Mar­itzburg and her ME­MORIES

Look­ing at all the fa­mil­iar faces in the crowd dur­ing an evening out in PMB re­minds us why we love this place

The Witness - - FRONT PAGE - Stephanie Sav­ille • Stephanie Sav­ille is the act­ing deputy ed­i­tor at The Wit­ness.

WHILE pon­der­ing a topic for my col­umn — these things don’t al­ways come easy — it hit me in the mid­dle of a se­ri­ously great show on Satur­day night.

I was sit­ting in The Dive at the Hexagon watch­ing a home­grown show in my home town and lov­ing the hell out of it. This is not sup­posed to be a re­view of That’s all Folk. That task for this news­pa­per is left to the far more qual­i­fied Estelle Sink­ins, who I am happy to say is help­ing us out again with en­ter­tain­ment cov­er­age.

My ram­blings and writ­ings about this show are slightly dif­fer­ent. We had seen the fun One Hit Won­der­ful with the fab five of Ryan and Tammy Calder, San­dra Styles, Daniel Ros­souw and Kather­ine McClen­nand some time ago and when I saw That’s All Folk ad­ver­tised I quickly mes­saged our bud­dies Jo and Steve and asked if I should book. They were keen to come and the stage was set for a great night out.

If you haven’t been to a pic­nic sup­per show at The Dive, you’re miss­ing out on a won­der­ful ex­pe­ri­ence that’s pure PMB. It is so great not to have to travel out of town and at a hun­dred bucks a shot, it’s af­ford­able. Sit­ting next to Jo on Satur­day night, as we mouthed along to the words of all our old favourites, I was sud­denly awash with sen­ti­men­tal and emo­tional nos­tal­gia, and just the pure plea­sure of it all. The fun of it for me starts by see­ing who is there. Isn’t that so Mar­itzburg?

Un­be­knownst to me, Estelle and her hus­band Graden were also booked in and ar­rived at the same time we did. Hugs in the car park and a happy sur­prise to find we were seated at the same ta­ble. We hadn’t seen Graden since my birth­day so it was lovely to catch up.

Then walk­ing in, there were Gavin and Chris­tine, a cou­ple we have known for many years, al­beit at a dis­tance. Happy hel­los were ex­changed with Gavin.

Later, in walked Ian and his lovely wife Jen. Ian used to be HR man­ager at The

Wit­ness and is now a fa­mil­iar face at Cham­ber lunches — a nicer guy you re­ally couldn’t hope to meet. So good to have a hug and a quick catch up.

In­evitably, dur­ing the show I al­ways look around the room. In the back­ground gloom with the stage alight it is pos­si­ble to make out some faces. There was the mom of a child who was in the same class as our daugh­ter in pre­pri­mary school. Damn, she re­ally did make the best cup­cakes. There was that cake sale where hers where clas­si­cally el­e­vated and rounded and per­fectly iced. Mine were lit­tle flat mis­er­able things. From that day hence, if I bake a cup­cake I com­pare it to hers. I still aim for that per­fec­tion.

Then, my eyes fell on a man sit­ting near the front. But where do I know him from? Oh yes! He was that guy I re­mem­ber nurs­ing when I worked at Grey’s 100 years ago. I don’t re­mem­ber his name alas, but he was the clown of one of the men’s wards dur­ing his stay and he had us green but­ton nurses in stitches with his some­times rather saucy jokes. He was debonair and charis­matic, and his pres­ence in his sick bed made our work great fun. But, we all knew not to joke with him when his stern wife came to visit be­cause the trans­for­ma­tion was dra­matic. He be­came quiet, well­be­haved, meek and rather bor­ing, as he sat lis­ten­ing to her prat­tle.

I smiled to my­self at this mem­ory, and rel­ished the mem­ory of who I was as a young, mostly ex­hausted, stu­dent nurse wear­ing stock­ings, a white dress and a nurse’s cap hair­clipped over my bun.

I looked over to where Chris­tine and Gavin were sit­ting, clearly thor­oughly en­joy­ing the show now, and drifted back in time to a party we had at­tended with them many moons back. The wine had flowed rather pleas­ingly and at one point in the evening Gavin cracked a joke which I still re­mem­ber well, but had best not re­peat. The way we all roared with laugh­ter at the time made me grin. I re­mem­bered how Chris­tine and I had to wipe the tears away that night and each time we stopped laugh­ing, one of us would think of the funny bit again and we would start chuck­ling again. I gig­gled at this joke and later re­layed it to my part­ner as we drove home, laugh­ing out loud and re­liv­ing that fun mo­ment to­gether.

My thoughts then turned to my dear Ryan Calder him­self. Many read­ers will know this tal­ented chap was for some years the on­line ed­i­tor at The Wit­ness be­fore he left to pur­sue an­other pas­sion. I have missed Ryan’s calm pres­ence and witty hu­mour in the of­fice, and I thought how bloody mar­vel­lous it is to see him and Tammy do­ing so well.

But all my in­ter­nal mus­ings were fre­quently in­ter­rupted by the songs sung so well by the five on stage. Just one melody and its lyrics have the power to time travel you back to a spe­cific mo­ment you have not thought about for years with such amaz­ing clar­ity.

As I heard “I got a brand new pair of roller skates, you got a brand new key”, I was sud­denly a very young child, look­ing up at my older sis­ter in our house in Is­abel Beardmore Drive. She’s jiv­ing away to the song, prob­a­bly play­ing on the record player from a Spring­bok Ra­dio record.

Well­done to Pe­ter Mitchell and The Hexagon for keep­ing us so won­der­fully en­ter­tained. We re­ally owe it to this proud venue to sup­port the bril­liant shows on of­fer. They are of great qual­ity and well worth ven­tur­ing out to.

It was ex­cel­lent to hear Ryan say they had such a good run, to the ex­tent that they plan on do­ing it all again.

Thanks to good old Mar­itzburg and her fa­mil­iar faces for all the great me­mories. This is why I love liv­ing here. See you around!

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.