M-NET | DSTV BOXOFFICE HIGHLIGHTS APRIL 2024

*Please note that this line-up is subject to change*

 

SUNDAY NIGHT MOVIES

Sunday 07 April 2024

21h00 | The Independent | 16L |Thriller/Mystery | Trailer

Brian Cox and John Cena star in this enthralling crime thriller. A young journalist discovers a conspiracy that could change the Presidential election and the country's fate.

 

Sunday 14 April 2024

21h00 | Fear the Night | 16VSL |Action | Trailer

Maggie Q drives this action thriller. An Iraqi war veteran prepares to strike back after a group of home invaders attack during her sister's bachelorette party.

 

Sunday 21 April 2024

21h00 | The Flash | 13VNL | Action Adventure | Trailer

Ezra Miller breaks time and space in this superhero epic. Barry Allen uses his super speed to change the past, but his attempt to save his family has unforeseen circumstances.

 

Sunday 28 April 2024

20h30 | Mafia Mamma | 16SL | Comedy Action | Trailer

An American mom inherits her grandfather's mafia empire in Italy. Guided by the firm's consigliere, she hilariously defies everyone's expectations as the new head of the family business. Starring Toni Colette and Monica Bellucci.

  

SERIES PREMIERES

 Monday 01 April 2024

18h00 | America’s Got Talent: Fantasy Team| S01 E01 | Family Reality | Broadcast Mon-Fri | Trailer

The draft continues as judges Simon, Heidi, Howie, and Mel B each build a roster of their favourite acts and guide them throughout as they hope to be crowned the champion.

22h00 | The Winter King (UK) | S01 E01 | 16SVL | Fantasy Drama | Trailer

An intriguing season premiere of a story told by a former warrior now turned monk, about how Arthur Pendragon became the lord of war. King Uther banishes his son Arthur and Arthur rescues a boy named Derfel, whom he entrusts to Merlin.

 

Wednesday 03 April 2024

21h00 | So Help Me Todd | S02 E01 | 13L | Comedy

Hit the ground running with this season two premiere. Margaret and Todd tackle a case involving a murder on live local morning news and must rethink their working relationship.

22h00 | Euphoria | S01 E01 |R18SNVL| Drama

An ensemble cast stars in this HBO drama: A vivid and emotive exploration of the lives of a group of high school students, as they navigate drugs, sex, identity, trauma, social media, love, and friendship. Starring Zendaya

 

Saturday 06 April 2024

18h00 & 18h30 | The Goldbergs | S02 E01&02 |13L| Comedy | Double Bill

It's a full Goldberg house filled with chaos in this premiere. With everyone living back at home, pregnant Erica enlists Beverly's help in clearing things out for the baby.

 

Monday 15 April 2024

20h00 | Apples Never Fall | S01 EP01 | 16VL | Drama | Trailer

An enthralling star-studded mini-series about family. The Delaney family seems happy, but Joy disappears, forcing her husband and four adult children to reassess their family history. Starring Annette Benning and Sam Neil.

 

Tuesday 23 April 2024

18h00 | The Voice (US) | S25 EP01 | 13L | Family Reality

Contestants are selected through public auditions and trained by a panel of four coaches who guide and critique their performances to discover America's next great voice. In addition to the returning coaches Reba McEntire, John Legend and Chance the Rapper, the season introduces Dan + Shay as the first-ever duo judges on the show. Renowned for their contributions to the music industry since 2013, Dan and Shay bring a fresh perspective to the coaching panel.

22h00 | Funny Woman | S01 EP01 | 16VL | Comedy

It's the height of the 60s and Barbara Parker has just been crowned Miss Blackpool. She sets off for London on a mission to reinvent herself and find her voice in the male-dominated world of the sitcom industry. Starring Gemma Arterton and Rupert Everett.

