About Me

I ramble about a number of things - but travel experiences, movies and music feature prominently. See my label cloud for a better idea. All comnments and opinions on this blog are my own, and do not in any way reflect the opinions/position of my employer (past/current/future).

15 November 2013

Blood Brothers

David Kramer's adaptation of the Classic English musical, which has been transferred to Take place in District 6 instead of Liverpool. The story itself doesn't focus on the politics, or race, but rater differences in economic backgrounds. 

It's a story of a struggling mother who gives up one of her new born twins to her well off employer. The boys discover each other, become friends, grow up, but remain unaware of their relationship. Eventually the story ends in tragedy, and the story is very much focused on te guilt trip of both mothers, as the narrator keeps reminding the audience, "the tokoloshe has your number".

The performances are amazing. The brothers, played by Eprahim Landrew and Dean Balie, give very believable performances across different ages, from 7 to 25. The standout performance is by Bianca Le Grange, as Mrs Johnstone (the biological mother), and although M doesn't agree, I also enjoyed the narator's performance in bringing the story together.

It is a brilliant performance all round, and David Kramer's adaptation to South African cultural references is amazing. It is show definitely worth watching. 

14 November 2013

JPO's 2nd 2013 Season, 6th Concert

Given the difficult year for the JPO, the final concert of the year started with a few words of thanks - both from the CEO of the JPO and the concertmaster. I think that the JPO needs to do a lot more to overcome its challenges, but that is a post on its own. The concert itself, for me, was a bit underwhelming.

Schumann's Manfred Overture started the proceedings off. Unlike the programme notes, I did not think that the piece conveyed "effectively the urgent despair of Byron's work" - not that I know the poem that the piece is based on. While it certainly had a melancholic ending - there are certainly other pieces that I have heard that evoked sadness than this piece. 

Violinist Yura Lee performed Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto; a very popular piece that I have heard on radio numerous times, in pieces, but not as a full work. Unlike some concertos, it does not seem to require significant individual brilliance; but it is a great piece to listen to; and got great appreciation from the audience.

Brahms' Symphony No 2. ended off the evening. It was certainly a nice piece to listen to, but I found that it was hardly memorable. There was no specific piece that got stuck in my mind, and I don't think I would recognise it if it was played. It was nice; but not great.

12 November 2013

The Pudding Shop

The Pudding Shop, in Parktown North, aspires to be a vegan friendly restaurant. That means, the menu is largely vegetarian or vegan (although it is not that easy to see which is which) but also has a few fish items for those that must have some animal protien. The food is delicious, the decor is interesting and it is a great lunch venue; especially on a lazy weekend. And best of all, it doesn't have the preachy holier-than-thou attitude of other vegan/vegetarian places I have been to (outside Asia).

That said the service is quite poor. The waiters didn't really know the menu; and for a vegan/vegetarian venue, their selection of food and drink is actually quite limited. It is not that the waiters are unfriendly - in fact they are very hospitable - but their lack of knowledge of the food being served does not help; especially when the menu is mixed.

10 November 2013

Wooden Buldozer

The Rosebank rooftop market restarted last week, and this time it feels a lot more spacious with somewhat better quality. A Malawian stall had hand carved wooden toys; and the bulldozer really stood out. All the parts are movable, including the arms and the tracks. Really impressive craftsmanship!