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Friday, October 30, 2020


Von Horn’s film is a modern-day statement on how social media camouflages or conceals the real person. (Review by Patrick Compton)

Sweat will feature on the programme of the European Film Festival which runs from November 12 to 22, 2020

Sylwia Zajac (a remarkable Magdalena Kolesnik) is a beloved Polish celebrity fitness trainer with 600,000 followers on Instagram. You’d think she’d be a happy, shiny person. You would be wrong.

The opening sequence of writer-director Magnus von Horn’s film shows that, at least in her working life, the high-energy Sylwia is a flaming comet as she encourages her adoring fitness clientele to joyfully work out “with the body they have and not the body they want”.

It soon becomes clear, however, that despite the gleaming surface of her life, Sylwia’s only true friend is her Jack Russell, Jackson, who lives with her in her well-appointed apartment. Although the trainer is a social media addict, forever posting video messages to her fans, her private life is a chilly vacuum. She doesn’t have a boyfriend, though she claims she wants one, and seems to have little idea of personal intimacy.

In stark contrast then, to her Instagram presence, and her well-honed athletic body, the real Sylwia is a brittle, lonely person.

Von Horn’s film is a modern-day statement on how social media camouflages or conceals the real person. We see Sylwia having an awkward meeting with an anguished old school friend and she can’t even connect with her mother who is underwhelmed by her effusive protestations of love and a series of lavish presents at what turns out to be an embarrassingly discordant birthday party.

Things come to a head when Sylwia encounters a stalker near her apartment who then sends her an apologetic video message, sticky with regret and self-hatred. This leads to personal revelations for Sylwia, further pain for the stalker and finally a sobering climax during a TV interview.

Although Sylwia finally admits certain truths about herself, the movie ends ambivalently: we never really know whether the emotionally closed-off celebrity trainer will ever succeed in her private life to the degree that she so obviously does in the gym or on social media.

Sweat is in Polish with English subtitles. - Patrick Compton

Sweat can be seen from November 12 to 22, 2020, on the European Film Festival’s website. Click on the advert to the right of this article or visit


All in all, “Rebel Women”, though always readable, is something of a curate’s egg. At least the curate might nowadays be a woman, which is something to celebrate. (Review by Margaret von Klemperer, courtesy of The Witness)

Rebel Women: The renegades, viragos and heroines who changed the world – from the French Revolution to today by Rosalind Miles is published by Virago.

Rosalind Miles is probably best known for The Women’s History of the World, and once again she is celebrating women who have played their part in liberating half the human race from the traditional roles of wife and motherhood. Obviously, it isn’t a definitive history – her choices are idiosyncratic and, as she admits, slanted towards the West.

Miles starts off with the French Revolution, where women managed to make their voices and deeds noticed, though with little ultimate change to their position. Then she gallops through the Enlightenment – the Age of Reason – which, she points out, was enlightened and reasonable for men.

The telling is not entirely chronological: Miles cruises back and forth, and while for the most part the book is entertaining, she is on occasion cavalier with the facts. Another problem is that in certain places she tries to cram in too much, leading to catalogues of women, some familiar and some not, who made their mark but in her efforts to give them their due, it turns into something of a laundry list of names as she hops from Mary Robinson to Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, then on to Kay Graham - and on and on.

Where the book is much better is where Miles allows herself to focus in some detail on a character, like the fascinating Eleanor Roosevelt, or Betty Friedan. And her chapter on Hollywood is terrific. The film industry started so well, but as Miles says: “How did film turn in the 20th Century from an art form of wit, humour and invention to a drip-drip-drip message to women that women were for men, and should be happy and grateful?”

We get the baddies as well as the goodies – what are women to make of the pronouncements and actions of a Margaret Thatcher, an Imelda Marcos or a Joice Mujuru?

Another criticism of the book is the style. Miles is distancing herself from academia here, and the writing is racy, not always in tune with the content as she tackles issues like women getting the vote or their rights with regard to their bodies. All in all, Rebel Women, though always readable, is something of a curate’s egg. At least the curate might nowadays be a woman, which is something to celebrate. - Margaret von Klemperer

Rebel Women by Rosalind Miles is published by Virago ISBN-13: 9780349006055


(BASA CEO Ashraf Johaardien. Pic by Jan Potgieter)

The 23rd Annual BASA Awards, partnered by Hollard, are once again shining a spotlight on indelible business and arts partnerships in seven categories.

