Angel performing at Parkers Comedy

I’ll be packing my bags and heading up to Joburg on Thursday, to film some episodes for Season 3 of Point of Order (The SAFTA winning, best Game Show in South Africa, that showcases us comedians on a panel, battling it out with politics, mayhem and general knowledge.)

I’ll also be perfoming on the the first big stage that gave me my break, Parker’s Comedy in Monte Casino.

Now to hunt down some winter clothes, because Cape Town is still basking in the last rays of summer, whilst Jozi is apparently already snow-capped and frigid!

*high five*

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Win this fabulous cook-book ‘A Bite of Latin America’.

Today on my radio show, from 1-3pm on 2oceansvibe radio, I’ll be chatting to the fabulous Susie Chatz-Anderson. The traveler, author and chef behind ‘A Bite of Latin America’.

Susie and her husband took a year off to explore Latin America and this wonderfully illustrative book serves as her culinary diary. If (like me) you’ve always dreamed of visiting the colourful continent, this book serves as an excellent window into how it might look (and taste) with Susie giving a local explanation (and variants) on the classic dishes she most enjoyed in each country.

The subtle layering of flavour and use of authentic techniques make for scrumptious food, adapted for South Africa. Susie believes in good food and living a good life. Discover these for yourself with A Bite of Latin America.

She’s given me one book to give away to you, my fabulous listeners. So tune in,  and retweet this tweet to increase your odds of winning and adding a little SALSA to your weekend.

(You can buy the book online here.)

Ole!

 

 

Posted in Awesomeness, High Five Moment, Travel | Leave a comment

New Show, New Director. The Devil you know.

It is with much cacophonous and rapturous applause that I would like to announce the new director who has agreed to take me on, and direct my new comedy hour: Devil’s Advocate. (Debuting at the 2017 National Arts Festival in Grahamstown this June/July)

The multi award winning and internationally acclaimed, writer, director and producer… Tara Notcutt has (in a moment of weakness) signed on as my director! And I couldn’t be more thrilled.  She has a repertoire of award-winning and internationally travelling work under her belt, and has presented work (aside from, obviously all over South Africa) in Edinburgh, Amsterdam, Brighton, and Perth.

Tara Notcutt (Photo by Dani Bischoff)

This is a bucket-list director, who I’ve been too scared to even approach and ask, as I was certain she’d (worst case) throw her head back and laugh at me or (best case) awkwardly pretend she saw her long-lost mythical friend entering the bathroom and excuse herself to avoid further conversations with me.

Tara and I actually go WAY back, to when I was standing in on an Am-Dram production at the request of my brother, (Unsurprisingly named ‘Murder in the Common room’) and Tara’s fabulous dad, Brian played the unsuspecting murder victim, who died in the common room (spoiler alert). I was the equally unsuspecting character who had to administer CPR to said murdered victim. Always to many giggles (during rehearsal) and many melodramatic gestures (during live performances) shared between Brian and I.

Tara was just ‘Brian’s daughter’ to me, back then. The first year UCT Theatre and Performance student,  who was working in the technical booth on this production, to gain experience. Oh how little could any of us have guessed that she would go on to be nominated for, and win, multiple awards both locally and internationally. Leaving the rest of us blinking, impressed, in her (star)dust.

Some of Tara’s more stand-out productions include the brilliant Three Little Pigs (starring Rob Van Vuuren, James Cairns and Albert Pretorius)  and the spellbinding ‘…miskien‘ (for which she won the Fleur Du Cap Theater award, for Best New Director)  and most recently she has been part of the team producing The Gruffalo for the first time in South Africa, as the South African Associate Director to the UK company, Tall Stories. Tara works with everything from Shakespeare to Opera as well as magicians, drama and comedy.

As far as stand-up comedy goes, Tara Directed Rob Van Vuuren in his Ovation Award winning and sold out show, What What. So she certainly knows what she’s doing.

I’m thrilled, lucky and overwhelmed that I get to be working with her on Devil’s Advocate. And I can’t wait to see what magic we create together. She is equally thrilled “to be working with someone who doesn’t have a penis” and I’m sure we will cut a formidable ‘Girl Power’ team as Devil’s Advocate launches it’s controversial, hilarious and thought provoking tendrils into the National Arts Festival this year.

Now, if only I could finish writing it. *Van Gogh Scream*

SOME of Tara’s Awards & Special Recognitions

  • 2016 Nominated for The Artrage Theatre Award at Fringe World Perth, for Stuart Lightbody’s Sleepless Dreams
  • 2015 Nominated for a Fleur du Cap Award for Best Director for …miskien
  • 2015 Nominated for The Artrage Theatre Award at Fringe World Perth, for both Undermined and Stuart Lightbody: Devilish
  • 2014 Standard Bank Ovation Award for Undermined at the National Arts Festival, Grahamstown
  • 2014 Nominated for 2 Fleur du Cap Awards, namely Best Director as well as Best New South African Script (with co-writers Rob van Vuuren, James Cairns, and Albert Pretorius) for The Three Little Pigs
  • 2013 Nominated for Best Director at Clover Aardklop for The Three Little Pigs. The production was also nominated for Best Production, and the three actors joint nominated for Best Actor.
  • 2013 International invitations for Thom Pain (based on nothing) (Amsterdam) and Unreal (Amsterdam, Brighton, and Prague). Silver Award for Best International Production at the Amsterdam Fringe for The Three Little Pigs
  • 2013 Standard Bank Ovation Awards for Thom Pain (based on nothing), Unreal, and a Silver Award for WHATWHAT
  • 2013 Third Place in the ArtRage Theatre Award category at Fringe World, Perth for The Three Little Pigs
  • 2012 Standard Bank Ovation Award for Lord Hamlet at the National Arts Festival, Grahamstown
  • 2012 Named one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South Africans for 2012
  • 2012 …miskien nominated for Best Theatre Production at Fringe World, Perth
  • 2011 Best Director nomination at Aardklop Nasionale Kunstefees for …miskien, which received the Clover Soveel Beter Award for “Best Production”
  • 2011 Five star review for …miskien at Amsterdam Fringe Festival, Jury Commendation Award, and invitation to present the show at Fringe World, Perth, 2012
  • 2011 “Best of The Fringe” recognition for …miskien at National Arts Festival, Grahamstown, and an invitation to the Amsterdam Fringe Festival
  • 2011 Standard Bank Silver Ovation Awards for both Mafeking Road (Physical Theatre) and Dream, Brother (Theatre) at National Arts Festival, Grahamstown 2011 Member of the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab, New York City
  • 2010 Standard Bank Silver Ovation Award at the National Arts Festival, Grahamstown for …miskien
  • 2010 Fleur du Cap Theatre Award: Rosalie van der Gucht Prize for New Directors for her direction of …miskien
  • 2009 Founded The Pink Couch, critical acclaim for debut production of …miskien as well as one of Sunday Times’ COMPANIES TO WATCH OUT FOR IN 2010

