From  Koesiestes to Kneidlach

Dear friends and other interesting creatures,

Tayla-Jade and I saw Chantal Stanfield in her new play at Auto & General Theatre on the Square “From  Koesiestes to Kneidlach” last night.

The true story of how the girl from the Cape Flats met and married a good Jewish boy, RJ Benjamin, living happily ever after, one Shabbat meal at a time.

It is absolutely delightful! Relatable. Funny. Romantic. Current. A personal, truthful and vulnerable performance by the talented Chantal.

Highly recommended !

You can follow #K2K on Twitter :

  • @KoesKneidlach
  • @chantalstan
  • @TheatreOnSquare

I wish you enough,


10 Things Me @LIEFLINGx @RoleneStrauss @connellcruise @sa_artists @sterkinekor @mnetmovies @TheatreOnSquare @NCT_Parktown

Dear friends and other interesting creatures,

1. I collect mugs.  Places I’ve been.  Things I want to remember. Gifts from places and things other have seen.  So, if you travel or see something fab, I would appreciate a mug!

@LIEFLINGx is an amazing Afrikaans stage production.  Take it from a mug addict. You can charge more! I would have paid it.


2. I’m a little smaller. @SirNoid bought me a new costume while visiting the North West Province this week. I loved my other (purple) one but it is simply to big. I am no @RoleneStrauss and I never will be, but eating the #LCHF way has enabled me to loose a Backstreet Boy or two. I have no goal weight,  let’s just see where we go. I suspect a year from now,  I will have hit a natural plateau. If you want to keep up with recipes etc like my Facebook page

3. The ’empty nest syndrome’ hit me hard and proper.  While I enjoy the freedom,  time alone with @SirNoid… I do miss the laughter of a large family and knowing my kids are safe. I never thought I was a helicopter mom,  but it seems aviation isn’t far off. I miss all my kids,  not just those that gave me stretchmarks.

4. I don’t do actions.  In Sunday School (my grandfather is a pastor) when you would do matching actions to a song, I was like NO! In Primary School during war cries and people would clap and all do the same actions,  it was a NO! Now at concerts when the band is all ‘put your hands in the air!’,  I’m like…. It’s a NO! If I felt moved by your performance I would already have my hands in the air.  Don’t give me instructions.

5. I am not Sporty Spice. I hate going under water,  I am petrified of heights and being put in situations where I can’t control physical injury.  @SirNoid gets very frustrated with me. I was not an overweight child. I was very active. Who knew?  Also stupid. When nobody was around I would jump off the grandstand into the sandpit to purely because it scared me.

I understand my unwillingness to participate in situations like theme parks is annoying, however besides my fears, I do have Ankolysing Spondylitis and Fibromyalgia and I really am truly afraid of injury to my body. I felt like I lost precious time while the Dr’s were figuring it all out for MONTHS,  trying different medication. I can’t go back to that.  It’s a NO!

@SirNoid and I have been invited to do the Cape Canopy Tour next week,  I am petrified of heights but am assured I am in good hands and hopefully, like after doing the Whale Trail, I will have a sense of accomplishment! I admit,  losing weight has helped me feel I can attempt new physical experiences. Hopefully @SirNoid won’t trade me in for Sporty Spice.

6. I like urban living. After @SirNoid and I gave up Estate living for the urban jungle, there are two things I miss.  My spa bath (I love to bath) and the huge amount of space for entertaining (I love entertaining).

@SirNoid does not miss two hours in the traffic vs six minutes to sitting at his desk now! The younger kids miss the freedom of the Estate and the pool, but we couldn’t justify the cost,  vs the actual time they were with us.. especially since I was diagnosed, we were one salary down.

Being only two people in a massive house made me think of kids going hungry in townships….  I know. The smaller space did not feed the hungry kids!

7. I am involved in the world around me.  #OurDorothy  at National Children’s Theatre was a tremendous success. I hope you will continue to support @Theatre_Culture as we raise funds to take kids to the theatre who has never been. It is a R70 donation that may just spark an interest in tomorrow’s performers or various employment options within theatres!

8. I love to read.  My soul for a book.  I am in the process of collecting children’s books for children in our public health care section in association with the fabulous,  entertainer @connellcruise who is a resident.  Very Grey’s Anatomy!

