Mary Poppins

“One of the most innovative musicals of all time” is the kind of phrase that should be scrawled across any poster or cover for this film. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was at some point in its 50-year history. Mixing animation with live action, characters addressing the audience directly and even touching on women’s rights, expounded by its pragmatic protagonist, every moment is filled with magical surprise.

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John Newman Live in Cape Town

Admittedly, I didn’t know who John Newman was prior to the announcement that Seed Experiences was bringing him to South Africa for two performances, one in Cape Town and another in Jo’burg. Knowing that I was going to attend the show, I tried acquainting myself with his work before the time. His songs are certainly catchy; but what I really like is his unusual voice, and so I got excited about the show.

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The Big 10 in Cape Town

Many have heard of the Big 5, but what about the Big 10? The Big 5, as you are probably aware if you have contemplated a safari to Africa, consists of the lion, leopard, elephant, African buffalo and rhino. In the past these animals were considered the most challenging to hunt, but tour operators changed it to the friendlier notion of the five most desired animals to see on game drives.

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Cape Town History

There is plenty to see and do when you visit Cape Town, just one of which includes a trip to a Big 5 game reserve. But how much do you actually know about the city itself? A lot of history is tied up with colonialism, but this is fairly recent and there is an abundance of history and heritage within Cape Town and the surrounding areas that has been long neglected due to the impact of colonisation and Apartheid.

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Quirky, funny and clever, Clueless is not often true to its title. It is an adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma and if you read the book you will be all the more amazed at how well Amy Heckerling – who is also on directing duty – adapted the early 19th-century novel to the late 20th century. Not only that, she taps right into the future. I always remember how I used to laugh at the scene of Cher and Dionne talking to each other on their cellphones while walking together down a corridor – and now people do that all the time! Yet regardless of its ingenious transfer to modern times, and an inadvertent glimpse into the future, it remains a glorious reflection of the ’90s through fashion, music and pop culture references, from Pauly Shore to Christian Slater.

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Romeo & Juliet (1996)

When Baz Luhrmann’s modern version of Romeo & Juliet was released in 1996, there were a few dark grumblings of Shakespeare rolling in his grave. To which end I say, “you don’t know Shakespeare.” Old Billy Wobbledagger would have loved this version, because Shakespeare’s plays were meant to be performed, not merely read. And this film performs on every level, creating an endless array of indelible images while staying true to the thing which mattered most: the words.

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