*High Five*

Devil’s Advocate is a Stand-up Comedy One-Woman Show. Produced by Siv Ngesi, Directed by Tara Notcutt and Written & Performed by Angel Campey. It will debut at the 2017 National Arts Festival Fringe in Grahamstown, Eastern Cape. It’s venue is the Masonic Back and show times are:

  • Friday 30th June: 2pm
  • Saturday 1st July: 8pm
  • Sunday 2nd July: 4pm
  • Monday 3rd July: 6pm
  • Tuesday 4th July: 2pm
  • Wednesday 5th July: 10pm
  • Thursday 6th July: 6pm
  • Friday 7th July: 8pm
  • Saturday 8th July: 10am

Bookings now open.

Posted in Comedy, Girl Talk, High Five Moment | Leave a comment

Tale as Old as Time

Me. Give that girl a Belles.

Review: Beauty and the Beast 2017.

The new live action Beauty and the Beast has been released and I was invited to attend a special screening with Edgars Club and Disney Africa last night.

The invite told us to dress as a modern day princess – so I went full Belle, with yellow floaty dress even a rose and the gold in her hair. I added my Aldo Zebra-print heels, for the ‘beast’ element – plus it’s Disney Africa, so we must represent.

We were greeted with a red carpet, flanked by candelabra (I leaned in to listen, they weren’t talking ones) and a sparkly wall featuring a crystal rose, specifically made for this event, there are only 4 in the world. (AND I WON ONE! Yay for my witty Tweets.)

Bonjour, Cogsworth from Paris.

A Cogsworth (from the 1991 animated movie) was flown in from Disneyland Paris (Beauty and the Beast is set in France) so he was the VIP, and also went as a gift to the best dressed… which went to an 8 year old version of me (Also dressed as Belle). Best Dressed? Fine. The kid can have it *she grumbles whilst nursing her crystal rose*.

After some Red Rose Icing cupcakes and BOS tea, we got free Popcorn and headed into the film where we were welcomed by Luke from Disney Africa who said “Disney ‘n probleem nie” in his speech, on purpose, which pretty much made my night.

And then… The movie. (LOVE)

First the rant about 1991 version

I re-watched the 1991 Beauty and the Beast this past weekend, in anticipation of seeing the new one. I’m THAT excited. I adored the original, obviously. I was 8 when it came out. The PERFECT age. However, the 34 year old Angel was a lot more sceptical of the tale.

First of all, we judge the townsfolk for thinking Belle is weird, but she literally reads a book to sheep in the middle of the town, and it’s a book about her own life (“Here’s where she meets Prince Charming, but she won’t discover that it’s him ’till Chapter 3”.)  Talking to sheep, and ignoring the townsfolk? She IS weird.

Also, did you know, in the original, Belle and the Beast fall in love over 48 hours? 2 days, guys. That’s how long it took for her to figure “fuck it, he has a library and a castle, he’s rich, I’m in” and him, an evil, angry, hateful beast – to get all gentle and to fall for her. Remember he got cursed for being mean to an ugly old hag, who was really a beautiful enchantress (why did she have to be beautiful? She could have been an ugly enchantress. But I guess her being ‘beautiful’ made her more valuable? Ok, the feminist in me is sitting down.) The only way for him to break the curse was to to fall in love, how lucky for his superficial mind that the MOST BEAUTIFUL GIRL IN THE VILLAGE happened upon his castle. That’s ridiculous. So he stays superficial AF, he doesn’t learn anything.

Did you realise, the Beast is 21 in the 1991 version? “The last rose petal falls on his 21st Birthday” … erm, what? He’s a 21 year old? He’s got such a deep voice – for a start. And the youngest he could have been when she cursed him is 16*. So that means it’s been 5 years – and the castle is abandoned, decrepit and forgotten – in 5 years. And it’s so dusty and gross, when ALL OF HIS STAFF are literally household appliances with nothing else to do… and the castle looks like that? They are horrific at their jobs. Hey, feather duster, maybe stop making out with Lumiere behind the curtains and actually do some dusting! No wonder your boss is so angry all the time. Gosh.

*UPDATE Edit*  Thanks to Ian Belknap for pointing out that the lyric in “Be Our Guest” points to them having been cursed for 10 years. Which means the Prince was 11 when he turned into a Beast. So an 11 year old was mean to a witch, and she punished him pretty severely. What a bitch.

Also, 5 or 10 years went past and the world forgot about him? He was the Prince, in a freaking castle. And it took 5-10 years to forget him? AND THE CASTLE?! What? Everyone’s ok with this storyline though? Ok.