Every year is a celebration of the power of these collaborations but, as BASA CEO Ashraf Johaardien notes, this year they are more important than ever: “As the country and the world try to navigate uncharted territory, and we attempt to reboot following the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s critical that we focus on stories that matter, and that we continue to offer this platform for acknowledging achievements and showcasing successes.”

This year’s theme – INDELIBLE – recognises these partnerships and their endurance, and BASA is delighted to announce the 20 finalists in this year’s seven Awards’ categories: 


The Beyond Borders Partnership Award recognises a partnership that builds brand reputation and audiences for both the business and arts partners across borders, through a project showcasing South Africa to the rest of the continent and/or overseas, or bringing international or intercontinental arts projects to South Africa. The finalists are:

 -the French Institute of South Africa (on behalf of TOTAL SA) / IFAS / Friends of The Johannesburg Art Gallery / Johannesburg Art Gallery / La Cité internationale de la Bande Dessinée et de l'image for The Art of Comics;

-French bandes desinées & SA Comics in Conversation; Fundación Otro Sur / Electric South for African Virtual Reality Showcase in Columbia, and

-NIKE, Inc. / Mother Tongue Collective (Pty) Ltd (t/a Karabo Poppy) for Nike By Karabo PoppyThe Community Development Award recognises business support for arts and culture projects enhancing their communities, whether through education, skills development, contributing to livelihoods or employment, tourism, or other growth opportunities in a community. The finalists are:

-MTN SA Foundation / Imbali Visual Literacy Project for Roll-out and Teachers’ Workshops for Imbali Artbooks: Adventuring into Art;

-Nando’s / Constitution Hill for Basha Uhuru Freedom Festival, and

-V&A Waterfront / NGOs in different communities across South Africa and Africa for Joy from Africa to the World.


The Innovation Award celebrates the most innovative, cutting-edge and progressive partnership that served all partners’ purposes effectively. These breakthrough projects and partnerships should demonstrate great creativity, originality, reinvention, new methodologies, or technological/digital innovation. The finalists are:

-The French Institute of South Africa (on behalf of TOTAL SA) / IFAS / Friends of The Johannesburg Art Gallery / Johannesburg Art Gallery / La Cité internationale de la Bande Dessinée et de l'image for The Art of Comics

-French bandes desinées & SA Comics in Conversation; Intsikelelo Inc. / Baz-Art NPO for Virtual Street Art Experience;

-NIKE, Inc. / Mother Tongue Collective (Pty) Ltd (t/a Karabo Poppy) for Nike By Karabo Poppy, and

-V&A Waterfront / NGOs in different communities across South Africa and Africa for Joy from Africa to the World.


The Long-Term Partnership Award recognises outstanding initiative and commitment to the arts over a longer period (at least one year), as an integral part of the business’ strategy. The value to the arts project, the broader community and the business, must be apparent. The finalists are:

-MTN SA Foundation / Imbali Visual Literacy Project for Roll-out and Teachers’ Workshops for Imbali Artbooks: Adventuring into Art;

-Standard Bank of South Africa Limited / National Arts Festival for The Standard Bank Young Artist Awards, and

-Standard Bank of South Africa Limited / University of the Witwatersrand / Wits Art Museum for The Standard Bank African Art Collection.


The SMME Award recognises vital support given to the arts by a micro, small or medium enterprise, with up to 200 full-time employees and an annual turnover of no more than R10 million. The finalists are:

-Intsikelelo Inc. / Baz-Art NPO for Virtual Street Art Experience;

-J&B PRINTERS / Highway Radio for Annual Youth Concert, and

-The Marimba Workshop (Pty) Ltd / Education Africa for International Marimba and Steelpan Festival.