Carel from @sa_artists has been incredible in his support and his hand of friendship is always open. A hand over of a portable library needs to be arranged as it currently adds to the decoration in our dining room. I would love to add more books before we do so however… You know I Like to go big or go home!

World Literacy Day is on 8 September 2015. It is still so far away….. but imagine how much bigger our outreach will be!!! Schools, other organisations, so many can still donate!  Please fill up my dining room!!! I beg REALLY well.

9. I am too busy to get the most out of every day. 2015 is all about the bass. Nahhhh it is about using the opportunity presented by a large Twitter following (almost at 23 000 followers!),  my 18 years of blogging and my Facebook transformation from personal account to a blog type page which allows a bigger following with a more focus. I would like to focus on more specific areas….

Naturally the performing arts and movies because I enjoy it hugely! I have had tremendous support from both industries for which I am most grateful. I would like to expand to more book reviews so if anyone can hook me up,  please do. I want and need to write more about the stage,  movies,  books…

A more general thought, I know I am a more effective marketing tool on Twitter but I need to cross that over to other social platforms. That said,  do LIKE my brand new page on Facebook –  Thank you!

10. I moved out!…. Into the blue bathroom. This bathroom use to be more bipolar than me.  It would shower and bath at the same time.

Eventually I called the plumbers and since water pressure is a huge issue in old buildings and we live in a duplex,  it was either gonna be a cold shower or a normal bath.  I chose bath as I love blue Shipmate. Now there is something few know about me! 🙂  @SirNoid thinks it’s ridiculous but he really should know after all this time that I am mere windswept and exotic!  So,  I have my own bathroom now which I quite enjoy.


I wish you enough,
Wenchy 2015 signature

What’s happening at @TheatreOnSquare in 2015?

Dear friends and other interesting creatures,

You know I love the performing arts. Each venue holds its own magic.  Here is the line up for the next six months at the intimate,  classy,  vibrant @TheatreOnSquare!

I wish you enough,


When we Googled the importance of theatre in 2015 we came across these beautiful words on Yahoo Answers.

“Theatre is real and pure, untouched by technology. There are no second takes as with movies, so every stage performance is unique. It is raw human emotion and nothing compares to experiencing live theatre. Theatre is ancient, yet has never lost its relevance.”

While we completely agree with these sentiments about theatre, we know that we cannot possibly operate without technology!

Break the theatre etiquette rule, this time only, and keep your phone on… so that you can download our electrifying and dynamic new theatre line-up from our new website: – theatre’s trending topic of 2015.

The productions for 2015 are richly varied with serious and comedic local and international theatre, dance, jazz and classical music. Our first production will present the vibrant BONEGIO SPANISH DANCE COMPANY. If you thought Candy Crush Saga was colourful, you have obviously never seen the Bonegio Spanish Dance Company perform. This well-known Spanish dance company returns to the theatre in January with their latest show SENTIMIENTOS for five performances only from the 16th January.

Returning for a third season at the theatre, is the ANNUAL JAZZ AND BLUES WEEKEND in late January, co-ordinated by jazz musician, TONY YOKO. There will be no need to Shazaam these live performances featuring two of Belgium’s leading exponents of jazz and blues in a programme packed with groovy sounds of the Hammond Organ and Electric Guitar from virtuoso DIRK VAN DER LINDEN and the bluesy voice of JEAN VAN LINT.

If you consider yourself  a bit ‘old school’ and have only learnt how to use your i-tunes recently, then you won’t feel out-of-place when Cat Simoni relives the songs made famous by Judy Garland in CAT SINGS JUDY.

Our first serious theatre production of 2015,THE DOUBLE BASS sees well-known director, ALAN SWERDLOW, returning to the theatre. This poignant play with warmth and humour, stars actor PIETER BOSCH BOTHA will have you hitting the LIKE button several times!

Back by popular demand, we are Re-Tweeting SIX DANCE LESSONS IN SIX WEEKS. Returning for a three-week run, this touching, human comedy, tells the story of a formidable retired woman, Lily Harrison, (played by JUDY DITCHFIELD) who hires an acerbic dance instructor, Michael Minetti, (JOSÉ DOMINGOS) to give her private dance lessons. Directed by everyone’s Facebook friend, GREG HOMANN, recipient of the Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Theatre in 2014.

