It may not feel like it yet, but the end of 2022 is upon us, bringing with it some extraordinary live performances, film screenings, exhibitions, and more.
We’ve put together a wide range of events taking place over December and January, from Cape Town and Johannesburg to Durban and everywhere in between. And if you’re looking to stay home as much as possible, curling up on the couch with a good book, we’ve added a few of our top reads.
16 December 2022
Earl W Green takes the stage at Braamfontein’s Untitled Basement this December. Green is a graduated jazz pianist and student of the late Moses Taiwa Molelekwa who was his lecturer at FUBA (Federated Union of Black Artists) in 2001. He is famously known for his hit song titled ‘Hade Mabebeza’ and ‘Blow my mind (suna papa)’. Kickstart your holiday season with some great live music in the city.
Watch Star+Crossed at Artscape
8 – 31 December 2022
Star+Crossed is an interstellar love story for the ages with a lush, romantic, original score that is bound to transport audiences to the stratosphere and beyond. The musical, with book and lyrics by Marcel Meyer and music by Wessel Odendaal, is loosely based on the remarkable life story of Elizabeth Klarer, who claimed she was abducted by an Alien from the foothills of the Drakensberg, transported to his Utopian planet in the Alpha Centauri System, where she bore him a son, before returning to earth, to spread his message of love and compassion.
17 November 2022 – 2 February 2023
Southern Guild presents uBuhle boKhokho (Beauty of Our Ancestors), a solo exhibition by Zizipho Poswa. This new series of ceramic and bronze sculptures draws inspiration from the elaborate art of hairstyling practised by Black women across the African continent and diaspora. Poswa continues the exploration of her own cultural story as a Xhosa woman through the making of her monumental sculptures as well as a series of photographic self-portraits for which she recreated 12 iconic hairstyles.
7 – 24 December 2022
Curl Up and Dye by Sue Pam-Grant and DJ Grant is a highly acclaimed, award-winning South African play first staged in 1989 and now revisited in 2022. Set in a hair salon on its last legs, in Joubert Park, Johannesburg in 1989, the play is a microcosm view of the so-called urban ‘Grey Areas’ experienced through the visceral lives of five woman all trying to survive their intertwined realities. It presents a mirror that is comic, tragic and cuts to the bone.
Go and see The Cult of Ugliness at the UCT Irma Stern Museum
Until 21 January 2023
Following her residency at the Irma Stern Museum, painter Georgina Gratrix presents a new body of work titled The Cult of Ugliness. Interested in the gaudy, the obvious and the banal, her paintings playfully investigate the boundaries between desirability and the grotesque. ‘All painting is a conversation with the history of painting,’ says Gratrix describing her intentions for her show.
Experience The Met Opera at Ster Kinekor and Cinema
On until 17 July 2023
The Met: Live in HD, the Metropolitan Opera’s award-winning series of live high-definition cinema simulcasts, began its 16th season at select Ster-Kinekor and Cinema Nouveau cinemas on 18 November 2022. The season opens with Cherubini’s Medea, a Met-premiere production starring soprano Sondra Radvanovsky in the title role. All the productions will be screened at the following sites: Cinema Nouveau Rosebank Mall, Bedford Centre and Brooklyn Mall in Gauteng, Gateway in Umhlanga KZN, and Garden Route, Somerset and Blue Route in Western Cape.
On until 31 January 2023
Artist Roger Ballen takes audiences on a mini retrospective encapsulating his photographic relationship with the city. Born in New York and living in Johannesburg since 1982, the metropolis has been the exclusive site of Ballen’s creative production since the advent of democracy in South Africa.
14 – 24 December 2022
Ebenezer Scrooge’s “Bah, Humbug!” has never been more apt. After months of not being able to venture into the world, A Christmas Carol offers families an opportunity to experience the magical world of Charles Dickens in a Covid-safe environment this Holiday Season. This classic holiday favourite will come to life with the addition of original animation and music.
Book a viewing of Re Mmôgô: We are Together at 11 Alice Lane
7 September – 27 January 2023
MTN and Sanlam are showcasing a curated selection of artworks from their respective art collections in the collaborative exhibition Re Mmogo: We are Together. Featuring over 100 pieces by 75 artists from across the African continent and its diasporic global community, the exhibition is open for viewing at Sanlam’s Offices on 11 Alice Lane, Sandton, Gauteng, by appointment only.