The Sponsorship In-Kind Award acknowledges a business giving quantifiable and impactful non-monetary support to the arts. This may be through in-kind provision of equipment, materials, media or PR support, space, transportation travel, or any other products or services. The finalists are:

-Fundación Otro Sur / Electric South for African Virtual Reality showcase in Colombia;

-J&B PRINTERS / Highway Radio for Annual Youth Concert, and

-The Marimba Workshop (Pty) Ltd / Education Africa for International Marimba and Steelpan Festival.


The First-Time Sponsor Award is for a business supporting the arts for the first time, irrespective of size, budget, and whether it is through corporate social investment, marketing, human resources, B-BBEE, or other means. An outright winner will be announced in this category.

Winners will be announced virtually via an integrated online experience available to the public from November 19, 2020, at


About BASA

BASA is constituted in terms of the new Companies Act and is registered as a public benefit organisation. Mandated to champion business investment within the arts, cultural and

heritage sector, BASA is the connector catalyst for businesses and the arts, driving focused and sustained partnership by unlocking shared value and fostering social cohesion. The BASA Board of Directors comprises Chairman Charmaine Soobramoney, with Deputy Chair Mandie van der Spuy, and Kojo Baffoe, Kathy Berman, Devi Sankaree Govender, Ashraf Johaardien (BASA CEO), Hilton Lawler, Khanyi Mamba, Unathi Maunga, Makgati Molebatsi, Zingisa Motloba, Dr Yacoob Omar, and Mirna Wessels. For more information or to become a member please visit


To link direct to the BASA website, click on the advert to the right of this article or visit

Thursday, October 29, 2020


We see father and son reconciling their social roles with a stunning performance by both actors. (Review by Pranesh Maharaj).

Mogul Mowgli will feature on the programme of the European Film Festival which runs from November 12 to 22, 2020

“You can box art, but you can’t box an artist.” If it’s not our loved ones then, sometimes it’s the world that’s against us and we have to push through each time. Unfortunately, in the case of Zed or Zaheer (Mogul Mowgli’s lead character’s two worlds) it is the universe that pushes him into a corner; forcing him to reconcile his life and deal with his identity.

Zed is his stage name and Zaheer is his actual registered name. Some conflict arises out of that issue as well in one scene.

One did not have a clear indication on where the story was going with the first few scenes, that hurried along, by the way. So, it dealt with all one’s preconceived notions at the very beginning and put it to rest until we meet his dad. I feel that a lot more could have been done to attach dad’s story to Zed/Zaheer’s story. But then, it is Zaheer’s story. I also feel that post this incident in his life, that he would become a better writer and performer.

Mogul Mowgli is directed by Bassam Tariq who wrote the film with Riz Ahmed. The film stars Riz Ahmed, Anjana Vasan and Aiysha Hart.

Zed is an up and coming rap artist who seems to cater for a niche crowd that is expanding and he is booked for a tour in Europe when he decides to visit his folks just before. A series of little occurrences, and they were sensitive enough to deal with these issues as socio-cultural, not religious or ethnic specific. Zaheer ends up in hospital with a rare condition that could deteriorate and, much against his will, the tour is handed over to an adversary.

The director takes the time to place us into that box with him, hence the overwhelming POV shots at tense moments. At the turning point in his career, when he was going to prove everyone wrong, including his dad; is the time when he can do nothing. I could see the psychological regression as each measure of success is questioned, from independence to commitment, to competition; or rather, the need for it. Most of the time these measures lead to the loneliest of times and after having achieved much materially, left empty inside.

Zaheer thought that he had the world figured out and that he was his own magnet. In hospital, he is confronted with images that beckon him to face something. We see father and son reconciling their social roles with a stunning performance by both actors. When at Zaheer’s complaint that the father had tried to do everything to stop him from becoming a rapper, we learn now that it was a motivating factor. I can see that they worked on this script until the very last minute and it got the attention it deserves. – Pranesh Maharaj

Mogul Mowgli can be seen from November 12 to 22, 2020, on the European Film Festival’s website. Click on the advert to the right of this article or visit


Popular Durban comedian, Carvin H Goldstone is ready to roll out his new one man show. This will run at The Onomo Hotel in Durban show on October 29 and 30, 2020.

After months of having no live events, the award-winning comic returns to stage in his first live show since the lockdown began earlier this year.