We are delighted to be staging a new South African in 2015. DUNCAN BUWALDA’s historical South African gem HINTERLAND will be directed by CAROLINE SMART. It’s a #ThrowBackThursday to 1899; imagine listening to a conversation between Cecil John Rhodes and ANC founding father Sol Plaatje.

The delightful SNOW GOOSE makes its Gauteng debut in April 2015. This charming play starring JAMES CAIRNS and TARYN BENNETT and directed by JENINE COLLOCOT, celebrates writer PAUL GALLICO and 1940’s values. Carefully crafted, you will wish you could Instagram moments of this special piece.

Adding some humour to our 2015 timeline is the popular comic CHRIS FORREST in his new show, WHO’S YOUR DADDY? Just in time for Father’s Day in May, this stand-up comedy show, with a pram on stage, is directed by BEVAN CULLINAN.

Before there were Twitter celebrities, we had real stars. Marlene Dietrich was one of the most famous film stars and singers and her legendary story gets a new twist by award-winning actresses, FIONA RAMSAY and JANNA RAMOS VIOLENTE in MISS DIETRICH REGRETS, a new play by GAIL LOUW.  The production, directed by JAMES CUNNINGHAM will be presented in June 2015.

Other productions, during the second half of the year, to look forward to include a new CRAIG HIGGINSON play directed by MALCOLM PURKEY as well as a production of acclaimed international Pulitzer Prize-winner for drama,DOUBT, by JOHN PATRICK SHANLEY. The hilarious comedy SEVEN DEADLY SINS with ARON McILLROY and LISA BOBBERT from Durban will have you poking for more, whilst the sweet sounds of the new girl group,HONEY, will have you searching for the familiar lyrics with which to sing along.


Bonegio Spanish Dance Company presents, SENTIMIENTOS

17th – 22nd January

This vibrant Spanish dance theatre production is largely inspired by Julia Bonegio’s favourite teachers in Spain – La Tati, Carmela Greco, La Truco and Paco Romero. Their love, nurturing spirit and the imparting of their knowledge with heart and soul, shines through Julia’s choreography and the spirit of the dancers in this well-known Spanish dance company’s latest show.


23rd January – 25th January

Fans of ‘Jazz and Blues’ can once again look forward to the annual ‘Jazz & Blues Weekend’ coming to Auto & General Theatre on the Square from 23rd – 25th January, 2015.

Produced by TONY YOKO, the 3rd annual event is set to showcase not only outstanding local musicians but also two of Belgium’s leading exponents of jazz and blues in a programme packed with groovy sounds of the Hammond Organ and Electric Guitar from virtuoso DIRK VAN DER LINDEN and the bluesy voice of JEAN VAN LINT and several other swinging musicians.


27th January – 14th February

starring CAT SIMONI, written and directed by PAUL SPENCE

Over The Rainbow with Cat.

Let’s fall in love with the divine Judy all over again! After a run of many delicious shows at Auto & General Theatre on the Square, CAT SIMONI returns with Cat Sings Judy! Over The Rainbow with Cat & JudyGarland. Written and directed by PAUL SPENCE, Cat Sings Judy! embraces the songs and life of the precociously talented girl from Grand Rapids, Minnesota they called ‘Judy Garland’ – the girl with the unique voice who was described by Fred Astaire as “the greatest entertainer who ever lived”. So come on, ‘Strike Up The Band!’, ‘Get Happy’ – and let’s soar over that old rainbow one more time with glorious Judy and lovely Cat. Join us for Cat Sings Judy! on a magical trip down the yellow brick road of wonderful memories, ‘Till The Clouds Roll By’.


17th February – 14th March


The first exciting play of 2015 – by international playwright Patrick Suskind, translated by Michael Hofmann.

ALAN SWERDLOW returns to the Auto and General Theatre on the Square to direct acclaimed actor, PIETER BOSCH BOTHA in THE DOUBLE BASS.

This poignant play is the monologue of a double bass player, speaking to the audience in his small sound-proofed apartment and drinking beer. He is in his mid-thirties, employed at a State Orchestra. First praising his instrument and its importance in the orchestra, he reveals, with a considerable sense of humour, more and more of his past and present. A beautiful play with music, not to be missed!

