John Kani and Barney Simon's The Lion and The Lamb returned to the Market Theatre in November 2019 to much anticipation. Last produced by the Market Theatre in 2009, this contemporary retelling of the story of Christ is the perfect Christmas-time theatre event. I booked tickets to the show, eager to see Kani in action on stage. Unsure of what to expect, I went in with an open mind and unbiased approach. Needless to say, what I saw was a delightful surprise.

Lion and the Lamb

Musical Storytelling

The Lion and The Lamb is first and foremost a musical play. Opening with a solo performance by the soulful Itumeleng Tshabane, the play begins its first act - The Birth of Christ. Against an eclipsing projected backdrop, Kani enters, taking his place as the main narrator and immediately giving the audience the sense that his performance will be doused with energetic storytelling. His years of stage experience shine through, guiding his fellow narrators through their scenes. Keeping the audience at the edge of their seats, he brings a delicate humour to a story known world over. Interspersed with unique African-isms, Kani's narration offers a refreshing take on the Christ myth.

A choir of talented gospel songstresses join Kani on stage, including Nokukhanya Dlamini, who was part of the original production. Reprising her role as the lead singer, she elevates the story of Christ's birth, life and death to new heights. Each ballad of the story is equally narrated by dialogue and song and every choir member given their moment to shine. Not one failed to deliver, taking the audience to church with familiar traditional gospel songs and songs from the International Gospel Songbook. From the first act to the last - Christ's ascension to heaven - there are moments of celebration. Ultimately, this is musical theatre at its finest.

A Word From The Director

The Market Theatre's James Ngcobo directs Kani for the first time in his career in The Lion and The Lamb.

"It’s never easy to re-imagine any classic, but I am blessed to work with theatre giants like John Kani and Nokukhanya Dlamini, who were part of the original cast. It makes my task much easier to undertake," he said of the production.

"My vision for the 2019 re-staging of 'The Lion and the Lamb' is to add young talented actors and musicians to blow up the musicality and acting in the production. I am blessed to have found some of the finest actors who will be taking the baton from John Kani in roles as supporting storytellers. I am looking at breathing new life into a classic play, handled with the delicateness that it deserves and also to give emerging voices an opportunity to perform alongside a great actor like John Kani", said James Ngcobo.

Final Thoughts

Promising audiences "a spiritually charged evening of praise and worship"Ngcobo and his cast delivered. All in all, The Lion and The Lamb is an enigmatic theatre experience for all. You need not be familiar with the story of Christ to enjoy or understand the game at hand. Delivering their lines with Shakespearean precision, Kani and his fellow narrators entwine the very best of African storytelling practice with eloquent language and comedic interplay. This is a definite must-see for the Christmas season.

The Lion and The Lamb is on stage at the Market Theatre until Sunday, 22 December 2019. Tickets are available online via Webtickets.

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Narrator: John Kani

Musicians: Nokukhanya Dlamini, Avril Mkansi, Gugu Shezi, Itu Tshabane, Hlengiwe Pitso, Lebo Barole, Lerato Gwebu (second narrator), Nomfundo Dlamini, Mpho Somani, Tebogo Mokoena and Thembisa Khuzwayo.

Band Members: Tshepo Mngoma (musical director), Fana Zulu, Mpho Kodisang and Samuel Ibeh.

For More Information

Visit the Market Theatre website for more information, or follow their social media pages:

Facebook: Facebook.com/themarkettheatre

Twitter: Twitter.com/MarketTheatre

Instagram: Instagram.com/markettheatre

Contact the theatre box office on 011 832 1641.

Festive Magic At Montecasino

This year, bring the kids to Montecasino to experience the festive magic of the season. Visit the magical village of lights, the largest indoor Christmas lights display in Joburg, or marvel at the stories told through the state-of-the-art 3D projection on Montecasino's Tuscan facade. If that wasn't enough festive cheer for you, kids will be enthralled with the tons of free entertainment on offer at the Piazza.

Click here for more information.

Sandton City Christmas Village

Joburg's favourite shopping destination, Sandton City, is the home of a spectacular Christmas market this year. Reminiscent of a typical European market, the stalls will be housed under custom-built wooden huts. Selling an array of African-inspired Christmas gifts, the vendors will be towered by a 6m tall Christmas tree! So, come and join in for some caroling, feasting and the spirit of family at the Sandton City Christmas Village.

