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MISS SOUTH AFRICA 2018 SELECTION PANEL ANNOUNCED

In this 60th anniversary, Diamond Jubilee year of the Miss South Africa competition, the selection panel has been increased to a record seven – and includes a strong line up of some of our country’s most respected and influential personalities, each looking for that unique special ‘something’ to help them decide who will wear this year’s glittering Miss SA crown.

The spectacular Miss South Africa 2018 event will take place on Sunday, May 27 at Sun International’s new flagship venue, the Sun Arena at Time Square, Pretoria. It will be televised live and simulcast on M-Net (DStv Channel 101) and Mzansi Magic (DStv Channel 161).

 

Queen of SA talk, fun and funky radio jock Anele Mdoda, (a previous Miss SA judge in 2014), returns to the panel and will be joined by marketing personality Khaya Dlanga; businesswoman and media mogul Khanyi Dhlomo; entrepreneur and television presenter Janez Vermeiren; award-winning magazine editor Michelle van Breda; celebrity chef and TV personality Siba Mtongana and Miss World 2014, Dr Rolene Strauss.

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Dr Rolene Strauss

Strauss, a businesswoman and chairperson of the Strauss Foundation truly appreciates what is required of a Miss South Africa.

“As a previous Miss South Africa and Miss World, I have been in the shoes of the contestants and understand what challenges they face. I believe it would ease their minds to see a familiar face and a person who knows what they are going through. I understand what an international competition like Miss World expects of a Miss South Africa and thus know exactly what to look for in a Miss South Africa who can represent our country internationally, she says.
“I will be looking for a strikingly beautiful woman who becomes more beautiful as you get to know her. Someone who is hardworking, selfless, resilient and handles difficult situations with ease and grace.” 

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Anele Mdoda

Anele Mdoda offers pertinent advice for the Top 12: “Your competition is not the other 11 women. The task at hand is to shine as the best form of yourself. Show us why the crown has your name on it. Show us what your intent is. Win it on purpose.”

And what will she be looking for when judging? “All the finalists have the potential. We are in an amazing place where all of them are worthy of the crown. What I am looking for is growth since being announced Top 12 and the young woman who shows me that her life will propel her forward with or without the crown,” explains Mdoda.

Khanyi Dhlomo describes what she is looking for in a potential Miss South Africa: “I think that South Africa, particularly in the current socio-political climate … needs even more self-assured, compassionate and intentional female voices. The winner must most certainly be beautiful but, more importantly, she must have self-belief as well as a strong desire and personal plan to move both herself and her country forward in her area of influence.”

Khaya_Dlanga

Khaya Dlanga

Marketing mogul Khaya Dlanga has this to say: “I will be wearing both hats, that of a marketer and a writer, when casting my vote. My marketing hat will look for someone who is able to represent themselves effortlessly and is able to resonate with an audience that will only ever have access to them through the media and someone who is able to connect on a deeper level on a one on one basis as well. As a writer, I will be looking for someone who has a transcendent story that will resonate across all sectors of South Africa and can connect with the globe as well.”

Van Breda’s offers the following advice to our finalists: “You cannot save the world. But never underestimate the power of women and the power of one. So, show us who you are. You got to the Top 12 because the judges identified something they were really impressed with and liked – something original, something authentic, something different, something powerful. That is your strength. Stick to it. Use it. Talk and act from the heart.”

“Modern women are not afraid to get real and to get the job done. These are the very traits I will be looking for in Miss SA 2018. Someone who will be an ambassador and a spokesperson for women, our country and the Miss SA brand. For the winner, it could be a life-changing experience. This is that one-in-a-million opportunity! She must be prepared to give it her absolute all.”

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Janez Vermeiren

Renowned media personality Janez Vermeiren,  has been in the media industry for almost two decades, and has filled numerous roles, from model and model agency owner to TV presenter and now producer. He says: “Naturally Miss South Africa has to look the part but the most important for me is someone who is well rounded. I will be looking for someone who is media savvy, confident, compassionate and understanding of the challenges our country faces. My advice to all finalists is to clear their minds of all the hype and focus on bringing the best of themselves to the table. Don’t pretend to be something you’re not, keep it real and keep it natural.”