 

Wednesday 24 April 2024

21h00 | Fargo: The Tragedy of the Commons | S05 EP01 | 18VL | Crime Drama

A compelling and mysterious season premiere. A series of unexpected events lands Dot in hot water and she is plunged back into a life she thought she left behind. Starring Junno Temple and John Hamm

 

Sunday 28 April 2024

19h00 | A Carte Blanche Documentary: 30 Years of Democracy

M-Net celebrates Freedom Day with the broadcast of a 90-minute Carte Blanche special, looking back at three decades of democracy in South Africa. 30 Years of Democracy tells the story of South Africa and her people, from the moment democracy was attained, reflecting on the journey so far and imagining what the perfect destination looks like.

 

SERIES FINALES

Sunday 21 April 2024

20h00 | Chasing the Sun | S02 EP05 | 13 | Documentary

The five-part series will rekindle memories of the 2023 Rugby World Cup when all of South Africa was 'Stronger Together' towards a historic fourth Webb Ellis trophy.

 

 

BOXOFFICE APRIL 2024 HIGHLIGHTS

Arthur The King

Director: Simon Cellan Jones

Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Nathalie Emmanuel, Simu Liu

Mark Wahlberg stars in this heartwarming tale. An adventure racing team befriends a stray dog while competing in an endurance race in the Dominican Republic.

 

Bob Marley: One Love

Director: Reinaldo Marcus Green

Cast: Kingsley Ben-Adir, Lashana Lynch, James Norton

A heartfelt and powerful film that follows the life of the late great reggae musician Bob Marley, covering everything from his struggles to his music and artistic endeavours.

 

All Of Us Strangers

Director: Andrew Haigh

Cast: Andrew Scott, Paul Mescal, Carter John Grout

A heartwarming and heartbreaking story of love and a traumatic past. A lonely screenwriter begins a passionate relationship with his neighbour, and at the same time, he confronts the memory of his deceased parents.

 

The Beekeeper

Director: David Ayer

Cast: Jason Statham, Emmy Raver-Lampman, Bobby Naderi

Jason Statham stars as a beekeeper on a vengeful mission in this fast-paced action thriller. He hunts for scammers responsible for the suicide of an elderly friend, and they have no idea how dangerous he is.

 

The Book of Clarence

Director: Jeymes Samuel

Cast: LaKeith Stanfield, Omar Sy, Anna Diop

LaKeith Stanfield leads a starry cast in this satirical biblical epic. Struggling to find a better life, Clarence is captivated by the power of the rising Messiah and soon risks everything to carve a path to a divine existence.

 

#Lovemyselfie

Director: Lika Berning

Cast: Illse Roos, June van Merch, Joanie Combrink

After being cheated on and left in financial ruin by her young lover, local TV star Adele Swan gets a chance to reclaim her financial stability by becoming the face of a campaign aboard a luxury cruise.

 

One Life

Director: James Hawes

Cast: Anthony Hopkins, Helena Bonham Carter, Jonathan Pryce

Anthony Hopkins leads this moving and powerful true story of bravery. London broker Nicholas "Nicky" Winton helps save hundreds of predominantly Jewish children from the Nazis just before the start of WWII.

 

Aporia

Director: Jared Moshe

Cast: Judy Greer, Edi Gathegi, Payman Maadi

A captivating and thought-provoking time-travel sci-fi drama. A grieving widow who's not coping well with her husband's death is faced with a moral dilemma after being given an opportunity to restore her former life.

 

The Pod Generation

Director: Sophie Barthes

Cast: Emilia Clarke, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Vinette Robinson    

Imagine a near future where technology dominates every facet of the world. In this sci-fi rom-com, Emilia Clarke and Chiwetel Ejiofor star as a couple who take an unconventional road to parenthood via detachable artificial wombs or pods.

 

Wish

Director: Chris Buck, Fawn Veerasunthorn

Cast: Ariana DeBose, Chris Pine, Alan Tudyk

A starry musical comedy animation directed by Frozen and Surf's Up filmmaker Chris Buck. Young Asha makes a wish, and Star - an actual star in the sky - comes down. Together, they must defeat a formidable foe.