So aside from all that, the songs, the characters, the YELLOW DRESS, the happy ending are PERFECT. (Ok – the ‘prince’ version of the Beast is NOT hot, I would have been mad AF if I was Belle, and then suddenly my sexy beast turns into that awkward looking, scrawny Prince with those weird nostrils).

Talk about a BEAST

Ok, so enter famed feminist Emma Watson as Belle in the 2017 remake:

First off, let me state: this version is brilliant. I want to see it again, already.

It encapsulates all of the elements you loved in the original, but incorporates enough additional backstory (and new songs) to develop characters so that 99% of my issues with the original are all gone. (That last 1% stays for the ‘beautiful’ enchantress. Although they do highlight the superficiality of that a bit more with the enchantress’s return at the end of the film.)

It stayed much more authentic to the original Disney cartoon than the live action Jungle Book or Cinderella did. Which made me so happy. I literally had goosebumps on several occasions as they cleverly recreated iconic scenes, close enough that you know the exact moment in the cartoon, but well done enough that it’s still unique to this version.

The ‘living’ household appliances posed the biggest ‘live action’ problem as they kept them looking very realistic. Obviously, this isn’t Roger Rabbit. The Be our guest number was still pulled off absolutely as magically as the cartoon version, and Disney really managed to encapsulate the ‘realism’ of the enchanted castle. They explain why the village forgot the Beast, they don’t make him 21, they justify why all his employees are also cursed, and there is much more backstory about his family and Belle’s mother. Which helps you to understand why they are, in fact, perfect for each other “happy sigh”.

Emma Watson was great as Belle, and they give her far more backbone, she’s an inventor and far more diplomatic with her ‘arrest’ by the beast, and as such – Emma did us all proud.  And the ‘cute’ snowball fight scene had a hilarious upgrade:

 

The rest of the cast is fabulous, Josh Gad as LeFou (Disney’s first ever openly gay character) stole the show as (Luke Evans) Gaston’s side-kick. Emma Thompson as Mrs Potts makes you not miss Angela Landsbury. And who better to play the voice of rule-abiding Cogsworth than Sir Ian McKellen? Ewan McGregor as Lumiere was also charming, and we all know the man can sing!

I don’t want to give too many spoilers, so I’m not going to dissect the movie scene by scene. Just go and see it, if you loved the original, you won’t be disappointed. We all choked back tears a few times at the iconic songs, but I always cry in musical numbers in the theatre – so ignore me.

I’m off to play the new soundtrack on apple music. Again.

(Although I still prefer the Celine Dion and Peabo Bryson version of the song, sorry Ariana Grande and John Legend.)

Red Rose Cupcakes, too pretty to eat. I still did.

Me telling TV land how much I adored the new version.

*High-Five* Thanks Disney Africa and Edgars Club.

 

 

Posted in Awesomeness, Girl Talk, High Five Moment | 2 Comments

Where to catch Stand-Up Comedy in Cape Town

When people hear I’m a stand-up comedian, they always ask “where?”  It’s become apparent that people are unaware of the plethora of underground comedy gigs that are going on every night of the week in and around Cape Town. Comedians need to get up on stage, all the time – it’s the only way we can practice. So we have stages, everywhere. Clubs, Pubs, Restaurants. Some are great for us, some are not, all are entertaining for you to watch.

Live stand-up comedy. You can’t beat it. If you like hearing the pulse of a nation, the modern day philosophers, current events and fart jokes – the only way to mainline this is with live comedy. The stuff you see on TV and YouTube has already been curated. Come support local, all of these gigs below are run by local comedians too so you’re helping the art stay alive.

Cape Town Comedy Club

Obviously the first stop off point for watching comedy in Cape Town is the only dedicated comedy club in the city: The Cape Town Comedy Club.  Wednesday – Sunday (7 days a week in Season) Previously ‘Jou Ma Se Comedy Club‘, this is the baby of local comedian legend, Kurt Schoonraad. You’re guaranteed a stellar line-up at this venue, as they are very selective with their comedians and curate the shows professionally. So definitely check this out, you’ll see the best, doing their best. Like a comedy showcase. It’s at the V&A Waterfront, in the Pumphouse. (Best parking is next to the Aquarium.) Show starts at 8.30pm sharp, but get there early, it’s fully licensed and 6-7pm is happy hour. Booking essential.

Cape Town Comedy Club

But here’s a little list of SOME of the more underground venues, where you will see comedians practicing sets, trying new jokes and earning the honour to play at the bigger, more shiny clubs you’re more familiar with. It’s the places you’ll see comedians at their most raw, vulnerable, honest. Where we die and kill and ‘haven’t figured out how to end that joke yet’. It’s where the magic happens.

SUNDAYS:

  1. Armchair Sundays.

Where: Obviously Armchair, Backpackers and Pub. 135 Lower Main Rd, Observatory, Cape Town

What you get: Billed as ‘an experimental comedy platform’ Armchair Sundays is an institution in the South African Comedy community, and any given Sunday, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better time. In the bohemian backpacker neighbourhood of Obs, an eclectic mix of locals and tourists blend in the audience of this intimate theatre venue to create comedy gold. Armchair Comedy has been around for a long time, over 20 years, and served as the starting ground for many of the top comedians in South Africa, including icons like Kurt Schoonraad, Loyiso Gola, Stuart Taylor, Nik Rabinowitz and Riaad Moosa. Even Trevor Noah used to play there. It’s a beloved stage to all comedians, offering newbies the chance to try their comedy chops (on a Wednesday) and a safe-space for veterans to play with the crowd, working out new ideas.

Comedians also choose this as a gathering spot, and many more comics who aren’t even on the bill will be lurking around the bar area, nursing beer and exchanging war stories with each other from the week’s gigs. This is the perfect introduction to the underground of SA stand-up.