Popular foodie host Siba Mtongana understands the pressure of what it takes to succeed on a global stage and reveals what she is looking for in the young women who takes the crown: “I want to find South Africa’s next IT girl. Someone who steps into a room and commands everyone’s attention, without even saying a word. She is confident, yet humble, she has international appeal, yet is firmly grounded on local soil. She has a clear vision of who she is and what she wants to achieve and is looking to make an impactful mark on the world, not only for herself but for our nation.”

Sound advice from every member of the panel, each giving their own distinct opinion on what they’ll be looking for, and how they think the finalists should approach the big event on Sunday.

This year Miss South Africa announced a dramatic and exciting change to its format. Following the cut to the top five finalists, the organisers will go straight to a top two announcement, (rather than the previous approach of 2 runners-up – 2 Princesses – and 1 Miss South Africa winner). One of the pair will be named Miss World South Africa and one will receive the title of Miss Universe South Africa. Both will go on to represent South Africa on the global stage in each respective competition.

However, as there can be only one reigning Miss South Africa, the two winners will be asked one final question by the selection panel as the competition draws to a close. Their answers will determine who is crowned the official Miss South Africa 2018 and she will walk away with the R3 million prize package.

The runner-up takes home nearly R600 000 – R250 000 cash and R350 000 in prizes!

This year’s Top 12 finalists are Akile Khoza, Anzelle von Staden, Bryoni Govender, Daniellë de Jager, Karishma Ramdev, Margo Fargo, Noxolo Ndebele, Tamarin Bensch, Tamaryn Green, Thandokazi Mfundisi, Tharina Botes and Thulisa Keyi.

Tickets for this year’s pageant are available at TicketPro and cost between R160 and R560. Go to: www.ticketpros.co.za

Miss South Africa is proudly presented by Cell C in association with Sun International.

Go to:
⦁ Website: misssa.co.za
⦁ Facebook: facebook.com/MsSouthAfrica
⦁ Twitter: ⦁ @Official_MissSA
⦁ Instagram: ⦁ @official_misssa
⦁ YouTube: ⦁ youtube.com/TheMissSAPageant

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MISS SOUTH AFRICA 2018 TOP 12 FINALISTS ANNOUNCED!

Organisers reveal exciting new format

Miss_SA_2018_finalists
Back row from left to right: Bryoni Govender, Margo Fargo, Thulisa Keyi, Tamaryn Green, Daniellé de Jager, Anzelle von Staden and Tharina Botes. Front row (left to right) Noxolo Ndebele, Tamarin Bensch, Thandokazi Mfundisi, Karishma Ramdev and Akile Khoza. Pic by Yolanda van der Stoep.

Pretoria, May 3: This year’s Top 12 Miss South Africa finalists have been announced as the pageant proudly celebrates its 60th anniversary, with a dramatic and exciting change to its format.

Traditionally, during the final on pageant night, the top 12 finalists are reduced to five, from which a second princess is announced, followed by a first princess and then the winner.

This year, following the cut to the top five finalists, the organisers will go straight to a top two announcement.  One of the pair will be named Miss World South Africa and one will receive the title of Miss Universe South Africa. Both will go on to represent South Africa on the global stage in each respective competition.

However, as there can be only one reigning Miss South Africa, the two winners will be asked one final question by the judges as the pageant draws to a close. Their answers will  then determine who is crowned as the official Miss South Africa 2018.

The Top 12 finalists, who each receive a prize package valued at R180 000, come from six of the country’s provinces – five from Gauteng; two from KwaZulu Natal and the Eastern Cape respectively and one each from the Free State, Mpumalanga, and the Western Cape.  They’re an extremely impressive group, including several medical, science and law students and a number of BComm and BSc graduates.