3 December 2022 – 28 January 2023
The Tshwane University of Technology’s Department of Fine and Studio Arts is one of the few university-based visual arts departments in South Africa that offers comprehensive training in ceramics. This exhibition is a showcase of the student’s studio practice during 2022. Artworks were selected from students who achieved a high level of excellence during the academic year. Besides celebrating the students’ achievements, the ultimate aim of this exhibition is to expose students to a professional exhibition environment where their artworks can be viewed and appreciated widely.
Book a viewing of Kahlo, Sher-Gil, Stern: Modernist Identities in the Global South at JCAF
You’ve probably heard about the trio of artworks on show at the Joburg Contemporary Art Foundation (JCAF). Kahlo, Sher-Gil, Stern: Modernist Identities in the Global South presents the works of three pioneering women artists, Frida Kahlo (1907–1954), Amrita Sher-Gil (1913–1941) and Irma Stern (1894–1966), together in South Africa and in Africa for the first time. The exhibition examines the constructions of “cosmopolitan” and “indigenous” identities through portraiture and self-portraiture. It also considers the time and place in which each artist produced their work, and gives some insights into their experiences, inspiration and concerns. The viewer is invited to consider and engage with one iconic artwork by each artist.
Experience Cinderella at The Baxter
20 – 24 December 2022
After three years of not performing on stage because of COVID-19, The Lilliput Children’s Theatre Company’s will be performing Cinderella at the Baxter Theatre in December. This modernized pantomime will run from Tuesday 20th December until Saturday 24th December at 10:30am. There are only five performances of Cinderella and the show will staged in the Concert Hall at the Baxter Theatre Centre. This production stars Desle McConney as Buttons, Liande Valentyn as the Fairy Godmother, Chantal Herman as Prince Charming, Che-Jean Jupp as Augusta, Dean Van Der Ventel as Petronella, Ashley Scott as William and Monique Rockman as Cinderella.
26 November 2022 – 21 January 2023
Johannesburg’s Gallery MOMO will be exhibiting Jonathan Freemantle‘s fourth solo exhibition with the gallery. Spirit Matter will debut a combination of works made in Freemantle’s Edinburgh studio and during a residency at the Nirox Foundation in the Cradle of Humankind in July and August, 2022.
Watch The Nutcracker at Artscape
7 – 23 December 2022
The dancers of Cape Town City Ballet present this extraordinary Christmas narrative of Clara, her brother Fritz, the handsome Nutcracker Prince, and the Mouse King. Celebrating the 130th anniversary of the premiere of this charming ballet story, set on Christmas Eve at a celebratory gathering of family, friends & children, an enigmatic and enchanting story unfolds. The Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra appears at select performances.
6 January 2023
Hop, Swing, Jump and Jive at the Silo District on Friday 6 January 2023 with a live performance from The Swing All Stars Big Band. The 20-piece band will be led by Mike Campbell and will be sure to swing you back into the 30s and 40s. A dedicated dancefloor awaits, so dress up and bring your dancing shoes. Cape Town Swing will offer a free dance class before the show to get you ready and prepared to swing the night away.
Kevin Atkinson – Art and Life provides an indispensible introduction to Atkinson, a major figure in the story of South African art, art history and art education. Edited by the late Marilyn Martin, the book traces Atkinson’s remarkable output, which encompasses drawing, printmaking, painting, sculpture, environments and performance. Read more about the book here.
Before she was an internationally recognised musician, Sho Madjozi was a writer and performer who went by Maya the Poet. Now, she returns to her creative roots with a brand-new children’s book Shoma and the Stars, a relatable yet unique South African story about a little girl called Shoma who grows up in a beautiful South African village. From her parents, to the way she dresses and likes to do her hair, it is clear that Shoma was always going to be a little bit different. Luckily, Shoma has a little sister, Nyeleti, who she does everything with, until the day Nyeleti, which means ‘star’ in Xitsonga, disappears to become a star in the sky. “I was inspired by my young fans who became my little sisters when I lost mine,” says the singer and debut author as she reflects on the loss. “My young fans, whom I call the ‘The Sho Madjozi Stars’, motivated me to keep going.”