|29/04/2013 - 09:30|
The Unexpected Man is Tony award winning playwright Reza's exploration of the inner world of two travellers sharing a train compartment. Performed by Shaun Acker and Zanne Solomon under Brink Scholtz's subtle direction, the play is surprising gem as the audience yearn with the characters for a catharsis of connection.
The Unexpected Man will be running first at the Intimate Theatre 7th - 12th and then returning to Alexander Upstairs from the 15th to the 25th of May. read more
|05/03/2013 - 20:23|
Oscar Wilde said, “I regard the theatre as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being.” Is this why we drag ourselves off the couch, put on our best pair of jeans and haul ourselves off through traffic to watch adults pretending to be people they are not? Absolutely.
In its infancy, 2013 has already blessed Cape Town’s stages with The Three Little Pigs, Die Suidooster Fees, the Maynardville Open-Air double bill and the Improv Fest. But brace yourselves, theatre lovers, as we are heading into a couple of months pregnant with promise, and bursting with young talent. From young directors, young performers, original and fresh work from new, exciting theatre makers to new spaces … it’s as though we’re celebrating the Mayans being wrong with youthful abandon and a new start. read more
|17/12/2012 - 15:04|
CEO Michael Williams maps out the future for Cape Town Opera.
What was your best "performing art" moment this year?
It would have to be the European premier of Mandela Trilogy at the Wales Millennium Centre. To know that we brought over a work that could fill the house and tell a South African story that could be appreciated by a new audience was fantastic. And of course, hearing our chorus sing Porgy and Bess with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra in Berlin with Sir Simon Rattle conducting. The power of their voices, the artistry of the musicians, the dynamism of Rattle – it all came together as a powerful performing art moment! And how can I leave out the opening night of Porgy and Bess at the historic venue of the Coliseum in the West End of London? read more
|26/11/2012 - 08:00|
Jay Pather, What was your best "performing art" moment in 2012?
• James Ncgobo’s brilliant interpretation of Athol Fugard’s Boesman and Lena at the Baxter. With masterly casting he made this play a moving, visceral experience, walking the thin line between universal issues of existence and loneliness while highlighting contemporary political issues of dreams deferred. He showed how it is possible to be global and universal while being very South African.
• Megan Furniss and Louis Viljoen’s play readings during the Directors and Directing event showed us the tip of the talent iceberg in this city.
• The 1300 people queuing on Long Street during Infecting the City Festival over two nights for Athi Patra Ruga’s performance art work, Illulwane, at the Long Street Baths. A high point in affirming the public’s interest and support for work that is innovative and that breaks boundaries. read more
|05/03/2012 - 08:46|
Opera is often said to be the most collaborative of all the art forms. 021 goes behind the scenes and meets the woman who brings it all together – Christine Crouse, Cape Town Opera’s artistic director. Fidelio was performed in March 2012 read more
|12/12/2011 - 09:49|
Matthew Wild makes his debut as a Shakespearian director in The Comedy of Errors.
Clearly there’s something Chinese in the air that creatives are tuning in to. This year’s
MCQP theme is Maid in China, while Matthew Wild is setting his Shakespearean production
in a fictional Chinatown. This blends well with the fight sequences that abound in The
Comedy of Errors, and which Wilde has opted to stage with an amusing 1970s Bruce Lee feel.
These presented the greatest challenge to Wild. “I’m nervous of unfunny slapstick,” he admits. This summer’s production at Maynardville is a series of firsts across the board, culminating with Cape Town Opera’s 30-year-old dramaturge Matthew Wild in the director’s seat.
|25/08/2011 - 12:51|
Dawn Kennedy asks Bronwen Forbay about her role as Violetta, the tragic courtesan, in Giuseppe Verdi’s emotive, 19th-century classic, La Traviata which is performed at Artscape's Opera House from 11 - 22 Oct 2011
Q. In the movie Pretty Woman, Julia Roberts’ character Vivian attends La Traviata. It was the first time she had seen opera and she appreciated the beauty and depth of the music without needing to understand the words. What is it that makes the music so
emotive? read more
|01/06/2011 - 00:00|
Cape Town’s opera diva Aviva Pelham says Brundibár teaches children about the power of art.