They are (in alphabetical order of their first names):

·         Akile Khoza (23) from Bushbuckridge, Mpumalanga who is studying for her Masters in neuroscience at Stellenbosch University.
·         Anzelle van Staden (25), from Centurion in Gauteng, has a BComm degree from the University of Pretoria and is currently a full-time model.
·         Bryoni Govender (21), from Kempton Park in Gauteng, is a third year LLB student at the University of Johannesburg.
·         Daniellë de Jager (20) from Benoni, Gauteng, is currently studying biokinetics at the Nelson Mandela University in Port Elizabeth.
·         Karishma Ramdev (23), from Chatsworth in KZN, is a fifth-year medical student at the University of Pretoria.
·         Margo Fargo (25), originally from Heidedal in the Free State, has a BSc consumer sciences honours degree and is a co-founder of a NPO.
·         Noxolo Ndebele (24), from KwaNongoma in KZN, has a BComm Acc degree and worked as a financial controller.
·         Tamarin Bensch (25), originally from Bedfordview in Gauteng but now living in Somerset West, works in property management and interior renovations.
·         Tamaryn Green (23), from Paarl in the Western Cape, is in her final year of medicine at the University of Cape Town.
·         Thandokazi Mfundisi (23), from East London in the Eastern Cape, is a final year LLB student at Fort Hare.
·         Tharina Botes (21), from Roodepoort in Gauteng, is a first year BComm marketing and business degree student at Damelin and a part-time model.
·         Thulisa Keyi (26), originally from East London and who now lives in Gauteng, is currently doing her articles after graduating from the University of Cape Town.

The Miss South Africa Organisation (Cell C and Sun International) has the exclusive licences for the Miss South Africa title holder to compete annually in both the Miss Universe and Miss World pageants. Traditionally, the reigning Miss South Africa competed in both these international competitions. However, if Miss South Africa won on the international stage – as Rolene Strauss did with Miss World in 2014 or there was a conflict with dates that overlapped (which happened last year when Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters lifted the Miss Universe title) – the first runner-up was called upon to represent South Africa.

Says Suzette van der Merwe from Cell C on behalf of the Miss South Africa Organisation: “In 2018, we’re adopting international best practice in terms of our finalist judging in order to ensure that our contestants are given a bigger share of the global spotlight by strengthening our pageantry presence internationally. We are delighted that this new format will give two finalists the opportunity to represent South Africa and enable them to prepare thoroughly in advance.

Adds Gareth Flusk from Sun International on behalf of the Miss South Africa Organisation: “We are thrilled with the calibre of the finalists in our 60th anniversary year. Any of these contestants would do us proud on the international stage. We are delighted that this year two women will be given the opportunity to shine.

Miss South Africa 2018, the Diamond Jubilee spectacular with host Bonang Matheba, will take place on Sunday, May 27, at Sun International’s new flagship venue, the Sun Arena at Time Square, Pretoria.

Tickets for this year’s pageant are available at TicketPro and cost between R160 and R560. Bookings can be made at: www.ticketpros.co.za

Miss South Africa is proudly presented by Cell C in association with Sun International.

MARRIED … BUT NOT TO EACH OTHER – 3 New Cities Added to Current Tour!!

Ndumiso Lindi and Tumi Morake have added three new cities to their ‘Married…But Not To Each Other’ Tour

 “They’re in it together.  Not Together-Together, But Together…” 

MBNTEO Dates

Whilst travelling on one of their hilarious adventures, comedy’s modern traditionalist, Ndumiso Lindi together with comedy’s bad momma, Tumi Morake were asked by a customs official: “Are you married?”  Ndumiso quickly replied: “Yes”, realised what he was saying and added: “But not to each other.”  And thus began the comical journey for this wife and husband … of other people.

Now they’re taking their rib-cracking, side-splitting new stand-up show, ‘Married…But Not To Each Other’ across South Africa and into Africa.  Following a successful debut show in Menlyn (Pretoria) and two sold-out shows in Cape Town, new dates have been added in Botswana, Krugersdorp and Nelspruit, in addition to their official launch show on April 14 at the Lyric Theatre, Gold Reef City in Johannesburg.

