Megan's Head

A place where Megan gets off her head.

Month: May 2008 (Page 2 of 3)

Mouche

Mouche, adapted from the Paul Gallico novella Love of Seven Dolls for the stage and performed by Tim Redpath is a classic tale beautifully told. It is running at The Kalk Bay Theatre until the end of next week.

Big Friendly and I went to see it last night. I have been wanting to see it ever since I fell in love with the poster in Grahamstown last year. I knew immediately what it was going to be about when I saw the name. Mouche is one of my favourite characters in one of my best loved books. Love of Seven Dolls made a huge impression on me as a teenager and it’s a book I have always kept and reread over and over again. Its appeal is that it is a theatrical love story set in France. Delicious, romantic, heartbreaking, powerful and magical. I always wanted to find a way of bringing the story to life on stage. Tim has done that with great success.

Tim has a simple, effective set. He plays all the characters (except for Mouche who is invisible). The puppets are endearing and simple and easy to connect with. His characters are clearly defined and well observed (particularly that of Jacques and the narcissistic acrobat) and I predictably shed a tear or two at the end. It really is a beautiful, faithful production that honours its source material and sparks with its innocent magic.

All my ‘I’d rather haves” are because I am so close to the story. I would have had the character of Capitane Coq be harder. Tim is so sweet looking it needs a radical shift for him to play the mean guy who undergoes such a transformation. I missed the stupid giant puppet Alifanfaron. However, I think this production’s least successful choice was not to have a real actor to play Mouche (and that’s NOT because I want to play the part of the barely twenty, skinny waif). The story is totally about a relationship; a relationship between Mouche and the puppets and ultimately between the man behind the puppets. I think that having a real somebody there would have made Tim’s multifaceted performance all the more potent and beautiful.

Some of the things I loved about this production were the well executed puppet shows within puppet show style flashbacks of Michel’s (Capitane Coq) hectic past. I loved Tim’s interpretation and performance of the crowd scenes. I am not going to say more about that. You have to go and see it. Hilarious.

And now we come to the nitty gritty again. Where is everybody? This is a brilliant, accessible, clever, special show. Tim is a delight to watch on stage. The appeal for a show like this should be really wide. Rise up Cape Town audiences, rise up. And get your shit together.

Something we can do

There is a march tomorrow, 23 May, in Slaap Stad. It is from 5pm to 6pm and it starts outside parliament in Roeland Street. It is called PROTEST VIGIL AGAINST XENOPHOBIC VIOLENCE. Now, I haven’t marched in very many years. I have protested, and written, and complained, and phoned, but I haven’t done a post-democracy march. I will however be there tomorrow. I believe many voices and faces of protest need to be seen and heard. You with me?

Another day another horror story

Today it was reported (I couldn’t read the article, Big friendly told me the headline) that a man was murdered in Actonville for hiring foreign labour.

My brother phoned me and told me he had nightmares last night. He has always been the arch defender of South Africa, but today he is horrified and scared. People were being killed in Jeppestown, not 3km from where he lives.

My sister-in-law heard someone on talk radio ask, "Who is next? When there are no more Zimbabweans or Malawians will middle class blacks be targeted? Whites? People who drive 4x4s?"

I know there are many who don’t want to see this, don’t want to hear this. But I am raging. Roaring. I cannot shut up.

I cannot

I cannot see the picture. I cannot look.

I cannot click fast enough. I go somewhere else. Anywhere. Oh my god.

The image is burned on my brain. The human figure kneels on all fours. Was it really a person in those flames? Was there a huge white grin on the policeman’s face as he watched a man burn?

I cannot. I cannot feel this. I cannot see this. Again.

What The Fuck Is Happening?

PS. I had no idea how badly affected I was by this until I replied to an email from my dearest friend, who lives in Australia, with this: SA is the worst place to be right now. I would be anywhere else. The fucking young township gangsters have gone completely insane and gone on a Xenophobic rampage, killing, burning, pillaging, looting, stoning, raping, murdering. The police have no control. Government are pathetic and are making those excuse moans and whispers while Africans huddle on the side of the roads, in churches, with nothing just fear. I hate this fucking place.

London Road Conundrum

Last year I went to see the staged play reading of London Road by Nicholas Spagnoletti when it was a PANSA finalist in their play writing competition. I loved the script and Faniswa Yiza as the Nigerian drug dealer but I had concerns about Yvonne Banning as Dora the old Jewish Sea Point granny. I just thought she wasn’t Jewish enough. So I suggested they try Molly Seftel.

This evening The Baxter playground put on another staged reading of London Road, this time with Faniswa and Molly. And I was only half right. Molly had the character down perfectly, and I felt so strongly for her. I cried (actually I always cry) at the sad bits and loved her interpretation. she had the right amount of Jewish, the right spunk and charm, the right essence. It was just that she couldn’t manage the actual running of the play. Luckily Faniswa was a total champ and orchestrated her from scene to scene in the most delightful, warm and cheeky way. So as an audience member I sat halfway between delight and fear. Much like the character herself.

Peter Hayes whispered to me afterwards that I should play the part, in a grey wig. I agree. I have always lusted after the part. And it’s a great script.

Thieves

For the last couple of years I have been noticing how the foot bridges over the highways, mainly De Waal Drive and the Eastern Boulevard, have been vandalised and stripped. All the in-between poles that support the hand railings have been gradually ripped out and the gaping holes are filled with chicken wire. It drives me nuts.

Then, about two months ago Big Friendly and I were walking the Taiwanese canine refugees on our regular field in Woodstock when a man and his friend tried to kick down a section of the ancient wrought-iron fence. Big Friendly stopped them and was blasted with vitriolic swearing as they reluctantly trundled their supermarket trolley down the road.

Yesterday we were driving to the beach and we had taken one of those narrow little roads that connect Victoria Road with Albert Road and we had to slow down for a barely in control trolley and its drivers. There, hanging over the edges of the trolley and causing it to weave and shudder along the road, was a huge section of old wrought-iron fence; the same kind but bigger than the fence around the field. And I just started feeling hysterical. I am sure that that piece of fence came from one of the ancient and beautiful parks in the area. I know for sure that it was being taken to a local scrap metal dealer. I have no doubt he would buy it, knowing full well what it was and where it could have come from. and so the cycle continues.

I am sure we have bigger and more serious problems. Drugs, crime, corruption and  Xenophobia are rife. But for me, the stealing of these fences is an absolute affront. I know it is ridiculous to take it personally, but I do.

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