Shall we soldier on – or cancel the show?

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 Cape Town Military Tattoo 2013 must go on – despite the rain!

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.

Another day of rehearsals for the Cape Town Military Tattoo 2013

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.

A long hot day of rehearsals for the Cape Town Military Tattoo 2013

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.

Preparing for the Cape Town Military Tattoo 2013

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.

Newsflash: My Cape Town Military Tattoo 2012 articles have all been published!

Last week was a pretty hectic one for me: I was allowed behind the scenes of the CT Mil Tattoo 2012, which meant that I spent every free hour at the Castle of Good Hope, listening to awesome music, observing the participants’ diligent rehearsals, getting to know some great people, and in the process taking just over 6000 photographs.

Newsflash: Place your order for a DVD of the Cape Town Military Tattoo 2012!

I have just received exciting news from Andrew Schofield of Black Eagle Productions, the talented film-maker who recorded many hours of footage during the rehearsals and performances of the Cape Town Military Tattoo 2012 at the Castle of Good Hope. The DVDs will be available as of Friday, 16 November 2012, at a cost of R100.00 each!

A colourful spectacle by the light of the full moon: The dress rehearsal for the Cape Town Military Tattoo 2012

The Dress Rehearsal for the CT Military Tattoo took place on a rather windy and very cold Tuesday night, 30 October 2012. It was the first time that all the participants would take their turn on the arena in full uniform, and I was looking forward to capturing some nice close-up photographs of the action.

A long, hot and windy day of rehearsals at the Castle for the Cape Town Military Tattoo 2012

Monday, 29 October 2012, was a long and very busy day at the Castle of Good Hope for all the organising committee members, act coordinators, backstage crews, and performers. Not only was it necessary to do some repair-work in the aftermath of a gale-force southeaster the previous night (the wind continued to blow throughout the day), but a march through the central city streets by most of the participants to promote the 2012 Tattoo provided some wonderful entertainment for people working in and visiting the city at lunchtime.

A march through the wind-swept city streets to promote the Cape Town Military Tattoo 2012

Capetonians and visitors to the City Centre were given a wonderful little treat at lunchtime on Monday, in the form of a march by participants in the 2012 Tattoo.

They marched from the Castle and back again via Strand Street, Adderley Street and Darling Street, followed by a convoy of impressive military vehicles.

(Almost) blown away: Preparations for the 2012 Tattoo continue

The casual phrase “I was blown away” took on quite a different meaning at the Castle of Good Hope on Monday morning. The famous Cape Doctor had been very busy throughout the night in the Mother City, with gale-force southeaster winds howling down from the top of Table Mountain and un-doing much of the work done by the ground crew and audio-visual crew in preparation for the Cape Town Military Tattoo 2012.

Preparations for the Cape Town Military Tattoo 2012 (Updated)

I popped down to the Castle of Good Hope in central Cape Town yesterday to take some photos of the preparations happening behind the scenes of the Cape Town Military Tattoo 2012.

As you can see, things are starting to get quite busy, in anticipation of the start of the CT Mil Tattoo, which starts next week Wednesday, 31 October and runs until Saturday, 3 November 2012.