"My last show was a week before the President shut down the country. I thought it would be a few weeks, but here we are at the tail end of 2020. I have lots to talk about, so I hope Durbanites are ready to let loose and laugh out loud," he said.

This will likely be the last live solo show of the year for Goldstone who's kept busy building up an arsenal of jokes to tickle your funny bone.

Goldstone is one of the biggest names in South African comedy. His accomplishments include winning Comics Choice Comedian of the Year (2018). He was invited to perform at The Magners International Comedy Festival (the biggest comedy festival in Asia), and The Melbourne International Comedy Festival, the third largest comedy festival in the world.

Goldstone recently premiered his second TV comedy special on DSTV. He has four sold-out comedy shows and three recorded specials under his belt in a stand-up comedy career that spans more than a decade.

His comedy explores topical issues on a variety of international and socio-political matters, but is still a clean, no-swearing affair. Goldstone's signature witty comedy and on-point impersonations are always a hit.

The show takes place on October 29 and 30 2020 at The Onomo Hotel (56 KE Masinga Rd, Stamford Hill, Durban). Show starts at 20h30. Tickets via


Tuesday, October 27, 2020


(Khanyiso Mbalane: Assistant Producer, DigiTV, DHS (at camera); Tony Pinheiro: Headmaster, DHS; Winston Owen: Business Development Manager, KZN DigiCentral & Lauren Jacquin: Business Head, Swales Online Academy (seated).)

Exploring a new way of learning, Durban High School (DHS) is collaborating with DigiCampus to launch Swales Online Academy, an innovative, contemporary educational platform, which will be ready to welcome fulltime students for the 2021 academic year.

Operating out of Durban’s prestigious DHS campus, Swales Academy will be a co-ed institution offering comprehensive CAPS curriculum based, holistic online education for learners from Grades 4 to 9 who can study from the comfort of their own homes.

A team of experienced educationalists from DHS - working together with national online education specialists, DigiCampus and independent consultants - have jointly creating a bespoke alternative to conventional teaching practices using innovative technology to provide an inclusive and holistic approach to education.

After generations of offering a basic one-size-fits-all approach to education, changing circumstances has taught education innovators that successful education models can take on different forms depending on the needs, temperament, personality and proficiently of the learner. Many children flourish in a classroom environment; however, some children are better suited to studying autonomously in a manner and at a pace of their own choosing.

As Durban’s oldest school, DHS continues to offer “a heritage of excellence” in education and has been doing so since 1866. Over the years, its campus has extended to include alternative educational approaches, namely the Nonpareil Academy which begun in 2018 exploring the modern approach of ‘autonomous learning’ which requires the learner to ‘manage’ his learning style. A facilitator and learner engage with the main concepts rather than the standard teacher only approach. This Academy covers two assessment programmes: The Cambridge International Assessment as well as an Extension of the Education Department’s syllabus. The Nonpareil Academy is designed for motivated and academically talented boys whose needs are not met adequately in the traditional high school set 

Swales Academy is a natural progression of the Nonpareil approach adapted to an online environment using a variety of lesson types and structures to support learning. The online portal has been designed to teach students using videos, digital media and live lessons. Swales will be headed by online educational specialist, Lauren Jacquin supported by six top educators who will be employed to teach on a full-time basis at Swales.

“CoViD has taught us many important life lessons,” considers DHS Head Master Tony Pinheiro, “One of them is the acceptance and viability of online education as a counterpoint for the tried and tested mainstream, classroom-based schooling model. Our experiences of responding to lockdown has affirmed our intuition that the educational landscape is ready for a home-based alternative. We have adapted what we have learned in our hugely successful Nonpareil Academy of integrated, blended learning, and taken it online.”

They currently cover grades 4-9 and use high standard assessments while taking a modern approach to exams and study. On offer is the CAPS Curriculum online subjects:

-Grades 4-6: English, Afrikaans, Mathematics, Natural Science and Technology, Social Sciences, Life Skills. Grades 7-9: English, Afrikaans, Mathematics, Natural Science, Social Sciences, Technology, Economic and Management Sciences, Sciences, Life Orientation and Creative Arts.

