Posts Tagged ‘reviews’

What the point of a review? One basic answer is that is tells the audience whether something on show is worth their time and money. Reviews can form an influential part of the decision-making process for would-be audience members.

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Lemmy Caution (Eddie Constantine) speaks to the sentient supercomputer Alpha 60, in  Jean-Luc Godard's critically acclaimed "Alphaville: A Strange Adventure of Lemmy Caution" ("Alphaville: une étrange aventure de Lemmy Caution"). Issues of individualism and the repression of emotion, poetry, ad the arts are dealt with in the film. (Photo: CueOnline/Sean Black).

If you’re any kind of fan of Robert Rodriguez’s acclaimed, neo-noir Sin City (which, let’s face it, you are) you will know that there is another glorious visual-feast on the way. If you are a fan of those films, which you are, you should then want to know where Rodriguez’s inspiration came from – where did this noir business begin?

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There’s a palpable buzz here. Thrilled fans who’ve heard about Boo!’s comeback, and read that 2011 is set to be “the year of the Boo!” fill the Guy Butler theatre for the band’s opening Festival performance.

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Plays, a film and visual art – the Festival this year is littered with reflections on school. Headlining the trend is The History Boys. The first South African production of Alan Bennett’s award-winning play, is about a group of boys preparing to sit their Oxbridge entrance exam. Three different teachers with divergent teaching styles, history, sex, music, poetry, words and literature – the play, which has been a smash hit across the world, has it all.

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Originality and quality. That is what’s required to become a signed Home Grown Music artist. Home Grown Music (HGM) is a local label which was created last year to promote South African music which is largely ignored by the mainstream. The unique, revolutionary label is the only record company at Festival this year. They have their own stall at the Village Green and are featuring numerous local artists, including Meri Kenaz, Gary Thomas and virtuoso guitarist Guy Buttery.

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“It’s wonderful to be at home,” said Joseph Shabalala, the founder of Ladysmith Black Mambazo. The Grammy Award-winning musical group has just returned from touring the United Kingdom, and will be making their debut at the Festival tonight.

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Performing as the Westhuizen Duo, pianists Pierre and Sophié van der Westhuizen form an impressive musical partnership. Their music-making represents the perfect blend of two musical personalities, with Pierre introducing the programme with an engaging and folksy American-style informality.

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“You’re going to love Ewok, he’s great!” said a young radio colleague when I told her I was off to see Seriously?, Iain Ewok Robinson’s latest show. I wasn’t so sure: a white rapper? Marshmallow memories of Vanilla Ice…. Turns out she was right. I loved Ewok, though Robinson is hardly a “sentient diminutive furry biped”, however many stars, even wars, he conjures up in this multi-media piece.

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This double-bill performance promises to be an entertaining odyssey into the world of bizarre creative genius. Professor Glaçon is the imaginary alter-ego of French composer Francois Sarhan. Glaçon is an artistic project with a quirkily ironic name: ‘Glaçon’ refers to the imagination, which is contradicted by the title ‘Professor’ because as Sarhan says, “You cannot teach imagination.”

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We meet up with Illka Louw, theatre designer and director, at the Cape Town Edge’s Fushin Café not knowing what to anticipate. Would she make an over-the-top entrance in a rainbow-coloured ensemble? After all, she has designed some of the most elaborate sets in South African theatre, including the set for Hair – the musical and Janice Honeyman’s Tempest.

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