Megan's Head

A place where Megan gets off her head.

Month: March 2008 (Page 1 of 3)

Snake Magic

Here follows a review I submitted for the kid’s show Snake Magic. I was restricted to less than 400 words, which was really hard.

"It has been a while since I saw any children’s theatre so when I was invited to review Snake Magic I took my nine year old friend Nathan with me for perspective (and support!).

I must admit that I was also relieved to be seeing something new and local created for children. I always shudder when I see the posters for Little Red Riding Hood and The Ugly Duckling.

The Kalk Bay Theatre really suits itself to children’s theatre of an intimate nature. The performers are so close and the upstairs makes for some interesting staging possibilities. We climbed into our seats and Nathan mentioned that he loved the music that was playing, a very African, acoustic sound.

Snake Magic is the story of Nikiwe, her trials and sufferings at the hands of her nasty brother and how she is saved and helped by the snakes after doing the snake prince a kind deed.

David Muller is a wonderful narrator. From the first word he spoke with his warm voice he drew us into the story of bad brother Themba and his good, kind and generous sister Nikiwe. Lindilwa gives a charming and spirited performance as Nikiwe and Mzi is fabulously bad as Themba, stately as the prince and delicious as the snake in the second half.

The story moves smoothly from narration to dialogue and into song and we the audience are taken on a magical ride from Nikiwe’s village, through the forest, into the palace, into the water, to life with the snakes and magically to Nikiwe’s own lavish house with the use of a few simple props and three lovely backdrops.

The things that Nathan enjoyed the most were the clever dual puppet of the King and Queen and how they switched with a flip of the hand, the songs, the bouncy old man and Nikiwe sitting in the tree. I delighted in the old fashioned language, audience interaction (which seemed a bit off putting for the performers though) and the simplicity of a tale well told.

The only thing we didn’t like was the interval.

Take the kids to this delicious show and get a programme for info on snakes and pumpkins!"

So that’s what I sent in. I hope they use it. I didn’t have space to mention that I loved the lyrics of the Pumpkin Song, written by Heather Mac’s daughter Amber, especially my new favourite word "dummelicious".

quiet spot

I’ve hit a quiet spot work wise and even though I should be indulging in the luxury of time to do my writing, I’m not. It’s weird how that happens. Instead, I am going to gym with my new iPod shuffle (my birthday gift from Big friendly) and I am enjoying my home and my husband and my animals. The anxiety around money rests solidly in the fringe of my thoughts but has not taken over yet, which is good. I enjoy Cape Town at this time of year, when the days are still hot, the nights are getting getting cooler and we wait for the first rains to sprout the March Lilies on the side of the road.

It seems like theatre has also hit a bit of a quiet spot in Cape Town at the moment. Maybe it’s because it’s school holidays so there’s kiddie stuff on. it could also be that I can’t go to the many review shows that are on. I hate them. There is nothing more uninspired than somebody doing somebody else’s songs; especially if the somebody else is dead. My friends’ show Angels on Horseback is on at The Intimate and I have already written stuff about it on meganshead, so check out the archives. I am sure it is even better and more fun this time around.

I’m off to gym. Really. I’m going, going, gone.

fresh and delightful Juno

Big Friendly and I are big fat woessies. Off we went to go and see Juno and of course we cried. We always do. As Big friendly says, this little movie restores one’s faith in American films.MV5BMTgxMjgyMTcyNF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMDg1MTU1MQ@@._V1._SY140_SX100_

It is a charming and original look at teenage pregnancy and family. All the performances are brilliant and the script is tight and mostly unpredictable, justifying its Oscar award. Of course a look at the movie must include an accolade of the lead Ellen Page who was fabulous, quirky and totally loveable.

The sound track is especially good and trendy and wacky. And there are a few one liners that are fantastic. But the best part of the movie is that it never goes overboard or descends into moral preachery so it stays real. I found myself wanting to be the kind of parent that Juno had.

MV5BMTgxMjgyMTcyNF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMDg1MTU1MQ@@._V1._SY140_SX100_ When we came home I quite by accident caught most of the kid’s movie Thunderpants on SABC 3. What a delightful and wicked little movie about a boy with an enormous farting problem. The amazing cast includes cameos by Stephen Fry and Simon Callow to name a few. Very cool. It’s a cute and crazy story about a very ordinary boy who overcomes his problem, makes a best friend, travels the world, finds himself on death row but is saved to become the hero of the world. Yee ha!

My old favourite

It’s been a ‘two good shows’ week for TheatreSports. On Monday night we had the smallest but ‘bokkest’ audience at The Intimate and we warmed to them, making a really sweet and quirky show. Last night we were totally sold out at The Kalk Bay Theatre, with a big group of Wet Pups (primary school) and another big group of MADS (Muizenberg amateur dramatic society). So you can imagine the cross-section and range of our audience members. 11 year old boys sat next to white haired old couples and they had in common a love and enthusiasm for theatre and improvisation. Delicious. As it always happens, the minute we have a huge number of kids in the audience our show gets filthy and full of sexual innuendos. It always happens like that. If there are religious people in the audience our show ends up being blasphemous. Highlights of last night’s show included a Duet sung by Ryan Jales and I called “Fred the Eskimo” and our end scene was a play based on a made up newspaper headline “Garden gnome comes to life”. I chatted to some of the MADS members afterwards and they were delighted and inspired. It was very lekker.

Ikhwezi Festival

I went to go and see one of the shows on at the Ikhwezi festival at The Baxter yesterday. I am a huge fan (and friend) of festival organiser and theatre stalwart Itumeleng Wa-lehulere. I think it is amazing that the festival is celebrating its 10th year and there are so many plays on this time around.

I saw The Judas Affair yesterday. I went to see it to check out what the director Abey Xakwe was doing. He is a fantastic actor, educator and communicator. Sandi Banda wrote the script and stars in the play which is a soapie kind of story about a man, Jude, who has an, wait for it, affair!

Abey struggled to make the dialogue feel original. It was filled with cliches that made it difficult to play. Also, there was too much furniture that was shlepped backwards and forwards making the dark scene changes really cumbersome and endless.

There were some really sweet moments though, and nice directorial touches. Not enough to make the production a success but enough to show that it has potential. My main concern is that it felt like a TV script and afterwards Sandi and Abey said that it had been written for film. Taking something that is meant for screen and putting it on stage needs more than just transferring it; it needs to be rewritten.

What is good is that the festival gives new directors, actors and writers a chance to try out their stuff. And look what talent the festival has spawned. None other than Chuma Sopotela, winner of the recent Fleur du Cap Best Actress award, to name but one.

more Othello

I googled and found Zane Henry’s review from the Argus. Similar thoughts? hey Zane, are you also getting it in buckets?

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