When it’s cold and dark and your UPS is dying and Eskom is gas lighting you that it’s loadshedding and not blackouts, be comforted by the fact most venues have made a plan to offer light and warmth and a haven for like-minded people who will see you and share the joys of music and theatre and, ahem, alcohol. So leave your cold, dark abode and get some culture. Giving uncle Gweezy the middle finger is an added bonus.
It’s the National Arts Festival this month, starting on the 22cnd. You may know it, or have heard of it, as the Grahamstown festival, except Grahamstown is now called Makhanda. Doesn’t matter, it’s the same fantastic festival of theatre, except now the town’s falling apart. If you’re going, I don’t need to convince you, and if you’re not, probably little I say is going to convince you but. Yes, but, there’s a mini-version here in Cape Town, so you don’t have to make the pilgrimage to the Eastern Cape. It’s the Going to Fest Festival at Outlore (80 Hout Street) there’s a showing of a National Arts Festival-bound play every night from 11 – 17 June. It gives the artists the chance to fine-tune their show, and you a chance to touch a little slice of the biggest performing arts festival on our continent. Tickets on Quicket, it’s about R100 a play.
Our local almost famous master of the two-hander, prodigious playwright Louis Viljoen brings his latest scathing script to the Baxter. The Visigoths features Nicholas Pauling and Daniel Newton in a play about a guy recently released from prison returning home to bury his mother and encountering a young man whose life he saved years ago. An impossible request, a soul in danger. Suspense. Decisions. Cruelty. Grace, perhaps. Playing 7.30pm on the Masambe stage from 6 – 24 June, tickets cost R170 at full price. Matinees at 2pm, book through baxter.co.za.
Amidst blackouts, cold fronts, inflation, interest rate hikes, and fokol being shipped to Russia, you might want something to laugh at. In which case, there’s the Jive Cape Town Funny Festival at the Baxter theatre featuring household comics such as Schalk Bezuidenhout, Marc Lottering, Alan Committie, and… Daredevil Chicken from the USA? There are others, too. The funny festival is from 7 June to 2 July in the Pam Golding Theatre. Shows are at 8pm with 2pm matinees on weekends. Tickets cost from R210 downwards. No under 16s, book through baxter.co.za.
If it’s only Marc Lottering you’re after, he’ll be at Theatre on the Bay from 18 – 29 June with So I Wrote That Musical. Tickets range from R150 to R250 and bookings are through webtickets.
We haven’t seen Pieter-Dirk Uys for a few years. There’s been Covid, for one, and then a knee operation, which obvs prevented him from treading the boards. But he’s back, with SELL-BY DATE. It’s vintage Pieter and it’s lovely and we reviewed it in full inside on page 5 so go see it at Theatre on the Bay before the end of the run on 10 June.
Rockers and rollers be notified: there’s a battle of the bands, nay, sorry, it’s The Big Band Brawl, at District on 8 June. Playing are Luukhanyo & the Hii Rollers, Murray, and Face Jackson. From 7pm, tickets on Quicket.
The Loneliest Monk Jazz Jam at Evol from 8pm on 1 June for R50. You never know.
The great wizard of the strings, the Gandalf of the guitar, Steve Newman, who could be the loneliest monk, is certainly worth the trip down to The Commons in Muizenberg if you have some folk in your soul. Steve is playing from 8pm on Friday 2 June with tickets at R120. If you remember how he used to play with Tony Cox, you probably live in Muizenberg, or Scarborough.
On Sunday 4 June, go check out The Divebombers at Deus Ex Machina from 1pm. It’s not like it’s going to be beach weather. Tickets R100.
Repentance are having another party on Friday 2 June. For those in the know, no further info is necessary and this is old news. But, being in the know is over rated ‑ there’s no surprise, no wonderment, nothing new. And now you, my dear, are about to have your cherry of ignorance popped. Repentance is where you let your kink out. In the ‘80s, it would have had security cops all over it, batons up, but now we can swing our truncheons at ease. The music is sin, the mood is sex, the dress code is, well, put it this way: no effort, no entry. To check the rules, go to @repentance_cpt on Insta. Tickets cost R200, online only via Quicket. Venue is Safehouse, 75 Church St, CBD. Oh, if you need convincing, there’s a spanking corner.
Punk meets burlesque with Noise at Outlore on 10 June. Some skinheads might be turning in their graves but if they are, they’re the neo-nazi type and we’re happy to let them spin like a rotisserie, the real punks were always LGBTQIA+ friendly so this’ll make them happy. It’s Alt-burlesque and sounds sexy as hell without the rightwingers. Tickets on Quicket, R150 from 8pm – 10pm.
There’s a whole long weekend of KiNK happening at Lost Angels Lounge (15 Regent St, Seapoint) from 8 – 11 June. It’s the launch of “a revolutionary event brand dedicated to celebrating the power of freedom of expression and the boundless passion for experimenting”. Although they lost me at ‘brand’, you man believe that you will “embark on an extraordinary journey where inhibitions are shed, boundaries are shattered, and a kaleidoscope of vibrant experiences awaits”. There’s a lot of promises there, you might want to see if any of them are met. They include “an explosive collision of pulsating beats” and “mesmerizing performances”. Starts Thursday 8 with the IDGAF party, the KiNK launch party on Friday, the Dark Room on Saturday, and KiNK Afters on Sunday. Check Lost Angels Lounge on Facebook or @nomad_entza on the IG. Tickets on Howler.
Here’s a heads-up, POPPERS is to take your brain out your cranium and sail it past the sunset before dropping it back, wet as a rock in a tropical rainstorm. The mind behind the management is the slippery as ease mastermind of Death Of Glitter, and it’s taking place at EVOL on 15 June. Tickets and deets are yet to be released but to keep abreast, follow @iamtazme on Insta.