 

It Lives Inside

Director: Bishal Dutta

Cast: Megan Suri, Neeru Bajwa, Mohana Krishnan

This film, which combines horror and Indian mythology, centres on a young woman who abandons her best friend and culture to fit in. When a demonic spirit takes hold of her ex-friend, she must come to terms with her heritage to defeat it.

 

The Holdovers

Director: Alexander Payne

Cast: Paul Giamatti, Dominic Sessa, Da'Vine Joy Randolph

Acclaimed director Alexander Payne teams up with Paul Giamatti to tell a warm-hearted holiday tale. A cranky New England prep school instructor is forced to babysit a handful of students with nowhere to go during Christmas.

 

Birth/Rebirth

Director: Laura Moss

Cast: Marin Ireland, Judy Reyes, Breeda Wool

A twisted modern-day Frankenstein-type horror. When a young girl unexpectedly dies, a morgue technician and her mother go on a dark path of no return, willing to do whatever it takes to save what they hold most dear.

 

Strays

Director: Josh Greenbaum

Cast: Will Ferrell, Jamie Foxx, Isla Fisher

Will Ferrell and Jamie Foxx lead a starry voice cast in this hilarious canine comedy. An abandoned dog teams up with other stray dogs to exact revenge on the owner who abandoned him.

 

The Color Purple

Director: Blitz Bazawule

Cast: Fantasia Barrino, Taraji P. Henson, Danielle Brooks

A stellar female cast propels this beautiful and powerful musical remake of Alice Walker's Pulitzer-winning 1982 novel. A young woman who faces many hardships in life finds strength to survive through sisterhood.

 

Madame Web

Director: S.J. Clarkson

Cast: Dakota Johnson, Sydney Sweeney, Isabela Merced

Dakota Johnson joins the world of superheroes with this spin-off from Spider-Man. Cassandra Webb, a paramedic, gains the ability to see the future and uses her power to protect three girls stalked by a killer.

 

Please Don't Destroy: The Treasure of Foggy Mountain

Director: Paul Briganti

Cast: Martin Herlihy, John Higgins, Ben Marshall

A ridiculously funny comedy. Three deadbeat roommates and co-workers fend off hairless bears, desperate park rangers and a hypocritical cult leader while searching for a priceless treasure.

 

THE STORM WE MADE: REVIEW

 

“The Storm We Made" is a powerful book, and one that is compelling, both on the political and the personal level. (Review by Margaret von Klemperer, courtesy of The Witness)

The Storm We Made is Vanessa Chan’s debut novel, and draws on her own Malaysian background and the stories her family told. 

The book is set partly in the 1930s when the then Malaya was a British colony, and partly during the Second World War, when the country was under brutal Japanese occupation.

The main characters are the Eurasian Alcantara family, particularly Cecily and her three children, Jujube, Abel and Jasmin. 

Before the war Cecily is bored, discontented and always looking for something more fulfilling. 


She despises her husband Gordon’s obsequiousness to his British bosses, and when she meets Japanese General Fujiwara and he talks to her about his dreams of “Asia for the Asians,” with Malaya under Japanese control, she is captivated as well as physically attracted, and agrees to spy for him.

Fujiwara is masquerading as a Hong Kong businessman, and only Cecily knows his true background. Her double life is thrilling for her, and ultimately damaging for her country and her family.

The story is told in alternating chapters, ranging among Cecily and the three children, their stories those of wartime. 

Early in the novel, we discover that Abel, like many young Malayan men and boys, has been taken by the Japanese to work on the notorious Burma Railway, where the treatment meted out to him is horrific. And when he is gone, his mother begins to realise the consequences of her earlier actions. But there is no going back. What is done is done, and she must face the consequences. And as the war drags on, and the occupation becomes ever more horrible, so those consequences multiply. What Cecily has done will resonate for ever.