-Grades 10-12 will be phased in annually from 2022.

Through the DigiCampus network, Swales learners can access arts and culture, sports and extra-curricular programmes offered in approximately 50 schools countrywide (including DHS) to ensure that they benefit from peer engagement and social activity.

As a hive of educational activity, DHS campus is also home to Newbridge full-time and part time college.Swales Academy is named after DHS old boy, Major Edwin (Ted) Essery Swales VC DFC - a South African pilot and Second World War hero; a 'Master Bomber' who was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross - and posthumously, the Victoria Cross - and is remembered for his extraordinary courage – he gave his life that his comrades might live.

For more information on Swales Academy visit 255 St Thomas Road or phone 031 277 1556 or email:

Monday, October 26, 2020


(The film will feature on the programme of the European Film Festival which runs from November 12 to 22, 2020)

“I am Greta” offers a slick and sometimes moving insight into what makes this singular young woman tick. (Review by Patrick Compton)

This engaging documentary offers a semi-intimate character profile of the planet’s most famous climate activist, Greta Thunberg. 

The film begins when we see the 15-year-old Swede on a school strike outside the Swedish parliament, conducting a lone vigil as she warns the world about our climate crisis.

Nathan Grossman’s film does not focus on the detail of the arguments Greta uses; that’s not the point of the film. It’s enough for us to know her passionate conclusions as she warns all and sundry about the planet’s imminent descent into climate catastrophe. Rather this is a portrait of the youngster that shifts between her home life (mainly with her dad) and her public duties as the global representative of the young at a succession of climate conferences. 

She is not beloved of all people or politicians, of course. Some patronise her, others are rude and yet others threaten her. For example, we observe the crude jeering of US President Donald Trump and his Fox News flunkies as well as the abuse of Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro and some Australian conservatives. Russia’s president Vladimir Putin is more restrained, saying “the world is complex and many Third World nations aspire to the same standard of living as people in Sweden”. 

The film attempts to get inside this shy, determined girl’s head with some fly-on-the-wall observations of her more private moments, such as her anguished musings while on a carbon-free yacht (she doesn’t fly, for obvious reasons) sailing to New York for the Climate Action Summit in 2019. She says: “I know the climate issue is important, but I’m so homesick. I would love to have a regular life at home; I don’t want to do this around the clock.” But, she concludes: “It’s such a responsibility and I feel that I have to take it on.” There are also some glances at her home life, her love for her dogs and pony and her close but sometimes tense relationship with her father who chaperones her around the world. 

The movie details her singular commitment to the climate cause from a young age, perhaps influenced by her having Asperger’s syndrome, and there’s no doubt that her focus on the issue – and her unswerving determination to pursue her goals – is extraordinarily intense for one so young.

Thankfully, Greta is not simply a po-faced fanatic, dressing down the world’s leaders (“how dare you!”) in particular and the older generation in general. It’s good to know that she also has a sense of humour, admitting to French president Emmanuel Macron that she is a “nerd”, and it’s a relief to occasionally see her giggling and laughing with abandon like a typical 15-year-old.

Climate crisis deniers will not, of course, be convinced by this movie, but for the rest of us, I am Greta offers a slick and sometimes moving insight into what makes this singular young woman tick. - Patrick Compton

“I Am Greta” can be seen from November 12 to 22, 2020, on the European Film Festival’s website. Click on the advert to the right of this article or visit


Deadline: October 31, 2020

Only one week remains to apply for the Arts & Culture Trust’s (ACT) Building Blocks Programme funded by the National Arts Council (NAC)

The open closes on Saturday October 31 2020.

The Building Blocks Programme has historically been one of ACT’s most impactful programmes in the arts and culture sector, empowering a large number of arts and culture practitioners across South Africa to bolster their professional and business acumen with an arts specific framework. In 2020, ACT proudly presents and updated curriculum that will speak to current challenges and tangible business solutions for sustainability in the arts and culture sector.

