Rising star, Brandon Phillips, to conduct Symphony in the City in ‘Maritzburg

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Conductor, Brandon Phillips. Photo: Supplied

BRANDON Phillips, resident conductor of the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra, will make his debut with the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra at the Symphony in the City concert in the Pietermaritzburg City Hall at 7.30pm on Friday, March 24. Continue reading

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Cellist, Aristide du Plessis, can’t wait to perform ‘dramatic’ concerto in ‘Maritzburg’s ‘Symphony in the City’

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Cellist, Aristide du Plessis. Photo: Supplied

WESTVILLE Boys High School old boy, Aristide du Plessis, is one of the country’s most renowned cellists and on Friday, March 24 he will be performing as one of the soloists in the Symphony in the City concert in Pietermaritzburg, writes ESTELLE SINKINS. Continue reading

Take a trip down memory lane with The Reals and Fleetwood Mac

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Fans of Fleetwood Mac are in for a treat when some of Durban’s finest musicians take to the stage of the Rhumbelow Theatre – Pietermaritzburg at the Alan Wilson Shellhole in Alan Paton Avenue (Durban Road) at 8pm on Saturday, March 25 and 2pm and 6.30pm on Sunday, March 26.

The Chain – The Fleetwood Mac Story features The Reals – Barry Thomson , Dawn Selby, Mali Sewell and Jason Andrew – as well as guest guitarist Colin Peddie and singer Marion Loudon. Continue reading

Celebrating the legacy of Oliver Schreiner at artSPACE durban

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‘Olive Schreiner Revisited, a solo exhibition by Jannie van Heerden, has been extended and can now be seen at artSPACE durban until March 30.

Olive Schreiner is best known for her novel, The Story Of An African Farm, and when he was growing up Van Heerden’s father would often take him to visit the Schreiner house near Cradock in the Eastern Cape.

The farm was home to the teenage Olive and her elder brother and sister. The author worked later as a tutor on the farms, Gannahoek and Klein Gannahoek.

When the Van Heerden’s visited the Schreiner house, which was then derelict, they also once ascended Buffelskop to look at her grave.

Imbued with so much history, it’s not surprising that the legend of Olive Schreiner found expression in his 2013 exhibition ‘Olive Schreiner: The Story Of An African Farm’, at the KZNSA Gallery, Durban. However in the past few years Van Heerden felt that he had not done her justice; thus the revisit.

Olive was born on the Wittenberg mission station in 1855. Her first encounter with Cradock was in 1867 when as a teenager she lived with her elder brother and sister in Cross Street (now part of the English National Literacy Museum).

The landscape and its people left a deep impression upon her, and influenced her famous novel which was published under the pseudonym Ralph Woods, as women were not allowed to publish at that time. Her other best-known works are: Thoughts On South Africa and Women And Labour, long considered as the bible of the women’s movement.

Olive was deeply involved in politics and was a fighter for all the oppressed peoples of South Africa, she was totally opposed to Rhodes and British imperialism.

In 1894 she married Cron, eight years her junior and they settled on the farm Krantzplaats, Cradock district. She insisted that he took her name and he was known as Cronwright Schreiner. During this time they ascended the mountain Buffelskop, with its breathtaking view across the valley. Olive decided that this was where she wanted to be buried and acquired the plot.

Olive was excessively asthmatic and she soon had to leave the damp riverbeds of Krantzplatts and spent a lifetime searching for a suitable climate for her health, first Hanover, then Kimberley, Johannesburg and eventually Matjiesfontein. Her firstborn child lived for only nine hours and after that she had three miscarriages.

Olive and Cron eventually drifted apart and she left for Europe and England in 1914.  She already knew many influential people there like Havelock Ellis and Eleanor Marx, both of whom influenced her outlook on life.

Olive returned to Cape Town in 1920. She died in 1921 and was buried in the family crypt. According to her wishes Cron had her body exhumed and buried in 1921 on Buffelskop. The re-internment was a very dramatic event. Eight carriers spent two days carrying her coffin plus those of her dead child and her dog, Nita, up the hill.

artSPACE durban is at 3 Millar Road (off Umgeni Road), Durban. The gallery is open from 10am to 4pm Monday to Friday and 10am to 1pm on Saturdays. Inquiries: 031 312 0793.

Please note: the gallery will be closed on Tuesday, 21 March (Human Rights Day).

Award-winning actress, Brenda Blethyn, returns to ITV Choice in ‘Vera’

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Brenda Blethyn in Vera.

Multi-award-winning British actress, Brenda Blethyn, returns as the unorthodox, but brilliant, DCI Vera Stanhope, in the highly-anticipated seventh season of Vera on ITV Choice (DStv channel 123) at 8pm on Wednesday, March 29.

The criminal drama series is based on the novels and characters created by Ann Cleeves and has garnered critical acclaim since it first debuted back in 2011.

Blethyn spoke to http://www.theluvvie.com about bringing the somewhat dishevelled, but a truly gifted detective, Detective Chief Inspector Stanhope.  Continue reading

Violinist, Fifi Olifant, uses music to express how she feels

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Fifi Olifant plays the Adagio from Bruch’s Scottish Fantasy in the Pietermaritzburg City Hall. Photo: Michel Schneuwly

Estelle Sinkins speaks to Fifi Olifant who will be performing as a soloist in the Symphony in the City concert, hosted by the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic, in association with Christopher Duigan’s Music Revival and Parklane SuperSpar, in the Pietermaritzburg City Hall on March 24. Continue reading

Celebrate the songs of Vera Lynn at the Rhumbelow Theatre in Durban

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Award-winning Durban actress, Lisa Bobbert, will be performing the music of Vera Lynn at the Rhumbelow Theatre, 42 Cunningham Road ,off Bartle Road, Umbilo, Durban at 8pm on Friday, March 17 and Saturday, March 18, at 2pm and 6.30pm on Sunday, March 19, 7.30pm on Monday, March 20,  and 2pm and 6.30pm on Tuesday, March 21.

For those who cannot get to Umbilo, there will be a 2pm performance A Nightingale Sang… A Tribute To Vera Lynn – which also features the talents of Evan Roberts and Anthony Stonier – on Sunday, March 26 at the Aliwal Theatre. Continue reading