Click here for more information.

Emperors Palace Garden of Lights 

The Emperors Palace Garden of Lights is back! Bigger and better than ever before, the Christmas festivities will be in full swing here. Bring the little ones to Santa's Village, where the elves will be tolling away, preparing all the gifts for the big day. Or, pop into the Crafters Fair Market to find the best artisan toys and trinkets. Round things off at the adjoining carnival, which features fun rides and tasty treats, including Frosty Melts and Chip Twisters.

Click here for more information.

Christmas Villages

Santa's World of Wonder

Cradlestone Mall presents Santa's World of Wonder this December. There will be a range of fun activities for the whole family to enjoy, including a bauble making factory, baking workshops, Toy Town, Santa’s Post Office and Santa’s Village. Kiddies will also be delighted by the main attraction at the village - a super-sized inflatable polar bear! It's a must-visit for sure.

Click here for more information.

Destination Christmas

Melrose Arch invites you and the kids to take a stroll through their electric Christmas light display this December. With an all new Fantasy Garden on the Piazza, this is one of the most popular Christmas villages in the city. Santa Claus will also be making surprise visits, so be sure to have your wishlists at the ready. Destination Christmas is the ultimate family fun experience.

Click here for more information.

Joburg Zoo Festival of Lights 

Joburg Zoo have partnered with Joburg Theatre to bring you their annual festival of lights this December. Come and see an array of life-sized light displays, featuring all your favourite animals. The magnificent tree of lights, which sparkles from the centre of the zoo, will take centre stage while live performances keep you and kids entertained. You can also expect a number of food and craft stalls. See you there.

Click here for more information.

Do you know of any other merry Christmas villages in the city? Let us know about them! 

What Is It?

In true Christmas spirit, The Fourways Farmers Market will be hosting the merriest market south of the North Pole. Celebrate the season with family and friends and enjoy a festive feast. They've selected the finest Christmas vendors who are bringing an authentic range of festive goodies. Enjoy delicious food, gifts, decor, handmade treats, carols and Christmas lights. Pets are welcome too, so bring your reindeer (or dogs)! We'll see you there.

When Is It?

Friday, 06 December 2019 and Friday, 13 December 2019 will be night market events.

Saturday, 07 December 2019; Sunday, 08 December 2019; Saturday, 14 December 2019 and Sunday, 15 December 2019 will be daytime market events, from 09:00 - 17:00 on Saturday and from 10:00 - 17:00 on Sunday.

Where Is It?

Fourways Farmers Market, Longmeadow Farm, Cnr Of William Nicol Dr And Monte Casino Blvd, 2191 Sandton, Fourways, Johannesburg.

How Much Is It?

Entry is R10 per person. Kids and pensioners enter for free.

For More Information 

Follow them on Facebook for more information.

What Is It?

The #HelpThyNeighbour initiative is back this festive season! Join the Mall of the South, Howden Africa, Pam Golding Properties and SOJO in spreading the Christmas cheer to St Mary's Children's Home in Rossentenville.

St Mary’s Children’s Home is a registered non-profit organisation. Providing a safe, secure home and therapeutic environment for children from families in crisis. The Home also offers residential care for over 50 children between the ages of one and 22-years-old, as well as reconstruction and reunification of families wherever possible.   

The #HelpThyNeighbour team has pledged to grant a festive gift for every precious child, as well as collect non-perishable foods, toiletries, stationery and cleaning materials for the Home. The donated items can be added in the #HelpThyNeighbour Donation Box, which is located at Mall of the South on Level 0, near Entrance 2.

When Is It?

Throughout December 2019. 

Where Is It?

Mall of the South, Corner Swartkoppies Road & Kliprivier Drive, Aspen Lakes Ext 12, Johannesburg South. 

How Much Is It?

Drop your donations off at the #HelpThyNeighbour box.

For more information 

Visit their website www.mallofthesouth.co.za or follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Lovisa launched their first store in 2010. Since then, they have grown to become one of the most successful global jewellery brands, boasting stores in over 15 countries. With stores all around Johannesburg, Lovisa is a firm favourite among fashion-forward ladies looking for bang on trend accessories at reasonable retail prices. This Christmas, treat yourself or a loved one to a stunning piece from Lovisa. Here are our top picks from their Christmas 2019 collection:

Novelty Wear

There is no better time than Christmas to go all out with your accessories. And there really is no reason not to embrace the spirit of the season by adorning yourself in all the colours of Christmas. If your jewellery collection is looking a little lacklustre, visit Lovisa for the very best novelty bracelets, earrings and headbands. Their Christmas collection is super cute and quirky, to bring out your jolly side. We love their Gold Reindeer Drop Earrings, which are simple with a touch of Christmas. If you want to truly stand out from the crowd, check out their sparkly Bell Cluster Hoop earrings. You'll be dashing and dancing all Christmas long.