The Building Blocks Programme is a capacity building programme with a focus on small (microbusiness) to mid-level organisations and arts practitioners in the form of Masterclasses focused on;

-Digital Skills


-Governance and Monitoring & Evaluation

-ABCD (Asset Based Community Development) in the arts

“Through the Building Blocks Programme we strive to increase the capacity and sustainability of South African arts and culture organisations and practitioners, small and mid-level creative enterprises and entrepreneurial artists. The Building Blocks Programme will strengthen the operational infrastructure of the programme participants by providing technical assistance and relevant developmental tools through Masterclasses and mentoring and in so doing serving the creative sector holistically,” says ACT CEO Marcus Desando.

“The arts and culture and the creative sector have been hard hit by the Covid-19 pandemic and the national lockdown, besides the need for a financial injection in the sector, we have also learnt that the environment is more dynamic than we thought and that agility is most needed. With that in mind, we at ACT are very excited that we can offer this programme nationally and to more participants than previously possible. We are very much appreciative of the grant from the National Arts Council and we can’t wait to welcome the next cohorts of this important programme.”

Online application form:

Important: Due to capacity only five companies/organisations/artists from each province in South Africa will be selected to participate.

* Only South African nationals may apply and projects must take place in South Africa. Allocation of grants is at the discretion of the ACT board of trustees. The decision about all applications for funding is final and no further correspondence will be entered into.

The Arts & Culture Trust (ACT) is South Africa’s premier independent arts funding and development agency. The primary aim of ACT is to increase the amount of funding available for arts and culture initiatives, and to apply these funds to innovative, sustainable projects that make a meaningful contribution to society. Through structured funding programmes ACT provides support to all expressions of arts and culture, including literature, music, visual art, theatre and dance, and the support extends to festivals, community arts initiatives, arts management, arts education and arts administration. For more information visit the Trust’s website. Follow ACT on Twitter or like the ACT’s Facebook page.

The National Arts Council was established in April, 1997 through an act of parliament (Act no.56 of 1997). The vision of the NAC is to promote, through the arts, the free expression of South Africa’s cultures. The NAC offers financial support to arts organisations and individuals involved with projects in dance and choreography, literature; multi-discipline; theatre and musical, theatre, visual arts and craft.

To link direct to the Arts & Culture Trust’s site, click on the ACT logo to the right of this article or visit


Barry Thomson & The Reals will present Rock Guitar Legends at Rhumbelow Durban from October 30 to November 1, 2020.

The show pays tribute to some of the greatest guitar players of all time with the focus mainly on the classic rock guitarists of the 60s, 70s, and 80s eras. The show features a variety of guitar styles ranging from Hank Marvin to Jimi Hendrix. Also highlighted are the distinctive playing styles and sounds of Eric Clapton, Mark Knopfler (Dire Straits), Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin) and Slash (Guns ‘n Roses).

Leading the team of top Durban musicians is maestro Barry Thomson on guitar and vocals, Musical Director Dawn Selby on keyboards and vocals, Mali Sewell on drums and Trevor Donjeany on bass guitar and vocals. Donjeany is standing in for Jason Andrew for this run.

The Reals will take you on a journey full of hit songs, nostalgia, fun, and top class playing. Also featured are David Gilmour (Pink Floyd), Santana, Ritchie Blackmore (Deep Purple) and the soulful Gary Moore.

If you’re a classic rock fan, then this is the show for you!

Performances run on Fridays and Saturdays at 19h30 and on Sundays at 14h00. (Venue opens 90 minutes before show for snacks/drinks)     

Whilst we are not changing our 2020 pricing, Rhumbelow has asked patrons to please assist them and the performers by donating a higher ticket price.

Tickets R160 (R140 pensioners and students with a valid student card). Discounts 1st weekend ONLY. Loyalty Card Holders (R130) ALL SHOWS

Bring food picnic baskets or buy from Kevin. A bar is available (no alcohol may be brought on to the premises) There is limited secure parking available.

Booking is essential on email to

For more information contact Roland Stansell on 082 499 8636 or visit








1.1.   Patrons need to wear a face and nose covering at all times in the venue except when eating or drinking.

1.2.   All patrons will have their temperatures taken on arrival at the venue.

1.3.   All patrons will be required to complete documents relating to Travel and Covid-19 contacts.

1.4.   All patrons will be required to complete an indemnity form.

1.5.   All patrons will be required to complete an attendance register with all appropriate information including confirmation of co-habiting when couples attend.