Aviva is passionate about exposing children to music, quoting Carl orff’s belief that “a child should play an instrument every single day.” she admits: “i can’t do a day without music.”
Therefore, when the Cape town Holocaust Centre approached her to direct Brundibár, a children’s opera by the Jewish Czech composer Hans Krasa, she readily accepted the challenge. Aviva’s passion for social justice burns as brightly as her love of music. On the
surface, Brundibár is a simple tale about two desperately poor young children who are assisted by three animals to overcome the evil organ grinder. read more
|31/05/2011 - 00:00|
It’s difficult to eat when your mouth is hanging open in slackjawed amazement, but Madame Zingara’s Theatre of Dreams proves that anything is possible. Drama surrounds Madame Zingara’s creator Richard Griffin, who understands that what the world needs is magic, dished up with lashings of sensual pleasure. Many Capetonians will fondly remember the crazy chaos of Mme Zingara’s in Bree Street, where Richard first wowed Cape Town with his winning combination of visuals and edibles. Who can forget the joy of eating a chocolate chilli steak while ogling a bare-breasted tantric dancer painted blue? read more
|06/05/2011 - 04:55|
The Fugard hasn’t even begun to reach its potential yet, promises its newly appointed manager Daniel Galloway.
During the last year , the drama that happened behind the scenes at The
Fugard was more entertaining than anything that happened on stage. The
Fugard’s sole benefactor, Eric Abraham, summarily suspended the theatre’s artistic director, Mark Dornford-May, following what Abraham described tersely as “the discovery of certain financial irregularities”. This led to the Mark
Donford-May all-black company Isango Portobello, which until then resided at
The Fugard, finding itself theatre-less. Summing up the sorry incident, Abraham recalls, “An act of empowerment, affirmation and enabling became an expensive and cancerous growth of entitlement, opportunism and arrogance.” The press latched on to a case of history repeating itself: once again the wealthy whites (Eric had sunk over R30 million into the company) were throwing blacks out on the streets. read more
|09/12/2010 - 00:00|
An Italian Circus is coming to Maynardville. Come and revel in a show of comedic delight that director Roy Sargeant says celebrates the rugged path to true love. Roy Sargeant, director of Artscape’s 57th Shakespearean production, The Taming of the Shrew, was in Standard 7 (Grade
9) when he attended the same play performed as the inaugural production at the Maynardville’s Open-Air Theatre 55 years ago. Two actresses, René Ahrenson and Cecilia Sonnenberg, enlisted the help of the acclaimed Shakespearean specialist Leslie French, famous for his performances in Regent’s Park, London, and at the Old Vic, to realise their dream of an open-air Shakespearean theatre. With the support of the municipality, the trio reshaped the land, created an auditorium, diverted a stream and staged The Taming of the Shrew in 1956, starting what has turned out to be a long and noble tradition. read more
|10/10/2010 - 23:51|
021 interviews Durban-born opera diva Bronwen Forbay who is performing the role of Lucia in Cape Town Opera’s production of Donizetti’s Lucia di LammeRmoor. read more
|05/09/2010 - 00:00|
Choreographer Tracey Leigh-Lawson talks to the trailblazing 24-year-old Dada Masilo about her
contemporary interpretation of the classic Carmen.
Q. What drew you to create a dance piece based on the complex and alluring character of Carmen?
A. I’ve always wanted to dance Carmen. For as long as I can remember, is the role that really speaks to me. I knew that it would be a challenge and wanted to find out what it would be like to
take myself to my own pits of hell as opposed to doing it for another choreographer. It was very hard because I had to let go completely emotionally as I wanted the work to be honest and visceral. read more
|17/05/2010 - 23:52|
African Songbook: A Musical Tribute to the Life of Nelson Mandela
“We don’t do museum pieces,” says Michael Williams, Cape Town Opera’s general manager and writer of African Songbook. Michael promises that African Songbook’s concoction of opera, music and oratorio offers something for everyone: “You’ll be captivated by beautiful classical renditions, struck by the jazz and knocked sideways by the drama.”