The return by popular demand after a sell–out season at this theatre and the Hilton Festival,

by Richard Alfieri

17th March – 4thApril


A treat for theatre lovers, this touching and human comedy, tells the story of a formidable retired woman, Lily Harrison, (played by consummate actress JUDY DITCHFIELD) who hires an acerbic dance instructor, Michael Minetti, (JOSÉ DOMINGOS) to give her private dance lessons. What begins as an antagonistic relationship blossoms into an intimate friendship as these two people from very different backgrounds reveal their secrets, fears, and joys while dancing the Swing, Tango, Waltz, Foxtrot, Cha-Cha, and Contemporary Dance. Michael and Lily learn to overcome their outward differences and discover an unlikely but profound connection. By the final lesson, Lily shares with Michael her most closely guarded secret and he shares with her his greatest gifts, loyalty and compassion. A comedy with music and dance.


7th April – 25th April

with DAVID DUKAS as Rhodes and SIPHO MAHLATSHANA as Plaatje.


Set in Kimberley in 1899, the play tells the story of a relationship that develops between legendary colonialist and empire builder, Cecil John Rhodes, and ANC founding father Sol Plaatje.

Buwalda’s play traces the course of what a fictional meeting between these men may have entailed. Despite being a period piece, Hinterland is very relevant to the South Africa of today. Our history has become a battleground: a contested territory where fact, fiction and myth blur. The play brings to life two South African icons on opposite ends of the political spectrum. Hinterland was first presented at the 2012 Performing Arts Network of South Africa / NLDTF Festival of Reading of New Writing at the Catalina Theatre in Durban, where it won several awards.


28th April – 16th May

starring JAMES CAIRNS and TARYN BENNETT, Directed by JENINE COLLOCOTT, SNOW GOOSE is developed from the charming PAUL GALLICO story by

JENINE COLLOCOTT, JAMES CAIRNS and TARYN BENNETT. It’s directed by JENINE COLLOCOTT and performed by JAMES CAIRNS and TARYN BENNETT. A multi-tissue play, THE SNOW GOOSE celebrates writer PAUL GALLICO and 1940’s values. The production, by arrangement by SIMON COOPER, received rave reviews in Cape Town and at the most recent Hilton and National Arts Festivals.


18th May – 31st May

starring CHRIS FORREST, directed by BEVAN CULLINAN

A comedian’s experience of the joys of becoming a father – from pregnancy to the birth, to looking after an infant. The production is an hilarious look at what really happens and how to deal with it. A must for anyone hoping to become a parent; who is a parent; or who knows a parent!

Gail Louw’s


2nd – 27th June


The legendary Marlene Dietrich was one of the most famous film stars and personalities. She was a symbol of glamour and never seemed to grow old. One of her many iconic quotes was; ‘I am not a myth – I am a legend!’ MISS DIETRICH REGRETS is a revealing and poignant look at the aging Marlene, and her complex relationship with her daughter Maria, battling to retain her independence. Set in Paris.

Call the theatre on 011 883-8606  or book online via Strictly or on 082 553 5901

Visit our new website 
Follow us on Twitter  @TheatreOnSquare
and LIKE our Facebook Page  Auto & General Theatre on the Square

For further media info and enquiries call Daphne Kuhn or Mika Stefano at the theatre on 011 883-8606

Three places to take your kids! @JoburgRedBus @NCTParktown @natzoo

Dear friends and other interesting creatures,

My sister, Mary-Ann has a friend that is visiting Gauteng from PMB this week, and needed some ideas on how to keep their kids entertained. Thought I would share my current top three kid friendly places to visit!

1-Fullscreen capture 20141006 124831 PM

One of our favourite activities is jumping on the @JoburgRedBus. (Personally, I think every city should have a red bus!) You can hop on, and hop off starting at Gold Reef City or Gautrain Park Station. Along the red route there are awesome stops to entertain the kids like Sci-Bono Discovery Centre (get off at stop #9) as well as the theme park at Gold Reef City (stop #6) and Carlton Centre (stop #3) the tallest building in Africa. Besides the thrill of riding on an open air bus, you will enjoy the wind in your hair, and you truly would have experienced the core of Joburg. Do remember sunscreen!