What it Costs: Minimal, around R40 at the door (last I checked).

Top tip, don’t play on your cellphone in the front row, host Gino Fernandez will read it out loud.  (Photo Peter Sserwanga)

2. Hanover Street Comedy Sundowners

Where: Hanover Street Night Club, inside GrandWest Casino, 1 Vanguard Drive Goodwood.

Angel Campey at Hanover Comedy Sundowners.

What you get: Hanover Street Comedy Sundowners is on the first Sunday of every month at 6pm, nice and early for a school-night. The venue is really fun for comedy and so comedians look forward to playing there, and as the audience – it shows. It’s always a good time, with a top line-up, you’ll see some of the best in the city carefully chosen to make for great comedy. (Line-ups change each month). Booking is advised as it often sells out – so don’t dilly dally.

What it costs: R60, 082 588 662 for bookings. (Complimentary Savannas for the first 100 to arrive.)

MONDAYS:

SGT PEPPER, MONDAY COMEDY NIGHT

Where: Sgt Pepper, 194 Long Street (Opposite Beerhouse), Cape Town.

SGT Pepper regular, Eureka Nkese hosting.

What you get: Every Monday at 8.30pm, a hodge-podge of some of Cape Town’s best (and ahem, newer) comedians (and sometimes an out of towner or international drop-in) trying out new material, honing old jokes or just playing with the crowd. You’ll usually get around 6-8 comedians performing for your buck. It’s a great room to come and have a chuckle on a Monday as it’s lovingly dubbed ‘the room of death’ by many comics, usually packed with dead-pan foreigners – it’s the perfect comedy training ground, and might just entertain you for all the wrong reasons as you see some of the best of the business tap-dance for approval from the grumpy Swedes and the lost in translation Colombians. It has been known to sometimes have the perfect storm of locals, tourists and brilliant comedians -making for hilarity all round. Each Monday the line-ups change, so come often, and come multiple times. Like a woman.

What it costs: R40 at the door, or pay R120 and get a Pizza and Savanna thrown in.

TUESDAYS:

You’re spoiled for choice on a Tuesday. You’ve got 3 options (one is weekly, the others are bi-monthly) 1. #ComedyAtNomad (Town) 2. Fork and Comedy (Fireman’s Arms) 3. Premium Sports Bar (Mitchell’s Plain)

  1. Comedy at Nomad

Where: Nomad Bistro & Bar. 33 Waterkant Street, Cape Town.

What you get: Every Tuesday. This is a great new venue for comedy, it’s between Long and Loop street, on the Fanwalk, so it’s a little more relaxed and open-air than the other ‘bustling’ Long street venues. Top and new local, national and International comedians rotate on this line-up every Tuesday and the bar has an extensive cocktail menu, so kick-back and enjoy the points of view of comics from all walks of life. It starts at 8pm sharp and is usually finished by 10pm, so you’re not having a late one on a school night.

What it costs: R50 on Quicket, R70 at the door (which you can just add to your bar tab) or R180 to have a Burger & Cocktail thrown in.

2. Fork and Comedy

Where: Fireman’s Arms ,Cnr. Buitengracht & Mechau Street, Cape Town.

What you get:  A rip-roaring good time in one of Cape Town’s Oldest and Finest Pubs – Est 1864. A well curated line-up of top comics, this is a tightly run show, starting at 8 and ending by 10, with premium quality stand-up.

Fork and Comedy is a bi-monthly gig, the first and last Tuesday of each month, so double check that it’s on the Tuesday you’re interested in. Also book ahead of time, because it sells out. (Obviously.) So come fork ‘n’ laugh, at fork ‘n’ comedy (see what they did there?)

Bookings: 083 709 0419 email: forkandcomedy@gmail.com

What it costs: R50 gets you a seat and a shot of Jagermeister (for the first 60). Also a free Jack Black Beer if you buy a main-meal. (Yay for alcohol sponsors!)

3. Premium Comedy

Where:  Premium Sports Bar, 1 Avocado Street, Mitchells Plain.

What you get: This is widely regarded by Cape Town comedians as one of the most fun rooms in the city. It’s a big beer hall, you get comics having the time of their lives in a room full of laughing patrons. Top comedians like Marc Lottering, Barry Hilton and Kurt Schoonraad often headline so you’ll see the best of the best – and also newer comedians and open mics testing out their funny bones.

Bookings: It’s the first and last Tuesday of every month, so check with 072 399 3338 (whatsapp) for bookings and info.

What it costs: R50

Barry Hilton at Premium Comedy

WEDNESDAYS:

On a Wednesday you can stay town-side with 1. Beerhouse Comedy Club (Long Street) or check out 2. Armchair Comedy Wednesdays, New Material night in Obs or head to 3. Kasi Comedy Nights out at Mzoli’s in Gugs.

  1. Beerhouse Comedy Wednesday

    Where: Beerhouse, 223 Long Street (Opposite SGT Pepper), Cape Town.

Beerhouse Audience

What you get: Every Wednesday at 8.30pm. Beerhouse has a great separate space, off the side of the bar, where you’re able to fully enjoy the comedy without being disturbed by all the students trying their 99 varietals of Beer on the Wall, in the main room. Usually no less than 6 comedians will jump up and entertain you, if you’re lucky you might get a celebrity drop-in, Loyiso Gola often frequents this room when he’s in town.

What it costs: 50 bucks at the door.

Beerhouse gigs, organised by Kolping Mbumba

ARMCHAIR WEDNESDAYS (OPEN MIC NIGHT)

Where: Obviouzly Armchair, Lower Main Road, Observatory.

