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Drugs, love, drama … we are all addicts

 Riveting performances in Lara Foot’s new play, The Inconvenience of Wings, which opened at the Baxter Theatre on Thursday night, leave the audience feeling totally exposed in more ways than one. Jennifer Steyn, Mncedisi Shabangu and Andrew Buckland leave it all hanging out, literally and metaphorically, as they explore addiction, co-dependency and fully fledged mental …

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The sensational Sillage takes Gold

Sillage won a a Gold Ovation Award at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, the only one given this year.  How I love it when I back a winner: This is what I thought: The lingering scent of derailed destinies At first I wanted the actors in Sillage, at the Princess Alice Hall at the National …

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Twisted drama feels like a dose of therapy

At a National Arts Festival packed with psycho drama, the dark little comedy Father, Father Father! felt like a good dose of therapy … if not a dose of good therapy. The award-winning play – created by Roberto Pombo, Joni Barnard and Racheal Neary – conjures up all sorts of weirdness and creepy possibility as …

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Crossing from the sane side

The Search for Intelligent Signs of Life in the Universe at the National Arts Festival is amazeballs! And, forthwith, I will be using amazeballs and other words that I have previously avoided because they sounded a bit too loony. After this brief tour of “sanity” with Trudy, our crazy bag-lady guide, I am happy to …

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A master of illusion … and charm

If he wasn’t so damn cute Stuart Lightbody would be absolutely maddening. The magician is smart, funny and sweet, adorable even, as he works his tricks on the room in his show, Sleepless Dreams, at the National Arts Festival. He is totally charming and relaxed as he pulls one trick after another, running through one …

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Absurdity and the essence of life

A combination of caricature, satire, panto and mime, Waterline’s cast of masked characters are incredibly charming and funny as they tackle the absurdity of a life ‘below the water line’ in this cracker of a show at the National Arts Festival. Magnificently expressive and detailed masks, designed by Catherine Jacot-Guillarmod, turn the cast into lovable, …

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A thrilling mix of grace and power

My weekend’s highlight at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown was always going to be Cape Dance Company’s show. And that was before Mthuthuzeli November’s devastatingly gorgeous solo. I had had a taste of the CDC show during a short run at Artscape in Cape Town earlier in the year. I knew what I was …

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Expect another steaming day

After a fierce and fiery start to the National Arts Festival on Thursday, expect another steaming day. A couple of brassy birds (Ladies of Midnight Blue) warmed things up on opening day on Thursday and a fiery one (The Firebird) turned the heat right up. By the time I got to Saints bistro for some …

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As irresistible as it sounds

Ladies of Midnight Blue starts out gently, playfully. Two women drumming. It is rhythmic and somehow hypnotic, you follow them down the path. The beat speeds up faster and faster, two people with so many hands on the drums. You are in a trance, you would follow them anywhere. Next thing you know it is …

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Grahamstown: Curtain’s up!

A short-ish drive (130km) from Port Elizabeth airport to Grahamstown is just perfect to re-calibrate heart and mind, aka get one in the mood, for the National Arts Festival, which opens on Thursday and runs until July 10. The road to Grahamstown from the airport that most locals, students, actors, producers and a selection of …

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Value of social grants outstrips cost

Flying in the face of criticism that social grants spark dependency, comprehensive studies in Zambia have shown that the benefits of cash transfers to poor families outweigh the cost. The research, commissioned by the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (Unicef) and carried out by the American Institutes for Research (AIR), found that social grants for …

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Zambia, a reason to be thankful

By Siphelele Dludla “Zikomo”, the local way of saying thank you in Lusaka, always evokes a smile when said by a foreigner, Zambians rightfully laying claim to the title – Africa’s Most Patriotic Nation. The colours of the national flag are in evidence everywhere. From taxis and buses to public dustbins and even curtains in homes, …

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