Megan's Head

A place where Megan gets off her head.

Month: December 2007 (Page 2 of 4)

The Unbelievably Electric JuJu

I’ve done that Cape Town thing again and gone to see a show a day before it closes. So, this rave will have no effect on this run, but at least it will prepare for the show’s run at The Intimate Theatre in May next year. Hopefully this will be good pre pre-publicity.

The Electric Juju, for those who don’t know, is Rob van Vuuren’s one-man masterpiece, odyssey and heroic morality tale. We chatted to him briefly after the show, when he was all showered and nice and clean, and he said his three major influences were Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchet and Clive Barker, all influences that Big Friendly picked up. He also told us that there is going to be a graphic novel of the story. I think that’s genius.

The Electric Juju is Rob at his magnetic best. This intriguing story of the fight for possession of a Giant’s heart and the accidental and innocent heroine Susan is grippingly told with liquidly slick flowings from detailed character to character in split second changes. Rob is the master of creating a character with a shift of the body, the slide of vocal pitch and accent and the smallest hand gesture. He miraculously changes from inside to look totally different, which is amazing since those electric blue eyes and strong features are hard to disguise.

Rob fills the bare stage with himself and a giant heart and they move about the stage telling the gripping story. The telltale signs of directors Helen Iskander and James Cunningham are in the use of big things and their baby ‘puppet’ versions to create depth and landscape and a certain epic other-worldness. Other than that, oh and great creepy lighting and a brilliant sound track, I felt like what the directors had to do was manage and steer Rob‘s crystal clear vision.

I am sure you can tell that I loved it. Big Friendly was besides himself, and whispered to me after the show that Rob was his new hero. Big Friendly and I also were in raptures about Brother Number that Rob did with James Cairns in the middle of the year and I loved Rob in Chris Weare’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. If we are to talk about the genius of Rob van Vuuren we can’t leave out TMAS although I must confess to not having seen an installment this year.

If this sounds like the ramblings of an obsessed Rob fan, let it be tempered with the fact that it is a shared homage to talent (by me and big) and we were also delighted to meet Rob’s most lovely fiance last night!

Oh, and important as ever, this all happened at The Kalk Bay Theatre where we also delighted in a magnificent meal before the show. There is a whole new set up in the kitchen and you can choose what you want from a small but excellent menu. Delicious, fresh and tasty!

dikbek dora

I am in a bit of a sulk this morning. It’s Saturday and I am rehearsing all day. Oh well. Things could be totally worse. I could be not rehearsing at all. Right? Right. But it’s a beautiful still morning and we’ll take the dogs to the beach soon, before I go.

Last night, Big Friendly and I joined some friends for dinner at Chai Yo in Mowbray. I haven’t eaten there in many years, although we did get horrible Mr Delivery from them once. Well, it turned out to be the best Thai food I’ve had in Cape Town. We were regulars at The Asian Noodle Bar, known affectionately by us as the Poodle Bar, till it closed, and we have Wang Thaied a bit on Milnerton beach, but last night’s food was most amazing. I like my Thai food hot. It was, but it was mainly complicatedly spicy. Yum. We were all delighted by our choices and tasted each other’s. The excellent food was accompanied by fast, friendly and totally unfussy service, which made it a pleasure filled, relaxed time. What I enjoyed as well was the complete lack of Cape Town trend, and this during peak holiday season. We will be back for more Chai Yum!

The Big M of V

Early DaysI am sure you noticed that I have been most silent about my work on The Merchant of Venice which is not like my usual garrulous or critical self. I have really been in the background on this one (I am assistant director and voice coach) and I have been feeling like I owe the production, director, designers and cast a certain silent loyalty. I am actually still feeling that, so I’m going to write mainly about my experiences sitting in the wings, so to speak.

We are three and a half weeks into rehearsals as I write. This is really a hard time, where the learning of the text clashes with most creative ideas and it is a slow, stop-start affair that can be totally energy sapping and hair-pulling. It is also here that the difference in experience and training is most noticeable. Playing Shakespeare is so complicated. It really helps to come to it with a certain confidence. And all that stuff they drill you with at drama school? It works. The difference between well trained actors and those who are not is amazing. I was always taught to be at a rehearsal 10 minutes early. That’s it. I always am. And I can see those with the same training. It’s an unspoken rule. It gives you a chance to get your head right, your props ready, your shoes off. Working with experienced and talented actors is like watching for fairy lights to start coming on. One or two pop on and stay on, some go out, more and more pop on, and soon you have a shining somebody in a scene. It gets more amazing when two actors in a scene begin popping on. And then there are the light sappers. I guess there are always those (and I always wonder how or why they were cast in the first place) who walk into a rehearsal and it’s like a cold, boring and unreasonable wind that blows towards them, dragging the energy towards their untruthful and ‘chaff chaff’ performances.

It is a privilege to work on a production of this size. It is totally frustrating to contribute so little. It is a learning that I am finding so valuable.

Who knows what the production will be like. I love the play, but have my own very radical ideas about what it means and how it should be done. And it is quite amazing that here we are at the end of 2007, putting on another Shakespeare.

The best thing about being involved in a Maynardville production is working full time at this, my not so favourite time of year.


I’ve been having problems with my blog comments. People have had access problems to the submit button if they haven’t been using firefox. I know this sounds like I know what I’m talking about but its all Big Friendly who knows this stuff. So, he made me a new look.

Big is Here

Yoo hoo! After spending all his time making my and everyone else’s websites and blogs, Big Friendly has jumped and leapt into blogdom with one of his very own.

Windie Whitewash

Did anyone else see what happened last night? Omigod, I couldn’t believe my watery little eyes! I was out with friends and expected to hear the start of the 2020 game between the Proteas and the Windies on radio 2000. All I could hear was the commentator struggling to talk over the rain pelting down. So when the limited limited over game started I only had half an eye on it. Well, that changed, and soon. I was drawn in when the Poeps were four wickets down for about 6 runs! It was the worst defeat for them yet. Ouch.

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