What you get: Every Wednesday at 8.30pm. New Material, and the true underground of comics at work. Everyone from first-timers to comedy legends are taking this mic to try and win the laughter of the crowd. It’s an awesome audience experience where you get to see the hits and misses that comedy so often dishes up steaming hot. The misses make the hits so much sweeter. Definitely worth it to see the raw, unpolished side of stand-up. Where top comedians will be reading jokes off a note-pad and asking the audience for feedback as to which punchline they prefer. Then when you see that joke, weeks later, on stage at the Baxter or on TV on Comedy Central Africa – you’ll know you were part of the process.

What it Costs: R20 before 9pm. R30 thereafter.

Westley Cockrell making comedy. (Photo: Peter Sserwanga)

3. Kasi Comedy Nights.

Where: Mzoli’s Place, Ny 115, Guguletu.

What you get: Every Wednesday, at the iconic Mzoli’s Place – Kasi Comedy Night brings the comedy fire. It’s a rowdy, audience who laughs at every beat, and comedians enjoy every moment up there. There’s always a big name to headline, and the line ups are spattered with local guys trying their comedy chops as well as the more established Cape Town comics. This is definitely worth experiencing. Even if you’re not from Gugs.

The organisers increase security for these events, so if you’re worried about venturing into the townships – you needn’t be.

What it costs: R80.

Yaaseen Barnes brings the Kasi Comedy

 

THURSDAYS

Comedy On A River

Where: Slug and Lettuce, The River Club, Liesbeek Parkway, Observatory.

KG Mokgadi at Comedy on a River

What you get: Every last Thursday of the month, at 8.30pm, the Comedy on a Roll team present this show. In cosy room with velvet red curtains as the backdrop and top comedians making you chuckle.  The line-up will change every month and will give audience members a hilarious night of fun. The Slug & Lettuce has a fully licensed bar and restaurant.

What it costs: Tickets can be booked on 021 448 7906 /infocomedyonaroll@gmail.com for just R50.

Fridays and Saturdays:

The smaller venues don’t need comedians, they are too busy selling you booze on weekends. Your best bet is Cape Town Comedy Club.

See you around, the underground.

Martin Davis at Beerhouse Wednesdays (Photo: Peter Sserwanga)

*high five*

 

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Devil’s Advocate 2017

Coming to Grahamstown National Arts Fringe Festival, 2017.

My new comedy hour. I’m adding fuel to the fire.

Posted in Comedy, High Five Moment | 1 Comment

Netball at the Zando Cape Town 10s

When I was 8, I moved to my grandparents and started a new school. I was from a private, all girls, very colonial institute. I’m reticent to say we were girls, we were ladies. Then I moved. I moved Provinces, homes, guardians, and started at a public school that was co-ed and bilingual. (This was pre-1994, so as far as white South Africans were concerned, there were only two languages, English and Afrikaans – hence the ‘bilingual’ school. It should be 11-lingual. Which is quite intense.)

Now this little lady, who made a ‘whoosh’ sound when she pronounced the start of words like ‘where’, ‘why’, and ‘whence’ was about to meet her first Afrikaans kids, and the sport that they so revered.

Netball.

We didn’t have Netball in Durban, at my all girls’ school. I mean, maybe we did – but we also probably had chess club and no one knew about that either, although, chess was probably in higher esteem.

But along with learning the nuance of words like Komkommer, Kombuis and Kombers, (and discovering how much more fun school is when there are boys in tow),  I was also growing taller than my peers, thus proving myself an asset in the competitive world of Netball.

This story is really about my grandpa. Ted.

Once I mentioned that I was taking up Netball, my grandpa went out to his garage, that was really more of a workshed/habadashery/store-room, with just enough space for his old, matt-olive-green Chevrolet, with fluffy sheepskin seat covers, to snuggle into. (A car I would pretend to drop a pencil on the floor of whenever he’d pick me up from school, to lie down and hide from the leering gaze of other kids. My grandpa knew I would do that, and he’d laugh at me. There was no shame in that Chevvy. It was a “classic”.) My grandpa spent a few hours in his garage that evening, collecting old fishing-rods and binding them together (“See, there was a reason I kept these old things, never throw anything away!” The TV show hoarders would have run screaming from Grandpa’s garage.) And he fashioned a pole, much longer than the standard Netball goal’s pole. And then he put that pole on top of an old table. And he put that table on top of the garage. And he shaped a metal ‘hoop’ that he made sure was just big enough to fit the ball through.

“There. That will do it. Practice with this hoop, and you’ll be better than the others. You’ll be the best.”

“But it doesn’t work that way, Grandpa. Only two girls get to throw at goal. I’m not that position. I’m not good enough.”

“Practice. Get 10 hoops in a row, then you can go down for dinner. Hurry, it’s getting dark.”

And thus began my childhood equivalent to bootcamp. Practicing on a too-high, too-small netball hoop. 10 in a row, became 20, became 50, became backwards. Movie Montage to when I became so good that when I’d see the real hoops on school premises they’d look as big and low as swimming pools. And guess who got so good at scoring goals that she got promoted to the first team and was given the position of ‘Hulp Doel’ (which I believe is ‘Goal Attack’ in English) – the kid who gets to run around AND enter the circle to score goals. Yup. This little English Girl.

Thanks Grandpa.

Then, I finished Primary school, moved away to my mother and became far “too cool” to do any sports after school in High School.

Fast forward TWENTY TWO YEARS. Yes. 22 years. Holy crap. How did I get so OLD? (One of my new teammates IS 22, so THAT puts things into perspective…) Zando contacted me and asked if I’d like to take part in the Iconic Cape Town 10s, which is traditionally a Rugby thing, it is South Africa’s BIGGEST social, sport and lifestyle event of the year – and they told me they wanted me on the Celeb squad, and I could choose Netball, Volleyball or Dodgeball.

Ah Netball. My dark-horse. My secret skill.