1.6.   All patrons will be hand sanitized on arrival and at interval.

1.7.   All patrons will be requested to bring hand sanitizer with them to the venue.

1.8.   Any patron who does not meet the required Health & Safety protocols and temperature check will be refused entry.

1.9.   Patrons above the age of 60 or a person with co-morbidities will be discouraged from attending performances.  - DISCOURAGED ONLY IN TERMS OF GOVT GUIDELINES


Follow Rhumbelow on Facebook - or Instagram - @therhumbelow or Twitter - @rhumbelow2001



(Cathy Peacock & Andrew Warburton)

“Brass and Keys Unlocked” was a thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining concert which had the audience on their feet in appreciation at the end. (Review by Keith Millar)

Prior to lockdown, we were perhaps a little spoilt for choice with regards to the number of concerts available for our enjoyment.

Then came the shutdown which led to more than seven long months of no live music at all.

So the pleasure and joy at the return of live concerts is understandable, and 120 (Covid maximum) music lovers gathered at St Thomas Church in Musgrave Road, Durban, on Sunday morning to share in the joy of a live concert called Brass and Keys Unlocked.

The concert showcased the talents of the charismatic Durban trumpeter Cathy Peacock and one of South Africa’s leading pianists and accompanists, Dr Andrew Warburton.

Also taking part were two local organists, Merwyn Payne and Johan Ward as well as well as three members of the Durban Youth Orchestra: Lance Travis Leslie Smith (bass trombone) and Richard Kruse and Andrew Ward (both trumpeters).

It is worth noting that, among her many musical activities, Cathy Peacock is a tutor and conductor with the Youth Orchestra. The two trumpeters on the programme are her pupils.

Looking glamorous in a black evening gown Cathy Peacock started off the programme with Henry Purcell’s Trumpet Tune, a fitting fanfare to kick-off a varied programme filled with wonderful music performed with skill and panache.

Among other pieces performed by Peacock were the ubiquities wedding march, The Prince Of Demark March by Jeremiah Clarke, performed as a trio with her two students; baroque composer William Boyce’s Trumpet Voluntary, and 20th century Belgium composer Flor Peters introspective piece, Aria.

Andrew Warburton’s solo contribution to the concert included Beethoven’s Rondo in C and Spanish Dance by Enrique Granados. His performance was masterful. He was also the accompanist for most of the other works on the programme.

Also on the programme was JS Bach’s exquisitely serene Air On A G String played on the church’s 110 year old organ by Merwyn Payne, and Alexej Lebedjew’s Konzert Nr. 1 performed with some aplomb on the bass trombone by 18 year-old Lance Smith.

The artists offered snippets of information about the works and composers between items. Of particular interest was Cathy Peacock’s explanation about the workings of the trumpet, using a length of garden hose. Remarkably, she achieved a credible sound from the hose during her demonstration.

Brass and Keys Unlocked was a thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining concert which had the audience on their feet in appreciation at the end.

Reverend Michael Fourie of St Thomas Church has plans to develop the venue as a centre for fine music in the area. He has two concerts planned for November which we look forward to with interest. - Keith Millar

Sunday, October 25, 2020


(Liesl Coppin, Cara Roberts & Brian Hiles. Pic by Val Adamson)

A highly impressive performance from Cara Roberts in a delightfully hilarious and excellent production. (Review by Caroline Smart)

Durban’s much-loved and honoured KickstArt Theatre Productions has made it out of lockdown with a great show which is running at Seabrooke’s Theatre at DHS. KickstArt is run by the inimitable duo, Steven Stead and Greg King, who, between them, create top-class productions in Durban – and around the country – with their pantomimes being the highlight of the Durban festive seasons.

Stead is currently in Cape Town directing the opera, Cosi fan Tutte, leaving King with time on his hands to focus on the frustrations of the theatre world and, as he says: “itching to do something creative to keep from going crazy.” A series of interesting coincidences led him to chat with fellow actors Bryan Hiles and Cara Roberts to do a show at Rhumbelow. A few days later, Michael Broderick invited them to visit the newly-renovated Seabrooke’s Theatre (in which he had been installing a brand new lighting and technical rig). There they bumped into actress Liesl Coppin, who is the new Seabrooke’s theatre manager. Together they discussed possible collaborations.

