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What’s new in Nataniël’s factory

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Nataniel factory_CITY_E1

Clinton Lubbe

DRESSED TO THRILL: Natani�l in his annual Emperors Palace show, Factory.

If you don’t catch him on the small screen (Die Kaalkop Tafel on KykNet 144, Tuesdays at 7.30pm) you can watch Nataniël live on stage this week at the Centurion Theatre or catch him either at the Oude Libertas Theatre or Paul Cluver’s Amphitheatre in Grabouw environs this month or next.

But if all those are out of reach, there’s also his Christmas-timed DVD/CD launch of his 2013 Emperor’s show fACTORy which is currently on sale at his Kaalkop shop in Pretoria and music stores.

He’s fully booked for next year and people are screaming because he cannot do more concerts.

“That’s my big goal,” he says, “to take better care of myself and to say no to those few precious days I have kept to stay healthy.”

And running around for days just finding a few minutes in between his hectic schedule to talk, I get the picture.

The Centurion show, Glittergun For Ceilings Comes with Cartridges started with the title. How could it not? It’s one he found on the internet similarly to a few years back when an ad to teach acting – how to faint and cry – also became a title.

“On top of that, I discovered an old song, A Perfect World, which I thought I had lost with a stolen computer and no back-up. We all know that kind of world doesn’t exist but with a glittergun, who knows!”

He was intrigued by collections that thrived during the Baroque and Victoria eras when people had special “cabinets of curiosities” built to showcase these passions.

“Apart from watches, I’m not much of a collector,” he says, but he finds this storing and hoarding and then showing it off quite fascinating. The show features the trio Charl du Plessis (piano), Werner Spies (bass) and Hugo Radyn (drums) as well as music from fACTORy, his latest DVD/CD.

The show will also play at Paul Cluver’s venue on January 18 and in Durbanville on January 19 before it returns to Centurion on January 21 to February 15 for an extended run.

“We can’t squeeze them all in now,” he says, explaining this longest ever run at this intimate theatre. It means that his annual Emperor’s show moves from the beginning of the year to August.

“It also means that I won’t have to switch on my computer and start writing as soon as I’ve opened my last Christmas present,” he says with delight.

His first appearance in Cape Town titled N People (inspired by British pop band, M People) is at Oude Libertas in Stellenbosch on December 13 and 14. “I’ve always loved this British group,” he says.

He likes the look and their music and the group which has a clean, stylish image. “I love the lead singer Heather Small’s wardrobe. She’s very ‘dressed’, with huge jewellery. They’re all well groomed without any of the ubiquitous drugs and caravan.”

It’s all about the time of year, the stories and the songs. And, of course, he will be dressed to stun.

His cookery show, Die Nataniël Tafel, runs into January and he will start shooting the next two seasons in April to be broadcast from June 2015. It’s been hugely popular and part of that has to do with his own description of the series: “It’s about a clown with a pan instead of a red nose.” There’s some truth in that but it also has to do with his pursuit of quality. “I’m appalled by the lack of quality I witness in local programmes,” he says. “I drive my crew crazy with phone calls about lights or colours in the middle of the night, but at least we get it right.”

He loves the fact that they shoot a single series in two weeks, take a few weeks break and then the next one. It all happens in April leading into May. “People think we do things on the run and still come with sug- gestions for the next prorgamme with the current season.”

What he likes is the freedom. “I don’t have to read Facebook or Twitter and be upset by comments. It’s done my way and the only way I know how.”

He’s also decided against a DVD of the two TV seasons or a cookery book. “The market is flooded at the moment with food shows and books. I don’t want to be part of that,” he explains. He might look at a Best Of... later in the game.

For the moment he’s focused on live shows, but he has already collected hundreds of recipes.

“It has to get better every time,” says this perfectionist intent on integrity. But catch the final episodes of the current series to see how food becomes fun as he juggles the ingredients and the repartee.

Finally there’s the fACTORy DVD which includes a bonus CD with the music. “We decided to do this because I really liked the music; I was comfortable with the sound.”

But those who didn’t see the show are in for a glorious surprise. It’s not like anything you’ve ever seen. Apart from the spectacle, there’s the substance and he has two of the most stunning female voices to help do his diva thing, Corlia and Lindiwe, both also dressed to kill.

You can view a trailer of the show on YouTube.

And when he sings that last note on the Stellenbosch stage before he returns to Cape Town in January, he’s off to Zambia and Paris to catch his breath and gather his strength for next year.

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