Lovisa

Gift Sets

Lovisa offers great fashion sets to gift friends and family. Fill up stockings with cute five-pack earring sets, a pretty brooch or hair accessories. Ideal for pre-teens or that aunt who simply loves everything about Christmas! For that special someone, check out Lovisa's discounted jewellery sets. Featuring their best-sellers and unique trinkets, these necklace sets are sure to impress your lovely lady.

Lovisa knows that there is no bond more special than the one shared between sisters and best friends. Show your appreciation for your sis or bestie (or both) this Christmas with a matching jewellery set. It's the little things that count, after all.

Moms haven't been forgotten either. From 'Best Mom' pendants, to vintage-inspired rings, there is something for any lucky mom here. Lovisa's collection of stylish watches make the perfect gift for moms on the go. From classic gold and silver timepieces, to rose gold floral face fronts, their watches can be worn from the office to casual dinner and everywhere in between. These watches are durable and will last Mom until next Christmas, at least.

Lovisa

Gold-Plated Goddess 

Lovisa is all about helping you amp up the style stakes with the most fashionable accessories. Their new range of gold-plated jewellery is perfect for the coming summer season. Adding a bright shimmer to any look, this collection of chains, necklaces, rings and earrings reflect an element of Greek goddess in their design and colour. Suited to almost any skin tone, Lovisa's gold accessories should be a staple in your jewellery box. Spoil yourself with one or two on-trend chains or a delightful Bohemian choker. Christmas just got a whole lot more opulent.

For More Information

Visit Lovisa's website for more information about their Christmas collections and new releases. You can also follow them on social media:

Facebook - facebook.com/lovisajewellery

Instagram - instagram.com/lovisajewellery

Find your nearest Lovisa store here.

Janice Honeyman's 32nd Year At The Helm

Can you believe that veteran stage director, Janice Honeyman has been behind the wheels of the annual Pantomime for 32 years? In 1987, a fresh-faced Honeyman created her first ever Panto at the Alexander Theatre in Braamfontein. Three decades on and she has just as much fun as ever bringing Joburg audiences a big-budget Christmas musical with a unique South African twist.

Honeyman presents Jack and the Beanstalk on stage at Joburg Theatre for the first time since 2012. Featuring a stellar cast, vibrant set and costumes and the year's biggest music hits, this Panto spectacular is well worth taking the kids to this holiday season. After all, what would December be without Janice Honeyman's iconic blend of song, dance and fairytale magic?

Young Blood

While the directorship behind the Pantomime is well seasoned, the young cast brings an air of frivolity and fun to the stage. Making their Panto lead debuts, Zolani Shangase (as our hero Jack The Joller) and Dezlenne Ulster-Weale (as Raspberry Rose) will have the little ones giggling in fits of laughter, gasping in awe and sighing in admiration. I must admit that the tired tale of boy meets girl, boy saves girl from hungry tyrannical giant, is a little stale. These characters nevertheless endear themselves to audiences young and old. However, their vocal prowess is somewhat outshone by the more mature cast members. But their portrayal of a young romance is sweet, nonetheless.

Other youthful standouts include Gugu Dhlamini and Ashleigh Butcher as Jack's twins sussies, Sjoepied Suzy and Sagkop Sally. Their constant references to 'Snapchat, Insta and #everything' can be tedious, but their physical performances make up for this. In fact, the entire backing cast delivered great physicality in the well choreographed dance sequences. Kiddies will love the display of acrobatics and quick-footed moves.

Panto

Golden Eggs and Golden Oldies

Before I give a round of applause to the dames and villains of this Panto, I must mention the two absolute stars of the show - Henrietta the Hen and Daisy the Cow. The clucking chicken, performed by Noni Mkhonto, had the audience in stitches of laughter. However, it was super cute Moo Daisy who won the hearts of all, including Jack the Joller. Well done on your utterly convincing performances!