So I signed up. (And then realised 22 years had passed since I’d played… perhaps all those rounds of Beer-Pong in between count? Probably not. But my aim, even when drunk, has remained pretty good.)

Tonight is our first practice. (I wanted to write rehearsal, because of the industry I’m in. And given that I’m with a team of actresses, radio personalities, TV presenters and News Journalists – I feel ‘rehearsal’ is a more adequate description of what’s about to happen.) We ‘rehearse’ tonight. And tomorrow morning at 8.45am (EIGHT FORTY FIVE AY EM????!!!!) We have our first match of the weekend. And it’s bound to be a hoot.

My Grandpa passed away in 2010. Before I started my comedy career. Before I would ever have been considered “known” enough to be invited to play on a ‘celeb squad’ of anything. But he was certain I was going to be a star. He was always my biggest fan. He doesn’t know me as a comedian, but he knows me as a netball player. And that is what I will do.

Probably badly. I’ll probably pull all the muscles, in all of the places. But I’ll be playing Goal Attack, the position my Grandpa made me earn, more than 22 years ago. And I know my aim is still better than most, and THAT, is at least something.

Some of our Netball squad. We’re one mind. It’s going SO well already.

(This post got pretty sentimental, but my Grandpa helping me with Netball is one of my favourite memories of him. SO DEAL WITH IT!)

If you want to come to the Zando 10s to watch the mayhem, to drink, to see and be seen, It’s this weekend. 3rd and 4th February 2017. Here is a link to the info. You can come and support all the teams in different sports – and this is the first year that DODGEBALL is going to be a fixture, and that should be hilarious. I didn’t choose it because I’m not nimble enough. 

*high five for High Nets*

Follow the action on #Zando10s

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Do they know it’s Christmas in Africa?

Christmas: WINTER vs SUMMER.

“And there won’t be snow in Africa this Christmas time
The greatest gift they’ll get this year is life (Oooh)
Where nothing ever grows
No rain or rivers flow
Do they know it’s Christmas time at all?” – Band Aid, 1984. 

My American Friends have our back. ;)

Apparenly it’s not Christmas unless there’s snow. So you’d better quickly get to the Northern Hemisphere! Luckily Travelstart has cheap flights to London so you can hustle.

That Band-aid Christmas song has honourable roots, (raising money for underprivileged parts of the continent) but it doesn’t help the misdirection of people in the North. We DON’T have snow at Christmastime, and if we did – it would be SERIOUSLY bad for global-warming denialists. It’s summertime. White snow is replaced with white sand, egg-nog by the fireside is replaced with cocktails by the braai-side and our Santa chills out in flip-flops. Days are longer, holidays are all around and we yell ‘KE DEZEMBA, BOSS!’ and pop bottles. It’s how we DO Christmas.

My cousins and I, with Toasty the Sandman. Family Xmas holiday 2016.

There is something to be said for a winter Christmas-time though. I have UK based family so we alternate Christmases. Snowflakes and sparkles make more sense in winter, you’re closer to the North Pole so Santa is guaranteed and all Christmas themed things fit in with your surroundings. If you’ve never a winter xmas, UK is more accessible than ever now, the Pound is weaker than last year, and with super affordable flights, there’s no excuse.

Shorter days mean more time to enjoy sparkly Christmas lights, cold weather means more time to cuddle indoors with Christmas songs and family members. And food babies from all that Ham and Turkey you’re going to eat can easily be hidden under winter clothing, unlike us bikini clad Southern Hemisphereans. Plus: You get to dress up in fun winter clothes!

Pros: Xmas themed jerseys,

baking and eating is better in Winter,

Christmas carols and Christmas Movies make sense.

It might snow.

Cons: You’re cold.

You can’t go to the beach in your ‘kini.

No Braais.

Less Public holidays and general summer Lethargy.

No sunset cocktails.

Northern Hemisphere Christmas 2008

Which do you prefer? Summer or Winter Christmas.

Our South African Family Christmas Traditions.

Road trips,

Quality street chocolates,

Mince Pies,

sunburns,

dressing the tree together,

watching Christmas movies,

jumping photos in bikinis with cousins,

merging of new family members (boyfriends and babies),

battling high tide and trying to get around the rocks during walks on the beach,

braais on the deck,

glazed ham,

Christmas themed nail-polish,

bunking up and sharing rooms together,

pretty dresses on Christmas day,

Christmas crackers (wearing hats and reading the joke aloud, mandatory)

Party games,

sing-alongs with Nanna and Amarula night-caps.

Lots of laughter and a few arguments.

We always do Presents on Christmas morning (after Church, for those members of the family who want to go), and have a late lunch that turns into a night-time chatting and games-fest.

Our African Xmas Tree, 2014

Which do you prefer, winter or summer? What are some of your traditions?

*high fives for merry merry Xmas*

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Dodgeball added to the Zando Cape Town 10s

Dodge, duck, dip, dive and dodge

dodgeball

 South Africa, Cape Town, December 2016. South Africa’s biggest and most popular social, sport and lifestyle event, the Zando Cape Town 10s has announced that Dodgeball will be added as the 4th sporting code!

 

The Zando Cape Town 10s team has partnered with Dodgeball SA and Rush SA to bring Dodgeball to the 2017 offering and it’s bound to be a colossal draw card and massive hit! Whether you’re a spectator or sporting a team – think ‘bright lumo colours, Ben Stiller, dress up and epic movie lines’.