It’s a hilarious take on the roles and regulations of marriage and the pothole-laced roads the sexes have to navigate.  It’s not just about marriage.  It’s also about the world that these marriages have to survive in.

Ndumiso Lindi, the gentleman of South African comedy (otherwise known as Roosta), effortlessly blends new-age style with old-school traditions.  His deep voice, soul-warming smile, booming laughter, original content and seamless delivery make for a comedy act that is outstanding and soulfully South African.

With a comedy career spanning over 11 years and numerous outstanding credentials under her belt, Tumi Morake continues to be a formidable force in the comedy industry.  Her edgy and unpredictable brand of comedy has wowed audiences around the globe.  When she’s not on stage, Tumi Morake can also be seen on TV screens hosting WTFTUMI and Point of Order as well as channelling her seemingly endless talents into writing, acting and producing.

Tour Details:

3 March – Protea Hotel Fire & Ice (Menlyn)

9 March – Protea Hotel Fire & Ice (Cape Town) [SOLD OUT]

10 March – Protea Hotel Fire & Ice (Cape Town) [SOLD OUT]

14 April – Lyric Theatre, Gold Reef City (Johannesburg)

5 May – The Grand Palm Hotel (Gaborone, Botswana)

26 May – Silverstar Casino (Krugersdorp)

27 July – Emnotweni Casino (Nelspruit)

Tickets are available through Computicket (except for Botswana where tickets are available directly through the venue).  Visit www.computicket.com or at a Computicket outlet near you.  ‘Married…But Not To Each Other’ carries a PG16 age restriction.

Proudly brought to you by Blu Blood (www.blublood.com @BluBloodSA).

Connect on social media:

Facebook: TumiMorakeSA, NdumisoLindi or Twitter: @tumi_morake, @NdumisoLindi

#marriedbutnottoeachother

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Laugh-A-Minute: Kings & Queens of Comedy brings you its biggest line-up yet!

KNQ Pretoria - Feb

We know SA has world-class comic giants right here in our own country, and Blu Blood, in association with Comedy Central Africa is bringing them to Pretoria next month! This comedy extravaganza sees comic giants from around South Africa entertaining audiences at the Sun Arena Time Square, Menlyn (the first comedic event at the venue) on Saturday, February 10th, 2018.

Jason Goliath High Res
Jason Goliath

The all-star line-up includes Riaad Moosa (MC), Alan Committie, Casper de Vries, Donovan Goliath, Gilli Apter, Hannes Brummer, Jason Goliath, Joey Rasdien, Khanyisa Bunu, Krijay Govender, Leeanda Reddy, Marc Lottering, Melt Sieberhagen, Shimmy Isaacs and Sifiso Nene, with a guest appearance by Morgan Beatbox.

“We pride ourselves on bringing world-class South African comedians to stages around the country.  You’re getting a massive line-up of headliner comedians from start to finish.  We’ve picked the cream of the crop and we’re excited to bring an even bigger and better Kings & Queens of Comedy for the first time to the Sun Arena in 2018,” says Osman Osman, MD of Blu Blood.

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Shimmy Isaacs

 

Don’t miss the Kings & Queens of Comedy, 10 February, 2018 at the Sun Arena Time Square, Menlyn, Pretoria.  Tickets from R150 are available through Computicket online and the various retail outlets.

The show starts at 20h00 and is rated PG16.

Another hilarious production brought to you by Blu Blood in association with Comedy Central Africa.

Follow Blu Blood on Twitter: @BluBloodSA or visit www.blublood.com for more information.

***WIN***WIN***WIN***WIN***WIN***

You can WIN a set of double tickets to see Kings & Queens of Comedy!!!

Just let me know who you’re most looking forward to laughing at in this hilarious lineup on 10 Feb!

Closing date: Tuesday 6 Feb 2018

Winner announced: Wednesday 7 Feb 2018

[About Kings & Queens of Comedy: Going on six years of Kings & Queens of Comedy, the show started in 2012 in Johannesburg and has since grown to be one of the leading comedy brands in South Africa, promoting and showcasing local talent from around the country.]

