Tony Jackman

Are Cape theatres alive with the sound of racism?

Being in the New Space Theatre for the first time since the old New Space closed nearly three decades ago — and only hours after reading Sandile Memela’s indictment of supposedly racist Cape theatre — had me wondering about his diatribe and the state of protest theatre right now. (Yes, I know, what protest theatre?…

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Saffron robes and sackcloth

You have to wonder what liberation really meant for the ANC if the organisation can bar one of the world’s greatest beacons of freedom and enlightenment so as not to offend a repressive but powerful regime. You have to wonder whether it was more about achieving power than attaining freedom. There are a few rare…

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Twenty-one years of smoke-free lungs — it can be done

The one thing I hated more than smoking, when I smoked, was those infuriating reformed smokers whose holier-than-thou condescension had me red in the face. So, when finally the habit kicked me, I swore never to become a reformed ex-smoker — I just wouldn’t smoke, live and let live and all that. BUT. Yes, you…

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The abyss

I’m so sorry to disappoint you all. I’d like to think Miles is sorry too. (See my post “Today Miles pitched up to make a difference in his own life”.) Well, he did … but. I’ve just called to inquire about him on his second day in a detox programme, to be told: “I’m sorry…

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Today Miles pitched up to make a difference in his own life

He pitched. Miles made good on his promise to admit himself for a week-long heroin detox at 8am on Tuesday, and when I called the hospital at 8.30am, to my enormous relief, I was told he was there and “with the doctors”. This may seem like an ordinary thing, like someone promising to arrive for…

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Coffee and tik and a desperate shot at getting it right

Miles has learnt to hate Cape Town. Where the rest of us see the beauty, the splendour, the Cape Town of tourists marvelling at its wonders, he sees the depravity of its underbelly. He sees the lice and smells the rancid odour of nights in a sordid Somalian backpackers. Sitting in the passenger seat of…

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For once the superlatives truly apply

It was fascinating to watch Beauty and the Beast in Cape Town just three weeks after having watched a production of that other great Disney musical The Lion King in London. There were so many South Africans on that West End stage that I lost count thanks to that show’s former run in Johannesburg. So…

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How I fell in love with Miriam Makeba (and Moyo)

Thulani sang and stomped about like a teenager on crack on Saturday night, except that he’s not an adolescent, and it had nothing to do with crack. And he did it all for Mamma Afrika, Saint Miriam the Great, may she rest on pillows of silk, garlanded with roses, scented with jasmine and fanned by…

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Ebony and ivory, together in imperfect harmony

I don’t want to hear tomorrow that America has its first black president. It’s not about Barack Obama being black. It’s about him being right. The only thing that has bothered me since we welcomed political change and proper democracy to our sunny shores in 1994 is that government in this country having been worrying…

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The pursuance of truancy, Zuma and Don Quixote

I am not frightened of the prospect of a Jacob Zuma presidency. Well, I wasn’t. But something he said this week speaks to the frightened child in me. The child who was the biggest truant in the history of Sea Point High. And Zuma has lost my potential vote. Let me explain it this way….

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