 

With the event happening in less than 2 months, we made this video which includes a snapshot of what to expect and more on the rules. The video features comedian Rob van Vuuren, re-embodied as the local version of Ben Stiller from the epic Dodgeball movie and also features cameos from some of the Mother City’s most popular media personalities. Check out the video here:

 

The internationally acclaimed event and winner of the 2016 Discovery Sport Industry Award for ‘Best Live Experience’, will return to Green Point Sports Fields on 3 & 4 February 2017 and is set to attract over 20 000 people.  Squads and fans from across the globe will be treated to a number of exciting additions, including a new Title Sponsor, Zando.co.za   (Africa’s biggest fashion store), who is set to add its own unrestricted signature style to the event.

 

Tickets are available via http://capetowntens.com/tickets and are expected to sell out in record time. Avoid the rush and snaking queues or surprise your mates with tickets for Christmas! Check out the special Zando.co.za fashion shopping vouchers accompanying all tickets purchased.

This event is overseen and managed by the Old School Group a ‘really cool little sports and lifestyle business’ specialising in sports tourism and these sports empowered, lifestyle festivals.

 

Event Details:

 

For more info visit the website: www.capetowntens.com

 

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12 days of Christmas Movies

If you’re a Grinch, move along – this post isn’t for you. Unless you’re the movie – then it literally is.

It’s the 13th of December. That means it’s the 12 days of Christmas! So now it’s not only acceptable to have red and green nail, polish, play exclusively Xmas music and each mince pies every day – it’s EXPECTED.

My favourite part of Christmas (Aside from EVERYTHING) is Christmas movies. I don’t care how cheesy they are, if there’s a few baubles and Xmas trees in the shot – I’m in. I’m all in, with joy and mince pie crumbs on my chest.

Here’s a list (with my reviews) of the movies you should watch over the next 12 days.

1. The Holiday (2006)

The First Day of Christmas; My true love gave to me – Jude Law

the_holiday
So we can ease into Christmas with this easy-watching rom-com. The clue is in the name. Holiday season, Holiday. Some eye candy in the shape of Jude Law and some over-acting from Cameron Diaz is nicely offset by Kate Winslet and Jack Black stealing the show with far more moving storylines. This movie is so full of plot holes, that it should be paired with a holy swiss cheese but just let it be. Watch it for the cute kids, the snowy idyllic cottage that is (unrealistically) Kate’s home . I dare you not to cry moment: When the old man walks into the hall to rapturous applause. *SNIFF* .

iriss-english-cottage-in-the-holiday-cameron-diaz

Try not to overthink that the end of the movie leaves all the characters, arguably, more screwed than the beginning (what with Long distance being the soul sucking demon that we all know and hate) and just enjoy the dancing… And Jude Law. Pretend you’re a nanny? (Too soon?)

Best Quote: You’re supposed to be the leading lady of your own life, for God’s sake!

 

2. The Family Stone (2005)

On the Second Day of Christmas my true love gave to me, this cast, this script, this everything.

stone-51sojoenwdl

Ok, this is one of my favourite movies. I don’t know why. It’s just the perfect storm of family and cheesy. First of all, look at the actors in this: Diane Keaton, Sarah Jessica Parker,Rachel McAdams, Claire Danes, Luke Wilson, Dermot Mulroney…  With a flawless ensemble and a perfect cozy christmas house as the setting, there’s not much I can fault this movie for. SJP’s character will make you cringe as she tries to win approval from the Stone Family, (aka the name), as the new girlfriend that (almost) no-one likes. I find it hard to believe there are people that are as socially awkward as her character, but it makes sense for the film. I dare you not to cry moment: When they unwrap their matching presents from SJP and it hits a nerve with mother and daughter.

There is plenty of Christmas tree and sparkly lights in the backdrop of this film, to fill me with joy, and plenty of family moments of honesty to make this funny and watchable.

the-family-stone

Best Quote:

“You have a freak flag, you just don’t fly it.”

 

3. The Family Man  (2000)

On the 3rd day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: Nicholas Cage.

the-family-man

Don Cheadle, Nicholas Cage and Christmas time. The classic Christmas miracle of a good deed, Nick Cage shows during a robbery being rewarded by some magic that basically breaks his mind. Taking his billionaire businessman ass down the path of the ‘what if I didn’t leave my college sweetheart’ – and showing him, that love truly is priceless. Aside from the cheesy premise, this film has some pretty heartwarming scenes and makes you think about the life choices we all make.

tea-leoni-nicolas-cage-universals-family-man-153408

Best Quote: 

Annie: Do you like kids?      Jack: On a case-by-case basis.

 

4. Batman Returns (1992)

On the fouth day of Christmas, My true love gave to me: Tim Burton, Batman and Christmas.

batman-returns-4

Ok, not to start a fight or anything but this is the best Batman. Michael Keaton is my favourite Batman, Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman, Danny Devito as the Penguin and Christopher Walken as a baddie – all directed by Tim Burton? SHUT THE FRONT DOOR! How do you make this better? Set it at Christmas time. Yass!

This is a little treat for those of you who are already feeling a little ‘to the gills’ with Christmas as it’s technically still a Christmas movie – but with an awesome Gotham twist. Enjoy.

batnam

The Penguin: I could really get into this mayor stuff. It’s not about power, it’s about reaching out to people – touching people – groping people! (Trump learnt from this film, perhaps)

 

5. While you were Sleeping  (1995)

On the 5th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: 90’s rom-coms.

whileyouwerelseeping

This is one of my first ever ‘favourite films’ and Bill Pullman was my first crush. Sandra Bullock plays a subway-token lady (a job, most likely null and void by the millenial explosion of technology) who falls in love with a guy who rides the train daily. She then “saves his life” as he falls into a coma for like a week because of a minor fall off a train platform and then realises that he’s not the one for her (shockingly, since she’s never even had a conversation with him) and it’s his blonder, bumbling brother that’s really ‘the one’. Luckily The One happened to be part of the same family, thus cutting down her hunting time.

I can be as sardonic as I want, but I love this movie. It’s perfectly Christmas and 90s and full of sweet romantic cliches.