Pinocchio – It’s a Real Panto!

Kanyi Nokwe (Pinocchio) 2The minute that invitation to the annual year-end pantomime hits your Inbox, your heart gives a little thump of joy … and not just because it signifies that the holidays are around the corner!

This is Janice Honeyman’s 30th pantomime, which is an achievement in itself. The fact that she continues to get it right, drawing in audiences, surprising and delighting the crowds every year, is a testament to her sheer talent and skill. She has a gift of knowing the perfect recipe to thrill her audiences, and Pinocchio, her offering this year is certainly no different. There’s just the right balance of innuendo, political lampooning and catchy tunes (both new and old) to hold the attention of all ages throughout the show. This combines with some truly eye-popping, phenomenal sets and an energetic cast who are all clearly fully immersed in the magical world they’re responsible for creating.

I’m positive that part of Janice’s ongoing ability to succeed at exciting her panto audiences year in and year out, is her own inclusive participation in the process. She’s not merely a writer and director who sits back and watches things happen statically as she’s penned it. When I interviewed some of the cast members during the rehearsal process, the common thread they all spoke about was Janice’s method of character development: allowing each actor to make the role their own and not merely something she’d put down on paper.

Returning to the age-old panto tradition of females taking on male lead roles, Pinocchio, the little wooden puppet who yearns to be a ‘real boy’, is played by Kanyi Nokwe who gives a stellar performance. Her endearing wonderment at the world around her/him is delightful, as is her excellent portrayal of a puppet, unable to move as fluidly as her human counterparts.

Pinocchio'17 (225)The much-loved Tobie Cronje returns to the panto stage as the bumbling Geppetto, who’s always longed for a son. He’s pursued by the hilarious Dame Arletti Spaghetti, played with uproarious aplomb by Grant Towers, in bright, brash, full-on technicolour! She happens to conveniently have a son available, the lazy Lampwick played with appropriate ‘too cool for school’ laid back, nonchalance by Ben Kgosimore. For some reason though, he’s not quite what Gepetto’s looking for in an offspring!

Mark Tatham (Cricket) & Ilse Klink (Bella, Blues Fairy)Mark Tatham bounces around the stage with boundless (actually, seemingly endless) vim and verve as a rather whimsical Jiminy Cricket, instructed by Bella Bouboulina, The Blues Fairy (you read that right – she’s a ‘Blues’ fairy with Southern flair) to be Pinocchio’s conscience. Ilse Klink, seasoned professional of SA stage and screen gives the role her own sprinkling of sparkling pizazz: she’s classy, funny, playful and just the right amount of bossy when she needs to be!

Andre Schwartz (Fox) & Chi Mhende (Cat)And panto always needs its villains doesn’t it? This year, we have André Schwartz as Il Fortunato the Fox who, although not quite as evil as his previous panto counterparts, is quite happy to ham it up as a foxy Phantom of the Opera – it’s inspired and the audience adored it! He’s accompanied by the brilliant Chi Mhende as Pussy Galore. Her claws are permanently out, and she’s wicked enough for the both of them!

The lighting and special effects are spectacular, all complemented by a tight, dynamic ensemble, complete with fresh-faced youngsters from Born to Perform (Stageworx School of Performing Arts).

Pinocchio'17 (21)Being panto, one does tend to slightly lose sight of the theme of the original story being told as it usually gets diluted in the inevitable tweaking of the plot. The actual background of Pinocchio is particularly pertinent to this time of year. It’s all about family values, listening to your conscience and doing the right thing despite all the pressure that’s thrown at you from all sides – and in this day and age it does seem that this happens literally from the day you’re born, as happens to Pinocchio, who candidly proclaims “I’m only one day old!” He still needs to muddle through the ups and downs of the challenges he’s faced with, as one does in life, learning who he can and can’t trust along the way, and having a whole bunch of entertaining and hair-raising adventures while doing so. And we, the audience, are lucky enough to join him on the journey.