The National Children’s Theatre in Parktown, Johannesburg is a must. Currently on stage is the Under The Baobab Tree. A production that had us on our feet dancing, laughing and me… crying. LOL (I’m a sentimental fool.) We loved every second and so will you and your kids! The show has been so successful that it is back for a second run.. that is saying huge amounts in terms of Children’s Theatre!! You can contact @NCTParktown on 011 484 1584/5 or email to book.




Pretoria Zoo is open 7 days a week, 365 days a year. The 85-hectare Zoo houses 3117 specimens of 209 mammal species, 1358 specimens of 202 bird species, 3871 specimens of 190 fish species, 388 specimens of 4 invertebrate species, 309 specimens of 93 reptile species, and 44 specimens of 7 amphibian species. Clearly there are lots to see, and which kids doesn’t love animals? Saturday, 11 October 2014 is African Penguin Awareness Day. The NZG will be hosting a number of fun-filled activities to draw your attention to the conservation of the African penguin.


I wish you enough time to do all three!



@NCTParktown #AnthonyAnt cc @FrancoisTheron9

Dear friends and other interesting creatures,

Wow!  I have not been to the National Children’s Theatre in Parktown in a few years.  Don’t let the name fool you,  it is not just for children!

You will find yourself swept away with the story, laughter and fun!  Do visit this intimate, cosy,  child friendly venue.  A new show is just around the corner!!!

At one point on Friday during the show, I actually looked down at the carpet to see if I could find Victoria (you know how I always count my kids lol) with the little pigtails as we visited often as my kids grew up …. and then I found a teenager sitting next to me. 🙂 Mommy’s little chicken.

One night we saw Oliver just in time to leave for a seaside holiday but Victoria and ‘the brothers’, had to see Oliver first!

I hope you create theatre magic in your children’s lives!


Wenchy and the cast of #AnthonyAnt 🙂

I wish you enough giggling boys and girls with much laughter as that magical curtain comes up. 


Posted from the second cloud on your left.

#Starlight Express – Finding Dustin

Finding Dustin - Weslee Swain Lauder
Finding Dustin – Weslee Swain Lauder

Weslee Swain Lauder  stars in #StarlightExpressSA  at the Jo’burg Theatre as “Dustin” – A Big Hopper

Dustin is the largest of the freight cars, a large hopper. Sometimes he carries gravel and sometimes he carries aggregates.  He’s the largest, but he’s also very self-conscious of his size, so he’s cutely quiet and shy. Dustin also dreams of being a great racer, but because of his size, no engine wants to take him. He’ll just slow them down. Dustin does not really have a song to himself either, but he does have a song he sings counterpoint to Rusty.

Weslee was kind enough to answer a few questions for Da Wench:

1. Describe Weslee in three words.
Just three? Hehe… (PS. I would have said exactly that – Wenchy!!!)
 Humorous. Intelligent. Perseverant.

2. What was your first job in theatre?
First Professional job? As Ensemble in “Buddy. The Buddy Holly Story” at the State theatre.

3. What is your personal greatest challenge in your role as Dustin in #StarlightExpressSA ?
Finding Dustin’s physicality, because I didn’t want to do anything stereotypical.

4. Will you ever wear a pair of skates again after hours and hours of #StarlightExpressSA – for fun!?
OF COURSE!!!! I’m wearing them right now.

5. How do you personally measure success?
In the consistency of result.

6. What do you do for amusement?
Eat, read, retail therapy, play Xbox, tease my best friend, sleep, watching series and researching interesting ideas on the web.

7. What is your favourite meal?
Toughie,… food is my favourite meal, but if had to choose, I’d say curry (any curry).

8. Please share a fun fact that most people don’t know about you?
I’m not fat; it’s actually a body suit. LOL

9. What would be the ultimate role to play?
Uhm, at the moment: Hedwig in “Hedwig and the angry inch

10. What has been both the best and worst day in your life? Yip, same day.
The worst day is behind me and the best day is yet to come.

Weslee Swain Lauder

As I rush off to the theatre, let me just thank Wesley for taking the time to answer my questions and for being such a treat in person and fabulous in the show. I am now a fan… but more a stalker….

Tickets for Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber‘s Starlight Express can be purchased by visiting the theatre online, or contacting the ticketing call centre on 0861 670 670.  It is an awesome family show!!!

I wish you enough,Wenchy

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