Highlight of the movie: When the scene changes and they show a paper delivery boy on a bike cycling past the house, to illustrate it’s morning, and the bike-rider WIPES OUT.

Also, Bill Pullman. I don’t know what it is. He just did it for me.

wyws

 

6. Home Alone 2. Lost in New York (1992)

On the 6th Day of Christmas, my True Love gave to me Sequels set in NYC

2-home-alone-wallpaper

I’ve jumped right to the sequel here, and if it’s been so long since you’ve seen either of the Home Alones, then go ahead and start with the first one. I personally prefer the second one. It’s set in New York, so there’s so much more ‘Christmas’ to be seen. Plus that toy-store, is just about the most magical thing ever, and the bird-lady.

Plus it’s the movie “Merry Christmas you Filthy Animal” comes from. So it’s more iconic than the other one.

Try not to cry when: You see Donald Trump’s cameo. Almost takes away your Christmas buzz.

the-plaza-hotel-home-alone-2-lost-in-new-york-1992-4

7. Elf  (2003)

On the Seventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: Will Ferrell.

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Buddy the Elf, what’s your favourite colour?

If you like Will Ferrell, then you’ve already seen this movie and it needs no introduction. If you don’t like Will Ferrell, then go ahead and watch the Grinch – because it’s not making my list, and you’re not going to like this movie. It’s silly and it’s genius. And it’s just perfectly Christmassy and Buddy the Elf loves Christmas almost as much as I do.

elf

 

8. Scrooged  (1988)

On the 8th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: Bill Murray.

scroogedbill-murray

Don’t tell me I never give you nice things. Bill Murray meets Dickens. It’s a dark, twisted take on the classic. And it’s gotten better with age (because it wasn’t THAT amazing in the 80s. but now that nostalgia and bad movie CGI is just so hipster and amazing)

“A meaningful Christmas Carol this is not, but a perfectly entertaining yuletide comedy this certainly is.”

scrooged

9. Gremlins  (1984)

On the 9th day of christmas, my true love gave to me: Gizmo.

gac_gremlins

Yes. The cutest little gizmos that go all bat-shit crazy and scared us in our youth is actually a CHRISTMAS film. The movie opens with a Christmas classic song and it’s all joy and frights from there on out. Gremlins is worth a watch for all the same hipster reasons that shoulder pads and vinyl records are back. It’s actually surprisingly a fun watch, and the time has made it all the more quirky. Watch it, but don’t eat after midnight.

gremlins1

10. Die Hard (1988)

On the 10th Day of Christmas, my true love gave to me; Yipee Ki yay!

die_hard_christmas

It’s not officially christmas until Hans Gruber falls off the Nakatomi Tower.

Dear Santa. All I want for Christmas is old school Bruce Willis. As if you needed an excuse to revisit a classic, now you can justify it as a Christmas film. Die Hard is a Christmas Movie, c’mon… it’s got that scene where he puts the Santa hat on the dead guy and writes ‘Ho-Ho-Ho’ on him, what more do you need? It’s set at Christmas time. There is a tree in the Nakatomi scene and that’s all there really is to it. Yipeee-ki-yay…

045-die-hard

 

11. Love Actually (2003)

On the 11th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: This Movie.

love-actually-2_758_426_81_s_c1

I didn’t know which image to choose to illustrate this movie. Because every single story is just so beautiful (except for that slimy guy who hits on his BEST FRIEND’S WIFE! I don’t care how hot Kiera is, you don’t MAKE A WHOLE DAMN SLIDE SHOW TO YOUR BEST FRIEND’S WIFE, and then play it outside her damn door. What the hell is wrong with that guy. It’s one thing to be in love with her, ok. It’s another to do that completely inappropriate PDA.)

But the rest of the movie. Is all perfect. This is the greatest Christmas movie of all time, and I don’t know what people even watched at Christmas time before this movie existed. Watch it, and watch it again.

love-actually

12. A Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)

muppets

This is a family tradition with my brother and I. This is officially our Christmas Eve movie. The Muppets’ Christmas Carol is just pure brilliance. There are so many beats and subtle jokes that it makes me chuckle every year.

Worth it for the scene where the rats yell ‘heat wave’ and jump up in hula skirts when Scrooge threatens to fire them for being cold, alone. But there is so much more than that. Michael Caine is lovely, there are some really fun songs – and it’s a great fuzzy introduction to Dickens’ rather dark tale. So it’s kid friendly. And adult friendly, and it’s got so many little meta-jokes. And it’s basically Christmas day. YAY.

muppets-end

 

 

Bonus:

Polar Express (2004)

On Last day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: Tom Hanks and CGI.

The train in the film The Polar Express was inspired by the 1225.

Ok, so this one is pushing it a little with the watchability rating, hence not making the top 12. There’s something uncanny about the realism of the characters that makes them feel a little ‘off’ to me. Cartoon characters are usually more cartoony – these CGI people bridge the gap of the uncanny valley – the train conducter literally looks like Tom Hanks in a moustache. However, this needs to be on the list. Because it’s about BELIEVING in the magic of Christmas and the North Pole is pretty magical. It’s a full immersion, shamelessly Christmas, movie. So, brew up some eggnog and take shots every-time you see a Santa Hat (and try not to overthink how stupid these kids are, to board a strange train, in the middle of the night, with a stranger who has a moustache. They are LUCKY it ended well for them… )

polar-express

Other notable mentions:

Home Alone 1 (1990)

How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)

The Snowman (1982)

A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)

Bad Santa (2003)

Arthur Christmas (2011)

The Santa Clause (1994)

A Christmas Story (1984)

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)

Fred Claus (2007)

The Night Before (2015)

It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

christmas-giphy

 

*High five for The Holidays.*

 

 

 

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