A cultural feast at Cinema Nouveau, Rosebank

Kenneth Branagh's production of Macbeth

Kenneth Branagh’s production of Macbeth

We are so privileged in Johannesburg to have access on our doorsteps to world-class productions (quite literally).  If an air-ticket to London is out of the question (let alone R600 odd for a theatre ticket) then make sure to see the current productions of London’s Royal National Theatre which are broadcast live and screened at Cinema Nouveau in Rosebank. Helen Mirren’s performance in The Audience was riveting and I was gripped throughout the entire 3 hours of Nicholas Hytner’s  production of Othello.  Macbeth (with Kenneth Branagh directing and taking the lead role) comes up on the 2nd, 3rd, 6th and 7th November and next year March, we’ll be able to see Tim Hiddleston as Coriolanus.   The contemporary settings and the consummate acting make these renderings both as accessible (in the sense of intelligible) and as relevant  as they were in Shakespeare’s day.

War horse puppets created by South Africa's Handspring Puppet Company

War horse puppets created by South Africa’s Handspring Puppet Company

There will be live screenings worldwide of the brilliant production War Horse from end February but no indication yet of whether South Africa will be included in these screenings.  So hold fingers and thumbs and every digit you have, that we don’t miss out.  The giant War Horse puppets were made by our very own South African Handspring Puppet Company.  

And of course don’t forget the films of block-buster international art exhibitions such as Vermeer and Music at the National Gallery, London showing on 26th, 27th 30th and 31st October.   Manet’s Portraying Life at the National Portrait Gallery London and the Munch exhibition in Oslo,  (screenings come and gone), like the Vermeer, take the viewer around the exhibitions  giving fascinating insights into not only the artists’ life and work, but also into the curatorial process of putting the exhibitions together.

And as if all this is not enough to leave us culturally satiated, the newest season of live opera from the Met opens on 9th November with Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin.   These screenings usually only run for a week, two weeks at the very most so if you blink you miss them.  And again our South African artists have made their mark internationally – see   Kentridge’s  brilliant production of Shostakovich’s The Nose (starting 30th November).  Remember his extraordinary rendering of The Magic Flute?  The rest of the Met opera season includes screenings of Tosca from 7 Dec; Verdi’s Falstaff opening 8 Jan;  Dvořák’s Rusalka, from 8 March;  Borodin’s Prince Igor starting 29th March;  Werther by Massanet – from 5th April;  La Boheme, 26th April; Cosi Fan Tute  on 24 May and finally  Rossini’s La Cenerentola  opening on 7 June. 

Seats can be booked on-line on www.cinemanouveau.co.za or on Ticketline 082 16789.


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Liz at Lancaster ideal for long stays

At the end of  September we bid farewell to a guest who had stayed with us for 5 months. It’s a long time to be away from home so we were delighted that he felt so comfortable here and felt that it was a ‘home away from home’.   With offices in Parktown the drive to work was really quick and painless and he had access to restaurants and all the neighbourhood buzz that the Parks offers.   So he just loved Joburg and sadly has now been seconded to work in Lagos for a couple of months which he says is really very tough.  And the hotel is not ’1000th as good as Liz at Lancaster’.  We hope that his further time away from his home in Milan goes quickly for him.  For his review on Tripadvisor see  http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g312578-d574068-r179796434-Liz_at_Lancaster_Guesthouse-Johannesburg_Greater_Johannesburg_Gauteng.html#CHECK_RATES_CONT

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Normality returns to Joburg art galleries after the Art Fair. See what’s on or opening this evening

The dust has begun to settle after the Joburg Art Fair and everyday life can return to gallery staff and their publics.  There are several recently opened exhibitions and several which are opening in the next couple of weeks.  Exhibitions which are already showing include:

Pieter Hugo, left: Rina Veldsman, Monte Rosa Old Age Home, Cape Town, 2013; right: Ann Sallies, who worked for my parents and helped raise their children, Douglas, 2013, C-prints From the 'Kin' exhibition invitation

Pieter Hugo, left: Rina Veldsman, Monte Rosa Old Age Home, Cape Town, 2013;
right: Ann Sallies, who worked for my parents and helped raise their children, Douglas, 2013, C-prints
From the ‘Kin’ exhibition invitation


Pieter Hugo’s Kin Stevenson’s Gallery in Juta St. Braamfontein.  Hugo’s photographs speak of contradiction and mixed feelings about his home country South Africa.  Hugo says: ‘ ‘Kin’ is an attempt at evaluating the gap between society’s ideals and its realities. The exhibition closes on 8th November.

Robyn Penn Echo mailer



Running until the 9th Nov at David Krut Gallery Projects in Parkwood is Robyn Penn’s exhibition Echo comprising  various media – drawings, oil paintings, lithographs.   Sensitive and evocative depictions of clouds and the sea speak of changing shapes and forms over intervals of time.  It is in these intervals between  transformations that time is slowed and even frozen.  The exhibition closes on 9th Nov.

Also running until 9th November are Goodman’s two exhibitions Zimbabwean-born Kudzanai Chiurai’s   Harvest of Thorns andFrances Goodman’s Sub Rosa. Harvest of Thorns is loosely based on the book by the same title by the author Shimmer Chinodya and is about public acts of violence as documented and represented by the media.   Goodman’s show is of a very different order and involves photographs of the lower torsos of anonymous women who Goodman has “vajazzled” – a cosmetic treatment in which a woman’s vulva is decorated with jewels

 Ilana Seati, Jim Thorne, Shadrack Masuku and Noah Mdluli works are on show on Reverie Revealed at In Toto in Birnam until 21st October.

BambooRunning until Saturday 12th at Upstairs at Bamboo in Melville is a group show Multiple Choice with an artists’ walkabout at 11 on Saturday.

If you cut short this walkabout, race across to Wits Art Museum you can join Jeremy Wafer’s walkabout of his exhibition Survey which starts at 12pm.  Survey runs until the 3rd November.

Also at WAM until  10th November is Umhlaba 1913-2013: Commemorating the 1913 Land Act. In this exhibition more than 30 photographers interrogate the history of land ownership and the different ways land has been imaged and used. 

Circa Camouflage

Ayanda Jackson is giving a walkabout of her incredible exhibition at 6 pm tonight 10th October. Well worth attending. Can then go up the drag to the openings at Circa of 2  exhibitions:   a group show, Camouflage  and a solo show by Helmut Starcke entitled Elegies to the Tender Scrub.
A week later 2 several exhibitions open on the 17th Nov. By invitation opening is the first night of Justin Fiske’s exhibition at the Standard Bank Gallery which runs until the 7th Dec.  The artist will conduct a walkabout on the 18th Oct at 1pm.  
Art Afrique
Two further exhibitions open on Thurs 17th:  Rethinking the Future Vitshois Mwilanbwe Bondo’s solo show at Momo  and Art Afrique in Sandton Mbongeni Buthelezi  shows his latest works using recycled plastic on an exhibition entitled Kliptown Revisited.    This show closes on 31st October.


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