Yes, talk to strangers!

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iol travel april 10 cw Janice Honeyman with Sir Anthony Sher

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SOUL MATES: Janice Honeyman with Sir Anthony Sher at Pringle Bay.

Janice Honeyman, a theatre director based in Cape Town, is known for her stage and TV productions for children and as a director of opera, pantomime and musicals, comedies and drama, classic and contemporary works.

By invitation of the Royal Shakespeare Company in London, she directed Athol Fugard’s Hello and Goodbye with Sir Antony Sher and Estelle Kohler.

She has a string of awards to her name, including a Fleur du Cap Award for Best Director, an FNB Vita Theatre Award, the Johnnie Walker Achiever Award and the Five Roses Young Artist Award. Her Fleur du Cap Award as Best Director was for John Kani’s Nothing but the Truth, which was staged in some of the world’s most prestigious venues, including the Lincoln Centre in New York and the Sydney Opera House.

How widely have you travelled?

As wide as I am – that’s how widely I’ve travelled. As round as I am, that’s how far round the world I’ve travelled. I love travelling and I love islands and snorkelling. I have been to Ireland, Thailand, the Great Barrier Reef, (Bali Hai), Bermuda, Italy, Mozambique, Malawi, Austria and Bregens. I have been all over the UK and the US. Then there’s Morocco, Egypt, Tanzania, Greece and the islands – I love Corfu – Israel, Hong Kong, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Holland. And then, of course, home sweet home.

Where was your favourite holiday or time spent abroad?

iol travel april 10 Janice in Campagnatico

IN HER ELEMENT: Honeyman in Campagnatico, southern Tuscany in Italy.

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Several places actually, and I really mean it. I make sure that I have the best holiday at all my destinations. Most recently I went to Bermuda on a working holiday and I loved it. I expected to find rich Americans on their yachts strutting about but it was not like that at all. It was wonderfully cross-cultural, the cuisine was fabulous, there was lots of rum drinking, bougainvilleas and strelitzias. Not to mention snorkelling off the golden beaches, wonderful sunsets, boat trips and great people – they are so friendly, open and hospitable.

Your funniest experience?

There are many funny experiences. Firstly, losing my kikoi while getting out of the water in Zanzibar and having to walk back to shore kaalgat with a packed beach of people while my kikoi was floating away deeper into the Indian Ocean – I was so embarrassed.

In Brussels a long time ago, on a shoestring budget, it was late at night and I was looking for cheap accommodation. I was met by a buxom blonde behind the counter with layers of lipstick and a helluva coiffed hairdo who looked at me strangely. It was only once I was climbing up the stairs that I realised that there were only couples around – I had booked into a brothel for the night. No wonder the blonde at reception looked at me that way – she was wondering why I needed the whole night.

Your favourite restaurant and food during your travels?

If I have to single out any favourites I reckon the two-foot crayfish I had at the Lobster Pot in Bermuda recently must rank as one of my best. Then there’s the shark and coconut stew on sticky rice in Lamai Beach in Thailand; a truffle, artichoke and olive oil risotto in Grossetto, Tuscany.

Your favourite place to have sundowners on your travels?

Cocktails on the beach anywhere in the world complete with umbrellas, cherries and trimmed pineapples. I love it.

Another favourite and most special sundowner experience was on Alan Rickman’s patio in Campagnatico, Italy. We sat listening to the toll from the three-bell church as we looked over the Tuscan villages on the hilltops and the sun was setting.

As a seasoned traveller and flyer can you share some tips?

Take a jet lag pill. It is also essential to do your research before travelling. Always talk to strangers. Put yourself in the position of the people living in the country you are visiting, integrate yourself and understand where they are coming from. Don’t expect locals always to be friendly. Talk to them and show interest. - Weekend Argus

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