Now, onto the big guns of the production. This year's Panto is truly a star-studded affair, featuring bigwigs Lelo Ramasimong, Germandt Geldenhuys, Clive Gilson and Neo Motaung as the Dames, Dudes and lovable Good Fairy. Each delivered a noteworthy performance, but the Panto crown goes to Germandt Geldenhuys this year. His portrayal of Jack's hefty mother, Mies Miemie Mosbolletjie-Melba, was outstanding. With vocals like this, he is sure to go very far in the theatre world.

Of course, I have yet to mention this year's super villain. Played by actor, comedian, writer and and radio host, Casper de Vries, Hendrink Hideoso had the children booing with complete conviction. Surprisingly, de Vries seemed uncomfortable in his role. Perhaps as the show runs he will become more accustomed to playing the 'baddie'. Nevertheless, his presence is undoubtedly a big draw card for grannies and super fans.

Panto

A Magnificent Giant

Jack and the Beanstalk was my first ever Panto experience way back in the early 2000s. While the show has adapted with the times, the set remains almost the same. The mechanical giant was as terrifying as ever, while the magical growing beanstalk had kids gasping in wonder. I must concur that the overall stage picture was one of the most vibrant Pantos in recent years. With 1980s resplendence, the costumes and disco lights create an atmosphere of celebration. This is a great way to kick off the silly season, all the while keeping the kids entertained. Go see it now!

Janice Honeyman's Jack and the Beanstalk will be staged at Joburg Theatre on the Mandela Stage until Sunday, 22 December 2019. Book your tickets here.

For More Information

Visit the Joburg Theatre website for more information, or follow them on social media:

Facebook - facebook.com/joburgtheatre

Twitter - twitter.com/joburgtheatre

Details: 163 Civic Boulevard, Braamfontein, Johannesburg | [email protected] | Box Office Tel: 0861 670 670

What Is It?

Have you got your Boney M and Michael Buble records out yet? Christmas is almost upon us, so why not visit the Kleinkaap Boutique Hotel in Pretoria for a jazzy concert in the gardens? Performed by Italian jazz pianist and singer Francesca Tandoi, this concert is all about putting a spin on your old Christmas favourites. Featuring swinging jazz renditions of popular tunes associated with the holiday season, plus songs from the American Song Book. So, throw those old records out, because you won't be needing them this holiday season.

When Is It?

Thursday, 12 December 2019 from 20:00-23:00.

Where Is It?

Kleinkaap Boutique Hotel, 87 Jim van der Merwe Rd, 0157 Pretoria, Gauteng.

How Much Is It?

Tickets cost R175 per person. Get yours on iTickets.

For more information

Follow them on Facebook for more information.

Details: www.kleinkaap.co.za

Honey is much more than just a jewellery brand. Established in 1995, Honey has helped over 15 000 sales representatives grow their own business networks, allowing them to become financially independent through training and hands-on mentorship.

Honey's high quality products have been key to the brand's enduring success. Their trendy selection of men's and women's watches, accessories and bags are manufactured to last. Their jewellery is safe to wear for those with allergies or sensitive skin as it is nickel-free. Honey is now also selling shoes, make-up and beach wear. So, find your nearest representative before the holiday season starts, because there is no better retailer for gifts this Christmas.

Honey Give

The Give Catalogue

Honey encourages you to 'Give' this Christmas. To family, friends and even yourself. Their Give Catalogue extends from October - December 2019, allowing you all the time you need to place your orders. You can get a gift for almost anyone this season, from mom and dad, to the grandparents, extended family and that special someone. Plus, there are a number of exciting fashion staples in this edition to have you looking summer ready.

Here are our top picks from the Honey Give Catalogue to fill your stockings with:

Everyone needs a good pair of sunglasses to get them through the summer season. Get yourself in line with the latest trends by purchasing one of Honey's super stylish frames. Our personal favourites are the UV400 Protection sunnies which feature black polycarbonate frames, gold plated temples and purple gradient lenses. Lavender is the colour of the season, so get yourself this pair of purple-hued sunglasses.

Honey Give

Now that Honey are selling shoes, you should definitely check out their classic wedge sandals. These come in an array of colours, but, in our opinion, there is no better choice than sunshine yellow. These faux suede wedge sandals with bronze plated hardware are sure to brighten up any outfit. Paired with a cool maxi dress and a pair of Honey earrings, your look will steal the summer style stakes for sure!