Pinocchio, The Ultimate Pantomime Adventure is currently on the Mandela Stage of the Joburg Theatre until December 30th 2017.

To purchase tickets, visit www.joburgtheatre.com or call 0861 670 670.  Tickets can also be purchased in person at the Joburg Theatre box office or by booking and paying via the Nedbank app and at selected Pick n Pay stores.

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PINOCCHIO – A Magical Pantomime Adventure For The Whole Family

PinnochioIt’s preview week for Panto 2017! Janice Honeyman’s 30th Pantomime, Pinocchio officially opens over the weekend but this coming week sees the first audiences filling the Joburg Theatre to see what this year’s festive season pantomime has in store. Mostly these previews will be made up of schoolchildren, some of whom have never even set foot inside a theatre before, so this experience will be brand new for them.

Audiences will be thrilled to see favourites like Tobie Cronje (a firm panto favourite), André Schwartz and Garth Collins (Granite of TV’s Gladiators fame) in the cast. But this is will also be a brand new experience for the 3 Panto stars that I chatted to recently, who I christened my ‘Panto Virgins’. Although they’re each highly skilled industry professionals with years of experience under their belts, they’ve never participated in a Janice Honeyman pantomime before so for all of them, this has all been very new and different.

 

Pinocchio 1

Ilse Klink is no stranger to South African followers of stage and TV, one of her most notable roles being in Isidingo, for which she received an Avanti award in 2000. She’s appeared in a number of TV series, and stage shows, far too numerous to mention, and she’s a much sought after performer due to her versatility and genuine warmth. In fact, Ilse had been about to accept a role in a different project, when the offer to play Bella Bouboulina, The Blue Fairy in Pinocchio, was extended to her! She explains, “I didn’t hesitate in choosing the panto role because of the sheer history of the Janice Honeyman Pantomime!” She had worked briefly with Janice back in 2006, and ever since then she’s wanted what she describes as ‘the full experience’.

 

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Photo Credit: Corne Du Plessis

For Grant Towers, this year’s Dame, this is a dream role. In his opinion, despite what many may think about open minds and progressive advances having been made, both within the theatre industry and universally, the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) community is still frowned upon. He laughs, “But every year, people still pay to come and see a man dressed up as the dame, and they all love her and want photo’s with her!” Yes, it’s theatrical irony at its sardonic best. Grant describes the dame this year as an ‘insane, menopausal, Italian woman’ and says that he intends to do that description justice!

 

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Photo Credit: Corne Du Plessis

And what would Pinocchio be without his alter ego, Jiminy Cricket? Mark Tatham takes on the high energy role of Pinocchio’s conscience, and tells me that he loves the combination of physicality and wisdom that his character manages to encompass. We’re lucky to have Mark with the panto cast as directly from here, he moves on to play Ed the Hyena in the touring company of The Lion King! It’s a 3-year stint where he’ll also understudy Timon and Zazu! An incredible opportunity for this amazingly talented and amiable actor.

 

So, as we’re chatting, the actors taking advantage of the brief break in their busy rehearsal schedule, one thing becomes distinctly apparent – the magic of the pantomime is safe and sound in the most capable and loving hands of one very unique, special person:

  • Janice Honeyman is an extremely highly revered director, not only because of her obvious years of experience which give her gravitas in her field, but as Grant clarifies, “Janice is to be admired for her directness because she gives you a sense of accomplishment in yourself … and she’s not mean!”
  • Mark goes on to say, “I love that Janice is so open to any suggestions that the cast offer.”
  • Ilse concludes by adding, “You get permission to be a performer with panto, especially with Janice at the helm. Every year you drive past that billboard and you hope, ‘one day, one day’… and then, that call comes and it’s THAT day!”

The excitement that these three performers feel at their upcoming appearance is obvious! They talk about concepts such as vision, belief and putting your dreams out to the universe in order to manifest them into reality, and that’s surely something they’ve all put into practice. Don’t think they’re sitting back after completing their Panto sting. As we’ve already said, Mark’s off to join The Lion King. Grant will be appearing as Brian in Avenue Q from April, and Ilse has not 1, but 2 movies that she’ll be filming, the first on the Orange River from March, and then straight after that another one in Cape Town.

