Archive for the ‘events’ Category

5 Reasons go and see Chicago…

The hit musical Chicago is on at Artscape until Sunday 13 April. The 2005 run sold out, and no wonder J

This is what I loved about it…

  1. The pleasure of seeing the orchestra doing their thing – they’re out of the pit and on the stage, forming a major part of the set itself. I think it’s great to have the musicians involved in the action, rather than hidden away in the dungeons.
  2. It’s a fantastic visual spectacle. One of the things I love about the theatre is watching the set transform into different locations, and it seems Chicago does this all with lighting, using a pared down set and wasting no time on set changes. And they’ve made use of a very shallow stage that intensifies the action and keeps the pace tight.
  3. The fabulous Amra-Faye Wright, playing Velma Kelly – the press-hungry dancer who’s out-maneuvered by Roxie Hart – is just brilliant to watch. During the 2005 SA run, Wright was picked for the West End production followed by Broadway, shining South African talent around the world J
  4. The musical is a scathing indictment on media trials. First performed in 1975, the coincidental likenesses to a variety of South African ‘real life’ trials will definitely raise a few wry smiles.
  5. The theme of fame and visibility is particularly poignant in a marketing-driven, online mass-media world. Aside from the deceptive twists and turns in the bid for media attention, Pierre van Heerden (as Roxie’s hapless husband Amos) does a spine chilling rendition of “Mr Cellophane”. Lots of thought-provoking stuff in here…

All in all it’s a beautiful, powerful satire that’s immensely fun to watch. If you’ve seen it, I’d love to hear your thoughts too…

My Pick of the Design Indaba 2008

There are still two days left of the Cape Town 2008 Design Indaba, so if you can get there, I heartily recommend it. I’m just back from a 3-hour walkaround, and here is my pick of the exhibitions.

Of course, with over 250 stands, all showcasing design of the highest quality, it’s all worth a look. The criteria for this selection was “it makes me smile” and all of the listed exhibitors raised a grin from me for one reason or another – listed simply in the order I encountered them.

Willow Lamp (stand B17) – I loved these beautiful and elegant beaded chandeliers www.willowlamp.com

Ibo Silver(A42) – intricate and delicate silver jewelry that struck me as having a sense of ceremony www.ibosilver.com

Bousquet Creations (A35) – fun, bold and colourful – really unique looking jewelry that reminded me of the ceramic work on display elsewhere (no web presence)

DME (Department of Mineral and Energies) (B23 – had a collection of incubator projects of great quality and design; Harmony Jewelry School (read more here) and Umfundiso (no web presence) stood out for me

YDA Walt (G27) – I enjoyed the felt bags with striking township-style images www.ydawalt.co.za

Hardware – Ernst Tolmie (A49) – Funky plastic jewelry – one of the Design Indaba ‘Emerging Creatives’ (no web presence)

Mingo Lamberti (A52a) – Great limited edition T-shirt designs (no web presence)

Kaross (A56) – beautifully embroidered textiles on bags, cushions; this is also an empowerment project – www.kaross.co.za

Woo-men Plush Toys (L3) – irresistibly huggable felt character-toys for kids of all ages www.woomen.co.za

Ba-Rok (A71) – Fabric art; I really liked the combination of symbols from different cultures (no web presence)

Gina Niderhumer (L17) – I liked the intimacy and collage look of these hand-stitched purses, cushions and other small items. (no web presence)

Will Designers Save the World? (J2 – J4) Woolworths schools design competition from recycled materials – I particularly liked the use of barrels to create bar-like integrated table-and chair (read more here)

ICON – CCDI (H1-H5) – The best of the Cape Craft and Design Institute crafters – www.capecraftanddesign.org.za

Ceramic Matters (C1) – witty use of ceramics for soft-looking doll-like sculptures (no web presence)

Duncan Larkin (N5) – Another ‘Emerging Creative’; beautifully drawn/painted canvases, definitely on the fine art side of design. (no web presence)

Mü&Me (G17) – comic-style notebooks, stickers, cards and wrapping sets http://muandme.net/

Interestingly, Creative Cape Town is running a “vote for your favourite stand” competition, which sharpened my focus, but I found that none of the stands stood noticeably head-and-shoulders above the rest – I recall two or three blinders from last year, so not sure why there weren’t any this year.

But all in all a fabulously stimulating experience… I’ll be back again next year J

What Are You Doing Creatively?

This month I’ll be:

  • going to see Artscape’s The Merchant of Venice at Maynardville
  • spending a morning at the Design Indaba Expo (see below)
  • hosting the Jumpstart Your Creativity workshop
  • continuing to work on my creative project

Drop me a mail with your activities (or post them online)… I’m always keen to hear what my readers are up to J