There is still much to see and do in the city as autumn replaces the summer frenzy
The summer season has definitely given way to a gentler autumn atmosphere this month.
The cultural scene in the city is still lively and full of riches, but with a little more room to breathe and take it all in.
Infecting the City is a public art festival happening from Wednesday 5 to Saturday 8 April with daytime and evening programmes in various interesting spaces in the city centre. This festival is always a highlight and there are some extraordinary artists on the programme this year.
On Thursday 20 April Iziko will host Museum Night, when they invite the public to see their museums ‘in a new light/after dark’. Their advertisement features a wonderfully atmospheric photograph of the gigantic skeletons illuminated in the darkened whale well of the South African Museum, enough to engage anyone’s imagination. Admission is free and children are welcome.
Spirit of the Bush is a new dance piece choreographed and directed by Themba Mbuli, the 2016 Standard Bank Young Artist for Dance, at the Artscape Arena from 19 to 22 April. A live score by composer Phil Thurston will be an integral part of the ‘journey back to a time where it all began’. The dance language builds from sensitive trance-like gestures to movements of frenzied intensity.
Afrikaans theatre takes centre stage this month with an extensive festival of local work at Artscape and an international award-winning play in translation at the Fugard. Suidoosterfees showcases work made in the Western Cape from 27 April and is widely inclusive, with every theatrical genre from the one-person show to the ‘choir extravaganza’ and every level of performance from a new talent search to the doyens. A highlight is a personal memoir by Pieter-Dirk Uys titled Weekling van ‘n Wanklank (The Echo of a Noise). See www.suidoosterfees.co.za for more information.
Hemelsruim is a translation of the British play Constellations, to be performed with English subtitles at the Fugard Studio from 25 April. Paul du Toit and Tinarie van Wyk Loots play the two characters, a beekeeper and a quantum physicist, who meet at a party. The New York Times reviewer called it “the most sophisticated date play Broadway has seen” and asked, “Who knew that higher physics could be so sexy, so accessible – and so emotionally devastating?”
Painting is in the spotlight in several of the Woodstock art galleries this month. At the Stevenson, there’s a novel kind of exhibition called A Painting Today in which one painting is added every day until the full complement of 47 are on the walls for the closing event on 22 April. The list of painters is diverse, the idea being that they will ‘mimic the jumble of social media’. At the SMAC Gallery from 12 April Riot is the title of an exhibition of arresting paintings by a Chemu Ng’ok, a young Kenyan artist now living in Grahamstown.
Followers of the comic book universe, anime, gaming and pop culture in general, will most likely be at FanCon - Cape Town’s very own Comic Con from 29 April to 1 May. Geek culture will be celebrated at the CTICC with panel talks, workshops and cosplay competitions.
And in brief: at the Fugard from 18 April is a local production of Funny Girl, made famous by Barbara Streisand in her breakthrough film performance in 1968;
Folk/rock band from Colorado The Lumineers is performing in the Green Point Park on 26 April - tickets are R545;
and Decorex is at the CTICC from 27 to 30 April.
Live music lovers from the southern peninsula will be familiar with the Café Roux brand. The original venue in Noordhoek has built a reputation as an establishment for South African performers, known for great vibes and all-round friendly atmosphere. Now there’s a new, somewhat edgier branch that’s opened right in the CBD.
Coffee lovers in Cape Town are certainly spoilt for choice with a host of microroasters and some of the hippest (or hipster) coffee shops in the country. Cape Town even gained international recognition recently with the sexy, steampunk-inspired Truth Coffee shop in Buitenkant Street named the very best in the world by the UK’s The Telegraph.
With a museum, a theatre or a music venue on virtually every city block, the CBD is the place for culture and entertainment this holiday season.
In this age of small-screen entertainment, it is heart-warming to see a number of people flying the flag for the pleasures of old-fashioned, communal, independent cinema in Cape Town.
It’s the 18th year coming up for the Cape Town International Jazz festival, which draws thousands annually to venues in central Cape Town.
Cape Town’s craft beer scene is flourishing with the rise of small, independent microbreweries offering beer lovers more choice than ever.
Public input into proposed changes to the national liquor law closed on 30 October 2016, with some industry bodies warning that the impact on the hospitality sector could be major.
What started in London as a way to make art galleries and museums more accessible to the public, and then spread to many cities of the world, came to Cape Town at the end of 2012: “First Thursdays”.