But for now, they can’t wait for that vibrancy that only interaction with a live audience can bring, especially when that audience is made up of such a high percentage of children, who truly allow the enchantment and delight of the onstage wonder to captivate them.

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Photo Credit: Corne Du Plessis

Do yourself a favour: regardless of your age, take a walk away from the ordinary, suspend belief just for a little while and immerse yourself in the fairy-tale world of the Pantomime this festive season!

It’s just a step away … the Blue Fairy, the Dame and Jiminy Cricket await.

 

Pinocchio opens on The Mandela stage of Joburg Theatre on November 12th and runs until December 30th.

Pinocchio is written and directed by Janice Honeyman, with musical direction by Coenraad Rall and choreography by Nicol Sheraton. Timothy Le Roux is resident director and Dale Scheepers is band leader.  The pantomime is produced by Joburg Theatre and Bernard Jay, in association with MNet, Jacaranda FM and Your Family Magazine.

Tickets for Pinocchio are on sale from R185: telephone 0861 670 670, go online at www.joburgtheatre.com, or book in person at the Joburg Theatre box office.  Patrons can also book and pay via the Nedbank app or walk-in at selected Pick ‘n Pay stores (a full list is available at www.webtickets.co.za/pnpoutlets.aspx) – or book on-line and then pay at any Pick ‘n Pay store.

 

NIROX | WORDS 21-22 OCTOBER 2017

NIROX WORDS

Situated on 15 hectares of landscaped gardens and waterways within an extensive private nature reserve in the heart of the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site, NIROX Sculpture Park is renowned for its magnificent views, picturesque scenery, and overall tranquil locale. In recent years, it’s also earned a superior reputation for holding exhibitions and festivals of eminent worth, relating to all areas of contemporary art.

This weekend, NIROX presents its newest festival: NIROX |WORDS, the title being “Why The World…”, which invites artists and audience to finish the question as they may … why the world is the mess that it is … the challenge and the joy … why is it at all?

I posed a few questions to Batya Bricker, the festival’s Books Programme Coordinator, to get some background and understanding as to what exactly this festival is all about:

Q: So, obviously, my first question (actually more like 3 questions) is why WORDS now? After so many years of NIROX art, photography, music and sculpture? Where did the idea come from? What was the initial vision and has this materialised (so far) as was hoped? Where did the theme ‘Why the World …’ come from?

A: (I combined these questions because its part of one answer.)

Our world is in chaos. Can we do things differently to change this trajectory? Are there alternative ways to dissecting problems, and finding new solutions? Can words help us think differently? Create a new reality? Engage differently? The idea behind NIROX|WORDS is an exploration of how words can change the world – or not. All the art, music, poetry and book discussions explore this idea in different ways.

NIROX WORDS 1

Q: How long has it taken from formulating the idea, to bring this to life?

A: About a year

Q: Did you have to approach all of the participants or did the word get out and did some of them start contacting you, saying that they want to be part of this?

A: A little of both. The idea that we need to approach our world in a different way is gaining traction across all walks of life and all over the globe. Whilst we approached some authors and artists, there were many who jumped at the opportunity to contribute to this conversation through their craft. This idea resonates with the zeitgeist.

Q: Where to from here?

A: We hope to make WORDS an annual weekend event attracting both local and international talent across all art forms.

 

And so, there you have it in a nutshell. To really get to grips with NIROX|WORDS though, you’ll have to just attend the festival this weekend and take in all the wonderful delights that the programme has to offer. There are a diverse range of talks, performances and films; an entire childrens’ section and of course various places to feed your body as well as your mind!

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Just one of the children’s sessions on the NIROX | WORDS programme

 The programme starts at 10h00 on both Saturday and Sunday.

There are several ticketing options, so for a full list of these, to make your booking and get details of the festival programme, and everything else about NIROX (including how to get there), go to http://niroxwords.com/

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