Review: Plugged In: A live connection


Plugged In is a physical theatre/dance piece performed by four students – two male and two female – from the University of Pretoria. This movement piece showcases some of the negative side effects of living in a technologically driven society through use of sound, lighting, choreography and some spoken word elements.

Using solos, duos and group dances, the performers depict different aspects of the negative impact of technology on individuals. Disconnection, cyber bullying and dependence on mobile devices are some of the themes depicted. The use of props in the production was interesting to see and effective in the storytelling. Bold lighting effects were also used to great effect and the choice of music enhanced and complimented the bold choreography.

Read more: Review: Plugged In: A live connection

Review: Step up to fame, Aletia Briendenhann


Step up to fame is a sweet look at the dance films of the last four decades. With performances alluding to films such as Fame, Step Up and Take the Lead, the show promises an instant appeal to any fan of dance.

The performances canvas a wide variety of styles such as contemporary, hip-hop, musical theatre and Latin-American. The songs are familiar to the audience, which adds to the enjoyment factor.

Unfortunately though, as much as the idea is enjoyable, the show seems to be let down by two major factors. Firstly, the narration in-between different dances is lengthy and tedious. This leaves the audience impatient and weary after being delivered so much information. Secondly, the dancers do not appear entirely polished and, as most dances consist of large groups, the inconsistencies are more noticeable and this tends to be a distraction.

Read more: Review: Step up to fame, Aletia Briendenhann

Krêkvars-Kopanong promises hot student entertainment


The annual student drama festival, Krêkvars-Kopanong, is set to take place on UP’s Hatfield campus from 18-23 July. The festival promises a wide variety of shows and genres, many of them performed, written or directed by UP’s own students. The festival program runs all day with the Lier, Masker and Bok theatres at the heart it, along with two other venues: a film studio and an “open-air” theatre. Tickets cost only R20, making it cheaper and more unique than your typical night out.

According to a press release, “This year’s highlights include a physical theatre piece by Mozambican artists, Giftig performed by Micia De Wet and Bailey Snyman, 2012 Standard Bank Young Artist of the Year, and If these Bodies Could Speak performed by Nicola Haskins and Bailey Snyman, both fresh off the Prague Fringe Festival.”

More details can be found on the Krêkvars-Kopanong Facebook page.

Review: The Coffin, Reggie Goodwin


The Coffin, directed by Reggie Goodwin and starring Dawn Ledbitter (John) and Jo-Ann McQuirk (Jane), is a quirky and clever drama. John and Jane are estranged family members who are reunited by “a death in the family”.

The characters do well to avoid the details of the deceased, focusing rather on questions of family, what has happened since they last met, and death itself. As the characters avoid the proverbial white elephant (or in this case, actual wooden coffin), it does little for their sanity, with the play dissolving into absurdity.

The play’s dialogue is intelligent and darkly comical at times, and both actresses deliver convincing performances. Interaction with the audience is also an element that adds to the play’s interest factor, as do the use of video projections, simple props and recurring motifs. The play utilises its venue well, with a good portion of the action happening “off stage” as the characters frequently exit to the unseen kitchen to make tea. The make-up and costuming, including the use of Marie Biscuits as a form of hair accessory, add to the eerie yet amusingly odd nature of the play.

Read more: Review: The Coffin, Reggie Goodwin

Iron Maiden brings metal madness to Johannesburg

On Saturday, 21 May, heavy metal pioneers Iron Maiden made a long-awaited visit to Johannesburg during their Book of Souls world tour. After opening performances by Johannesburg locals Jasper Dan and English melodic metal band The Raven Age, the metal legends were welcomed by cheering fans, vigorous head-banging and frenzied moshing.

The band played songs from their latest album, The Book of Souls, including the album’s title track.

Read more: Iron Maiden brings metal madness to Johannesburg

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