The Castle of Good Hope opened its doors to several energetic youth groups, who performed together with the military bands – SA Army Band Cape Town, SA Air Force Band, SA Navy Band and SAMHS Band – and two of the pipe bands that have been performing during the Cape Town Military Tattoo – the Cape Field Artillery Pipes & Drums and the SAMHS Pipes & Drums.
Alas, I had spoken too early, when I published the previous blogpost – The Cape Town Military Tattoo 2013 must go on – despite the rain!
I believe it is for the first time ever in the history of the Cape Town Military Tattoo that a show had to be cancelled because of the rain. Last year, we had a bit of rain too, and some terrifically strong winds, but the show went on nonetheless because the rain cleared up in time.
The spectators who arrived for the dress rehearsal of the Cape Town Military Tattoo 2013 at the Castle of Good Hope were treated to an absolutely brilliant show. Any problems that had manifested in the run-throughs of the previous two evenings seemed to have been ironed out, and I was blown away by the quality of the performances.
And this was despite the fact that it – thankfully intermittently – drizzled and spat, poured and bucketed with rain, throughout the evening.
Tonight was the second run-through of the entire show, and the levels of excitement – and stress – behind the scenes were running high. The previous night, I had run out of energy, after a long hot day on my feet, and so I had missed the second half of the show. Tonight, I was determined to stay until the end.
On my way down to the Castle of Good Hope on Tuesday morning, I was suddenly struck by how wonderful it was that I was allowed behind the scenes again this year.
I still clearly remember how I sat on the seating stands at the Castle during the 2007, 2008 and 2009 Tattoos, absolutely riveted by the performances, the solemn ceremonies, the thrilling re-enactments, the colourful uniforms, the tough-looking soldiers with their weapons, the stirring music, the thunderous salvoes from the guns during the 1812 Overture, and the extraordinary venue of the historic Castle, with its backdrop of iconic Table Mountain lit up at night.
After all the bands had had an opportunity to go through their routines in the front arena during the day, it was time for all the different acts to be assembled together into a well-structured programme, with one act flowing nicely into the next.
When the early morning mist curled around the buildings and streetlights of Cape Town, creating a slightly eerie atmosphere, it gave no indication that it would become such a hot Monday. By mid-morning, the heat of the sun had burned off the mist, and a brilliantly blue sky was bringing out the ochre-yellow hues in the walls of the Castle of Good Hope. By midday, everyone was looking for shady spots to shelter from the harsh sun, and glancing hopefully towards the western skyline, where just the hint of a cold front was starting to appear.
There has been much construction activity at the Castle over the last couple of days (see Thursday’s photos), and all the preparations for the Cape Town Military Tattoo 2013 in this coming week are almost done!
Yes, it is that time of year again! I can hardly believe how quickly the year has flown past, since the Lone Piper played his melancholy tune at the Castle of Good Hope, and the Final Muster of all the participants at last year’s Cape Town Military Tattoo filed out of the front arena, to the thunderous applause of hundreds of exhilarated spectators.
Capetonians – and lucky visitors to the Mother City – are in for three evenings of marvellous military music next week: The Cape Town Military Tattoo 2013 will be hosted at the Castle from Thursday, 31 October to Saturday 2 November 2013.
It is early summer in Cape Town: the days are getting longer and warmer, the southeaster wind has picked up speed, and Capetonians are spending more time outdoors… This must mean that it is almost time for the Tattoo!
So, dear friends and visitors to the Mother City, please make a note in your diaries: The Castle of Good Hope in central Cape Town will host this annual display of military might and marvellous music from Thursday, 31 October to Saturday 2 November 2013!