Here I verily welcome you to not only the first weekend of December, but the last month in what has been an average to mildly entertaining year. I speak for myself naturally, for I hope that 2018 served you bloody well. All’s well with the world once more, I think. We are simmering down and most have one foot on the plane as we speak; the all-conquering tension that permeated so venomously throughout the building is steadily subsiding. Once more the order of tolerance for one another has been restored… sort of.
I must say though (and I think many feel similar) that the days and weeks leading up to a break can stagger like nothing on Earth. I’ve found that the aeons in between these two periods make me rather lus for a very few things. The child that is me has even neglected every console and held-held he owns. In exchange he has rather opted for naps and overeating instead. I wish I knew what the psychology behind this phenomenon is, but at this point I’m too afraid to ask and I don’t have the energy to fight it either.
My little speck of advice that I can offer, as unqualified a mental mechanic I am, is to just ride out this storm. If the maritime metaphor sits ill with you, go with a sporting one and just roll with the punches. I do however wish you all well on your home stretch. I know it can be tough, but the reward will make the grind all the more worth it. I do also feel sorry for those who’ll graft right through, but I save no remorse for those at Eskom who have had their leave revoked. In the meantime, let us check out our itinerary.
- The Play That Goes Wrong, 7 December – 6 January
Cost: R100-R240 available through Computicket
This here play may yet well be one of the few instances where all goes well when all goes wrong. The Play That Goes Wrong is beyond the ubiquitous slapstick comedy and often clever rhetoric – it well and truly is a testament to the resolve and dedication of all parties involved. For all the laughs the audience may enjoy, it sits brim-full with timing nuances that surely took weeks upon weeks to rehearse – there is also a little bit of danger involved during some sketches. On top of the visual trickery and mastery you’ll be treated to a story that is easy to follow, but gripping, nevertheless, as the cast aims to solve a murder mystery in the 1920s. What can go wrong does and, to an extent, it also doubles as a play-within-a-play; the producer and other staff thoroughly get involved, too. There is luckily also no particular rush to the Pieter Toerien Theatre at Montecasino… the chaos and revelry runs for an entire month.
- Abantu Book Festival 2018, Ends 9 December
Cost: R20 available through Abantu Book Festival
The timing could not have been more perfect. The holidays are upon us and, contrary to popular belief, there are still hordes of bookworms out there. Yes, scores still prefer a rifling tome over an infernal blue screen good only to influencers and businessmen. This year will be Abantu’s third edition and it has already become home to many an aspiring black writer as a means to showcase their skill and style. Heed though that it is not just a mere Q&A session with both acclaimed and up-and-coming authors, but there are interactive elements that the entire family can enjoy, too. These, among others, will include poetry readings, musical performances, writing and publishing workshops, panel discussions and in-conversations, dance, and film-screenings. So, do away with the pub for a day or two and go on a literary adventure at the Soweto Theatre instead.
- Kirstenbosch Summer Sunset Concerts 2018/2019, Ends 31 March
Cost: Varies, available through Webtickets
Jeez, but time surely flies. It flew because it is relative and most of us were stuck in traffic for a large portion of the year. Have you not noticed how quickly that clock ticks over when you sit and sit with no end in sight? It feels as if the beautiful Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden hosted their last edition but a mere few weeks ago. I’ve said this before that this is the perfect way for Capetonian families to cap off their weekends. Nothing beats a relaxing day betwixt some of the Cape’s finest fauna and flora while you enjoy a picnic with the spouse and kids as the sun sets. Oh yes, there’s also the entertainment lined up on a weekly basis and more often than not it will feature one of the country’s premier musicians. This Sunday the groovy house/jazz ensemble of Mi Casa will be responsible for the day’s soothing sonic reverberation and I believe they are the perfect band to kick the summer season off. Happily concerts go ahead irrespective of rain, but that largely is a winter problem in the Western Cape.
- Pure Gin Festival, 8 December
Cost: R150 available through Quicket
I’m now thoroughly convinced that South Africa either has a great proclivity for gin or that there is a huge problem in the making. I like to believe it is the former – it is a drink fit for kings, after all. The premise here is simple. All that is required of you is first to shimmy on along to the Asara Wine Estate & Hotel and secondly to enjoy a Saturday as it should be. There are no particular intricacies involved here. You simply need to rock up and enjoy the gourmet food and various gin-based cocktails on offer. Your ticket also scores you three drinks and a branded glass, but for once the food may just yet outshine the artisanal drinks available all day. For eats we’ll have all of a hog roast, a lamb on the spit, char-grilled tuna and vegetarian options. Various G&Ts will also be sold at a paltry R50 a pop so there is no reason for you to be shy when whipping out that wallet. Heed though that no under 18s will be allowed into the venue.
- V&A Santa’s Village, Ends 24 December
I figured, because it is the festive and therefore family season, that we ought to include something with a Christmas theme. It will also be the perfect way to keep the kiddies busy for a little while you go shopping at the V&A Waterfront. Good old St Nick will also be present from 10h00 every morning to receive the tykes, hear what their own Christmas wishes are and he’ll keep up a general jolly spirit for as long as he is mandated to sit in his chair. He has to go home to the North Pole or the Buck & Hog sometime, you know. This, I believe is a lovely little detour for both locals and Vaalies in Cape Town this festive season. I recommend that you stop on by as you explore the city whilst on holiday.