Sunday, 17 August 2014

Death becomes her

Last night we had a bunch of close friends over for a 'Sandton Supermodel Fiasco' Murder Mystery Dinner Party to celebrate my 40th, which is tomorrow. As much as we would've loved to invite ALL our mates, we were limited by budget and space constraints. Below is a smörgåsbord of pics which I think capture the essence of our unique little evening quite nicely :)

Above: The invite I created

Below: I hardly ever make a fuss over my birthday, but one's 40th is quite a milestone, so I decided to go all out and actually spend some time and money on decor, most of which I got from Showbiz in Cresta

Above and below: Personalised evidence markers and cupcake wrappers by my sister-in-law's business Lasercut Studio in Wynberg

All 'people' pics below taken by my mate Marianne

Yes, that is a giant fake boob popping out of my dress. According to the script, my character 'Mimi' was a "bouncy blonde" with a 10-year-old son whose father's identity is not known. She fell pregnant in high school and was kicked out the family home. She started selling makeup to make ends meet before becoming a successful MUA, and is now a suspect in the murder of Foxxy, a notorious Sandton supermodel with lots of enemies. The costumes and accessories were all supplied by the party organiser and we had, like, 10 minutes to dig through a mountain of stuff laid out on two double beds, to put our character's 'look' together.

My beautiful booty of pressies - thanks friendies!

Sunday, 10 August 2014

We Are Women. Hear Us ROAR.

Ten years ago, on Easter weekend 2004, I walked out of the cinema, got into my car, and burst into tears. I was so overwhelmed with emotion after watching The Passion of the Christ, and not being a 'religious' person, was genuinely taken aback by my reaction.

Then last night, on Women's Day 2014, I walked out of the Theatre on the Square in Sandton feeling similarly battered and bewildered by what I had just seen. No tears this time, but a similar sensation of being punched in the gut. The 90-minute stage adaptation of Marianne Thamm's best-selling book I Have Life: Alison's Journey is about as hard-hitting as it gets. Based on the 1994 abduction, rape, mutilation, and attempted murder of a young woman at the hands of two would-be Satanists on a dark and lonely road outside Port Elizabeth, followed by her fight for survival, and ultimate triumph over this horrific ordeal - it is not an uplifting story, but a deeply inspiring one.

London-based South African actress Suanne Braun as the title character is phenomenal - strong, yet vulnerable - commanding a powerful stage presence. The supporting cast, as they each slip seamlessly between multiple roles, is also quite remarkable. Various sound and lighting techniques are cleverly employed to portray a variety of scenes and range of moods, and the costumes, although simple, are very effective. Lee and I had front row seats, and at one point I was 'visually' singled out by the actor who plays one of Alison's brutal attackers, during a soliloquy on the very edge of the stage, mere metres from my face. It was pretty unsettling, to say the least.

Because we went on the official opening night, we were incredibly lucky to have Alison Botha herself in the audience with us, plus Tiaan Eilerd, the young veterinary student who stopped his car and saved her life. After being an internationally sought-after motivational speaker for many years now, 46-year-old Alison feels it's time for a change, and will soon start a new career as an estate agent. She lives in George with her two sons, age 10 and seven, from her marriage to Tienie Botha. Alison and Tienie divorced five years ago.

This production is a must-see. It's on here in Jozi till the end of the month, before possibly moving down to Cape Town. Watch the press for details. Pre-signed copies of the book on which the play is based are on sale at the venue for R160. There is also a plush theatre bar for before and after show drinks.

Above: Shameless selfie mosaic to show off my new hair and red lip

Below: Poster for the play showing Suanne (red) and Alison (blue)

Above and below: Theatre on the Square, one of my favourite theatres in Jozi

Above: The first time I've worn this Ruff Tung dress since Paul Botha died

Below: Celeb spotting in the audience. Three rows behind us are Yvonne Johnston and her partner PJ Powers. The brand new book about the latter's life, PJ Powers: Here I Am, was also written by Marianne Thamm.

Above: Suanne (black blazer), Alison (red blouse), and Tiaan (white shirt)

First published in 1998, I Have Life has now sold over 85,000 copies

Above: Alison and Suanne
Below: Marianne and Alison

Below: Attackers Frans du Toit (middle) and Theuns Kruger (right). Once you learn the details of what happened on that fateful night, and in the months leading up to it, you will understand why these two beasts must NEVER be granted parole.

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Show me the money

This morning two estate agents from the Northcliff branch of Rawson's came to have a look at Haus Gruben. Lee had requested a valuation. If we do decide to sell up and move closer to Goran's proposed school in Houghton and Lee's factory in Wynberg - both on the other side of town, with 11km, or about 18 minutes in traffic, between the two - we need to know a realistic asking price for this property, which we finished building and have been living in for almost seven years now. Below are some pics I snapped just after I had tidied up and before the agents arrived. You'll see from this previous blog post how much has changed, and how much has stayed the same over the years. I didn't take any pics of our current garden, or beautiful city view. I'll do an update of those in a couple of months when all the trees and plants are in full bloom :)