Then King remembered Sylvia, a play that has been on his wish list for a long time. It suited these three actors but needed a further member and fellow actor Peter Court stepped in. Eventually, King handed over the job as co-director to Court and took on the performer’s hat, something he hasn’t done for about 15 years!

(Right: Greg King & Bryan Hiles. Pic by Val Adamson)

The story is very simple but requires much dramatic versatility, especially from Roberts in the role of Sylvia.

Greg is tired of his office life which he feels is meaningless so he takes off for a walk in the park. Here he meets Sylvia, who seems lost and helpless. She touches something in his heart and he comes to the rescue and takes her home. She immediately delights in her new surroundings and exuberantly thanks him … constantly!

His wife, Kate, arrives home to see this display of affection and is highly unimpressed. Because Sylvia is a dog – and she’s not mad about dogs. Especially when they jump all over the furniture and lick your face. However, Greg is totally smitten and so begins a battle which author A R Gurney has created with much humour as well as pathos and a whole heap of energy!

(Left: Liesl Coppin & Greg King. Pic by Val Adamson)

The surprise of the evening was to see King back on stage – and not just in one role but three! He plays the over-the-top Phyllis, the red-haired wife of Greg’s boss; Tom, a casual dude that Greg meets in the park and who is full of advice re male problems, and Leslie, a cross-dressing marriage counsellor.

Greg is played by Hiles with Coppin as his long-suffering wife. They interact well together with both handling the emotions required with much credibility.

(Right: Cara Roberts as Sylvia. Pic by Val Adamson)

However, is it Roberts who totally steals the show as the dog who can talk. Not just talk but talk a lot!! Her moods change from helpless and pleading to obstinate and furious as well as the frailty she suffers after being spayed. She delights as the sex-driven Sylvia on heat. I was also in awe at the way she leaps across the couch with ease. A highly impressive performance.

The attractive set of a cosy city flat is designed by King with lighting design by Broderick. Costume design and co-ordination is by Court with sound compilation by Jason Bird.

 All in all, it's a delightfully hilarious and excellent production.

Sylvia is presented by KickstArt Theatre by arrangement with DALRO (Pty) Ltd. The show runs until November 8 on Fridays at 19h00, Saturdays at 14h30 and 19h00 as well as Sundays at 11h00 and 15h00. There will be one extra performance on Thursday (October 29) at 19h00. Tickets R150 throughout. Seating unreserved through Computicket – seats allocated at the door in line with COVID protocols. Patrons are requested to arrive timeously.

Seabrooke's Theatre is situated at Durban High School (DHS), St Thomas Road, Musgrave. – Caroline Smart



(Lisa Bobbert)

Catch popular actress Lisa Bobbert in top form live onstage!

Brace yourself. She’s wild, she’s whacky, she’s wonderful … The delectable Lisa Bobbert unleashes her zany zoo of loopy alter-egos in her inimitable show, Bobbertlicious.

Chantal, Charmaine, Delphine - and even Tina Turner - are just some of Bobbert’s line-up of larger-than-life lasses who feature in this not-to-be-missed entertainment.

The unstoppable Ms Bobbert herself even gets a show in, with some songs she’s always wanted to sing – but no-one would allow her to do.

Catch Lisa and her gals in Bobbertlicious in three performances only, from October 29 to 31, 2020, OnStage@Altitude.

Doors open at 18h00 with the show at 19h30. A cash bar is available - and the adjacent KitchenKulture offers a good light-meal a la carte menu - WhatsApp Eon on 073 541 3284 to receive the menu and pre-order your meal. After the show you are able to party the night away but the venue closes at 23h45 to abide by the curfew rules.

Strict health protocols apply. All ticket holders will be receiving a Covid-19 Questionnaire for completion prior to arrival.

OnStage@Altitude is situated at 25 Silver Avenue in Greyville, Durban. Bookings or enquiries on 064 476 9533.