What's more versatile and convenient than a classic Honey handbag? Not much. The Give Catalogue has been decked out with an assortment of must-have handbags and satchels for both ladies and men. However, we believe in keeping things summer simple. That's why we've chosen the bold white PU trim handbag with nylon zip close. Sure to last you well through the season, this bag comes complete with protective dust cover and free removable inner insert. At only *R389, this is a holiday season steal.

Honey Give

Kiddies Accessories

Unsure of what to get the kids this Christmas? Look no further than the Honey Give Catalogue. With both boys and girls accessories galore, this is the ideal catalogue of goodies. From backpacks to beach essentials, jewellery, cute cell phone pouches and pencil cases, the kids will be delighted with their Honey accessories.

Eau de Parfum for Him and Her

Who doesn't love something sweet and aromatic for Christmas? Gift yourself or a loved one with a Honey Give Eau de Parfum. Inspired by international brands, these scents are perfect stocking stuffers. If perfume isn't your thing, take a peak at Honey's range of nail polishes, eyeliners, mascaras and lip gloss. Available in trendy pinks, reds and smoky tones, these makeup essentials will have you looking fab this holiday season.

For More Information

Visit the Honey website for more information, or follow them on social media:

Facebook - facebook.com/HoneyFashionAccessoriesSA

Instagram - instagram.com/honeyfashionaccessories

Details: 010 207 3600 | [email protected]

What Is It?

Get into the spirit of Christmas with Pug Rescue SA this December. Come out for a pug-tastic day, celebrating the festive season with their rescues out in Benoni. You can also bring your small breed, well socialised pooches along with for a play date.

Pugmas will help raise funds to keep the rescues safe, warm and well looked after during the festive period. After all, Christmas is all about good deeds, so this should be on your to-do list. Please bring along food and blanket donations. The pugs are sure to thank you with a few big, sloppy kisses and a wag of the curly tail.

When Is It?

Saturday, 07 December 2019 at 12:00 - 15:30.

Where Is It?

Pugs Rescue, 80/1 Nielsen Road , Benoni North Argicultural Holdings, Benoni, Johannesburg East. 

How Much Is It?

Entrance prices have not been communicated. Keep an eye on their Facebook events page for updates.

For more information 

For more information, visit their website, or follow them on social media:

Facebook - facebook.com/PugRescueSouthAfrica

Contact them on 082 508 0384 or via email at [email protected]

What Is It?

The SA Lipizzaners will captivate your family this Christmas with a performance unlike any other. Kick off your seasonal celebrations with carols and musical fun, all to the hoofbeats of the famous Dancing White Stallions. Don't simply dream of a white horse Christmas, come and see the SA Lipizzaners live in action. Tickets will sell out fast, so book yours as soon as possible!

When Is It?

Performances dates:

Sunday, 8 December 2019 at 14:00 - 15:30.
Sunday, 15 December 2019 at 14:00 - 15:30.
Friday, 20 December 2019 at 19:00 - 20:30.
Saturday, 21 December 2019 at 14:00 - 15:30.
Sunday, 22 December 2019 at 14:00 - 15:30.
Monday, 23 December 2019 at 19:00 - 20:30.

Where Is It?

Lipizzaner Centre, 1 Dahlia Road, Kyalami, Midrand. 

How Much Is It?

Tickets cost R170 for adults and R120 for children under 12 and pensioners. Get your tickets here.

For More Information

For more information, check out the SA Lipizzaners Facebook page.

Contact them on 079 716 4792 or via email at [email protected].

What Is It?

The Horwoods Farm Family Market is everything you would expect from a family market. Boasting well over 200 stands, you can expect craft stalls of all kinds, food galore and, of course, interesting drinks to enjoy while you relax. This December, the Horwoods Farm Family Market invite you to celebrate the Christmas season with them. Come and get your Christmas shopping done early. There will be a number of adorable craft goodies for purchase, as well as artisan cheeses, spreads and much more. There will also be a DJ on decks to provide light entertainment for the whole family. See you there!

When Is It?

Sunday, 01 December 2019 at 09:00 – 16:00.

Where Is It?

Edenvale Sports Club, 17th Avenue, Edenvale, Johannesburg.

How Much Is It?

Ticket information to be announced.

For More Information

For more information about this event ad upcoming markets visit their Facebook page.