The colonising British and the occupying Japanese are both shown, in different ways, to have no real care for the local population. And ultimately, that leads to an attitude of everyone for him or herself. But Cecily’s motivation for what she does, however she dresses it up for her own comfort, is purely her own gratification. The most appealing character is Jujube, who has an inner strength which will ensure her survival, and perhaps at the end a measure of peace.

The Storm We Made is a powerful book, and one that is compelling, both on the political and the personal level. This makes up for moments of clumsy writing, such as when Chan writes that “thunder typically followed the lightning” which is hardly surprising. But overall, this is an impressive debut. - Margaret von Klemperer

The Storm We Made is published by Hodder & Stoughton - ISBN 978-1-399-71258-3

MUSICAL THEATRE WITH DURBAN CITY ORCHESTRA

Music-lovers are invited to an intimate Sunday concert in the company of the Durban City Orchestra (DCO) as they perform a lively programme of evergreen classics at Willow Way Manor in Assagay on Sunday April 7 at 10h00 and again at 13h30.

The orchestra, one of the longest running orchestras in the country, has a complement of approximately 35 active members who get together weekly. The orchestra includes two accomplished professional musicians in Charl van der Merwe as Resident Conductor and Jitske Brien as Concert Master.

The programme is a carefully curated programme of orchestral favourites – both traditional and contemporary including numbers from The King and I, Chariots of Fire, Sound of Music, The Phantom of the Opera and West Side Story.

Willow Way is situated in Hillcrest, on a beautiful five-acre garden with a restaurant and venue facility, nestled between the Macadamia nuts trees and overlooking the rolling lawns and natural wetland. Willow Way Manor offers a magical space for any event. Pop in for a cup of coffee or celebrate a special occasion in their function venue.

Tickets: R180 full price (no concessions) booked through Quicket. It is advisable to pre-book tickets.

Cash Bar / no drinks or food to be brought onto the property.

Willow Way Manor is situated at 1 Willow Way, Assagay, Durban.

 

Thursday, April 4, 2024

LEONARD, JAMES AND JONI

 

In association with The Rhumbelow Theatre, Northlands Bowling Club will present Leonard, James and Joni produced and performed by Dave Starke and Lizzie Gaisford.

The show will take place on April 6, 2024, at 19h30. (Venue opens 90 minutes before show for snacks/drinks)

The production takes a deep dive into the lives and music of Leonard Cohen, James Taylor and Joni Mitchell. 

Featuring big hits like Suzanne, Halleluja, Fire and Rain, Carolina in my mind and Both sides now interspersed with stories about the artists.

Dave and Lizzie are singer-songwriters from Eshowe, Zululand. 


Their "day job" is as bandmates in classic rock tribute band, The Katembas, but they are greatly looking forward to sharing some of their favourite artists' songs with a Rhumbelow audience.

Throughout her teens, Lizzie was given an annual marathon guitar lesson by her aunt, instrumentalist Jane Gaisford. The rest of the time was spent filling in the gaps by herself, resulting in a unique playing style hinged largely on alternate tunings, which makes her very well placed to interpret and perform the great works of Joni Mitchell.

Dave is known for his rich voice and mellow guitar playing. Committed to musical austerity, he prefers simple arrangements that allow the words to take centre stage. He is a past master at performing "Cohen" classics. His previous show, Cohen a Tribute, toured extensively across South Africa including two years at the National Arts Festival Fringe.

Tickets R200 (R180 Northlands Bowling Club members). Bring food picnic baskets. A full bar is available (no alcohol may be brought on to the premises)

Limited secure parking available.

Booking is essential – on email: roland@stansell.co.za or Computicket http://events.durbantheatre.com/

The Northlands Bowling Club is situated at 50 Margaret Maytom Avenue, Durban North.