Based on the defining moments of Mandela’s life, African Songbook is a smorgasbord of sound, theatre, song and South African history. It takes a big subject to compliment, or compete with, the soccer action. read more
|02/01/2010 - 23:52|
‘Cape Town is home to focused, creative professionals, generating the best theatre work in the country,’ says award-winning actor Jeremy Crutchley
Jeremy’s distinguished 30-year acting career began in Johannesburg in the 1980s and early 90s, when theatre was electrified by its opposition to oppression. By 1994, Jeremy was ‘considerably exhausted’ and opted for England when he realised, ‘my own evolution didn’t have to be slavishly linked to the struggles of history.’ On his return to South Africa in 2002, the decision to make Cape Town his home was based more on familial than professional considerations. Nevertheless, it’s a choice he’s happy to have made as he’s been productive since arriving here. read more
|30/12/2009 - 23:53|
From the earliest age, Alan Committee took his ambition to make people laugh very seriously. Alan’s story reads a bit like a fairy tale. At age five, a performance of Boswell Circus determines the course of his life. The young boy, enraptured by the clowns, decides that he too would wear a painted smile one day. Alan’s decision came as a surprise to his rather straight-laced folks. “My Dad was in the navy and my mum’s a housewife – there’s nothing remotely theatrical in my genes.” But from that moment on, Alan never wavered from his intentions. When he was nine years old, his Dad declared that he wouldn’t allow him to join the circus. Alan resolved to become an actor instead and trained as a teacher in case he needed a career to support him. read more
|28/12/2009 - 00:00|
“Being funny about things that aren’t funny, being successful with issues that no one wants to talk about, attracting a huge paying audience with stories no one wants to hear: that’s my show business,” declares Pieter Dirk Uys.
I first interviewed Pieter six years ago, making the pilgrimage to Darling to touch the hem of the great humorist. Along the N7 to Malmesbury, the sky opens like a yawn and I feel myself shake off Cape Town and slide into a more relaxed small town South African pace. Inside the darkened rooms of Evita se Perron, the train station that Pieter converted into a theatre, Afrikaans memorabilia cram the walls. While waiting for Pieter, I was reminded of reluctant visits to the mouldy homes of old relatives. But then Pieter arrived, his ebullient enthusiasm like a fresh breeze. What ensued was not so much an interview as a graceful onslaught of verbal dexterity. Pieter slipped in and out of character, becoming Evita Bezuidenhout and Pik Botha, by turns, giving me the impression that he uses any conversation as an opportunity to practise timing.
|20/12/2009 - 00:00|
Hint. It’s not just his signature wheels and sunglasses.
Kurt, a man of a million faces and many sunglasses, always arrives in style. His appearance in a recently acquired 1940 Chevrolet transforms the road leading into the River Club into a dusty lane on a mid-American farm. For a few moments, there’s apple pie inthe oven and Elvis on the phonograph. His latest car is unusually understated for Kurt who tends to favour gleaming mobiles so highly polished that you can count the strands in your beehive in the reflection off their bonnet. Kurt assures me that he hasn’t forgotten to paint this car and that the rusty bits are on purpose. ‘It doesn’t look fancy-shmansy like my other cars. Butit’s brand new under the skin.’ He’s aiming for the distressed look, which is the latest trend with custom car builders in the States. As he poses for photos, Kurt, recognisable across the country for the hit SABC series Going Nowhere Slowly draws comments from passersby: ‘Gotta earn a living somehow,’ and ‘All in a day’s work,’ he jokes, in-between pulling faces. The title of his show is ironic. Kurt has gone somewhere fast. Jettisoned out of Mitchell’s Plain, he’s become one of Cape Town’s most popular comedians, and recently opened a comedy venue Jou Ma Se Comedy Club in Woodstock. Kurt admits, ‘At 36 I’ve accomplished more than I ever thought possible.’ read more