Just come back from walking the refugees on the beach. A beautiful, still, peaceful summer Sunday in Cape Toff spoilt by the organ donors. You know, the idiots on fifteen thousand Rands worth of bicycle who insist on riding two or three abreast in the middle of the road, and even illegally on goddamn highways? So this is the worst time of year for them, after end of year pig outs they’ve all resolved to start training for the damn Argus, and they ALL do it on a Sunday. On the highway. They are ORGAN DONORS!
Month: January 2007 (Page 2 of 2)
I’ve just got home from the Baxter. I went to see iVirgin Boy and I’m so glad that Big Friendly had work to do and stayed home. This was not one for him, for sure. Now, I had all sorts of stuff around this play and I really wanted it to be brilliant…or at least good. It won the PANSA playwriting festival last year (and I had directed one of the playreading finalists in Cape Town), so I wanted it to be a good script. Then, I know Bruce Little and I think he is fabulous and talented, so I wanted this to be a brilliant showcase for him. Also, it was my second play this year and I wanted a goodie to cancel out the very big baddie of Romeo and Julio. And I paid for the Saturday night tickets and I didn’t want it to be a waste.
Now here comes my first pet hate. I HATE it when writers direct their own plays. I hate it for a lot of reasons. Number one, it feels to me that the writer thinks that nobody else will ‘geddit’ and do the piece justice. Number two, the writer then disses the special job of a director to interpret the script. Number three, the writer keeps telling the actors to do what he tells them he means. All of the above with iVirgin.
Ok, so the set was rubbish and even fell down. Ok, the lead character Alan Whitfield takes a ‘brand new’ suit out of tissue paper and a box and it’s been specially made for the character, but when he holds the pants up there’s some funny old gluey stuff on the one hem, and when he puts them on they’re three inches too short. Oh ja, and there was gratuitous nudity (which I’m usually ok with when it’s funny or something) in a message driven play. So all that wasn’t so good.
The performances. Bruce Little was amazing. Subtle, believable, empathetic, detailed, intelligent and absorbing. Pity he was in a vacuum of his own, most of the time, because of trite and inconstant dialogue in endless dreary confessional scenes with a ‘social worker’. The two other guys were good enough and their character work wasn’t too bad in the little they had to do. I did feel sorry for them during the graphic visualisation of the schoolboy moment though. Poor Denise Newman had very little to work with as the counsellor and even though she was on stage most of the time she was hardly present.
My biggest problem was that the production could have been so much better. It’s a great story; meaningful and very relevant, but it disintegrates into a lecture demonstration that offends. We KNOW why he was raped. We GODDIT the first time round.
Peter Krummeck, writer and director (and responsible for the set too, I heard), get outside help to make your play better.
I know it’s only play number two of the year, but it’s already not in the top ten. Askies iVirgin Boy, but Aikhona wena.
Big Friendly said to me this morning while we were walking the refugees, “listen, if you want to do stuff today, go do it, I’m stuck on the computer working.” I was, like, “ag man, ok.”
Then I remembered he wants to watch the cricket on TV. I have turned him into a cricket junkie. He quotes stats at me every five minutes, hates our captain, knows everything about everything, and that’s all because I love cricket.
So today he tells me that Graham Smith cost us 39 runs yesterday because of bad captaining. Big Friendly really doesn’t like our captain. And let’s face it the Proteas (national flowers from now on) were all out for 124! Against Pakistan on what was supposed to be a batting wicket. Lucky it’s a test match, and today is only day two. I’ll keep you posted.
Big Friendly sent me this link this morning. I love it. http://www.rahoi.com/2006/03/may-i-take-your-order.php
Reminds me of when I was in India and there was ‘chicken blue inside with pain apple’ on the menu. I was too squeamish for that and opted for ‘corn flex’ instead.
Does it make it harder to slag something off if you were given free tickets to opening night? This year’s production of Romeo and Juliet for Maynardville is an absolute disgrace. I have been wondering whether director Fred Abrahamse has been dishing out other more explicit freebies to the press, who have issued their usual brown nosing trash, supporting a worse than mediocre affair.
I love the idea of Maynardville. Off to an open air production of Shakespeare in a magnificent garden setting.
This year’s offering is not my favourite Shakespeare. I’ve always found it difficult to muster up any enthusiasm or sympathy for the teenage ‘star-crossed’ lovers. They are the leads of a pretty dreary lot, where only the nurse has any fun or filth. None the less, Baz Lerman’s movie version was spunky enough, and Maynardville usually offers up an interesting interpretation.
Oy vey, not this time. The gory details. Let me state at the outset that the first half was punishment enough and Big Friendly (my husband) and I ran away at interval. So we did NOT see the second half. I have asked, and nobody I know said it got any better. (Although I must appologise to Vaneshran Arumugam. His character did not speak at all in the first half; all his lines were all in the second part. I have seen him do Shakespeare and other classical stuff before and I know how good he is. So wasted in this dismal little affair.)
The performances were pretty bad. Jason Ralph and Guy Delancey were, for me, the best of a bad bunch. The best part of Romeo was his mullet. The worst was the complete lack of anything between him and old Juliet. Not that I blame him. She was a gawky, Joburg cherrie, with zero sex appeal and dressed like a dead bird. Poor Lady Capulet (Bo Petersen; a fine actress in my opinion) was dressed like a drag queen at the Rio carnival. What was with the costume with pink pubic hair? Anthea Thompsonn managed to do a brilliant impersonation of her good friend Robyn Scott while playing the nurse. She was dressed like Frida Khalo’s granny – I don’t know why. At least she could smoke cigarettes on stage, which was probably the most fun anyone had on stage (or off) all night.
Then there was the issue of Shakespeare, which nobody (save Guy Delancey) managed to speak. I know the story – but I didn’t understand anything anyone said. And a note to the ‘matriarch’. Speaking loudly, with lots of spitting and pronunciation is NOT speaking Shakespeare!
Now to the set: Huge ‘stone’ faux kinda Mexican? pillar thinggys which were spun around to some Spanish music in blackouts to denote scene changes. Why? They weren’t any different on the other side. Weird.
As we were hurrying to the car, with eyes downturned and fully focused on making our escape, Big Friendly said, “Please don’t make me come to Maynardville again.” And that is probably more telling than anything I’ve said here.