Megan's Head

A place where Megan gets off her head.

Month: September 2008 (Page 1 of 3)

HMS

Nobody is gonna believe me when I tell them that I went to the live broadcast performance of the finale of the reality TV competition for…wait for it…High School Musical at the Teatro at Montecasino last night. My shvester in law, the fabulous Gina Shmukler was the American dialect coach on the show, and I went with her and my boet. Yowzer. It was my first visit to the Teatro. It is quite an impressive space, and can pack them in, I tell you.

So the three of us and many screaming family, friends and thousands of tweenies were coached through the hour and a half live show (which looks much fuller and funner on the screen) by the hilarious, prize throwing floor manager. The show was ‘made for TV madness’ and the winners meant nothing to me, although the little cutie girls in front of us seemed delighted. Art_Winners

I was a bit skaam for Peter Toerien who sat in his black throne of a judge’s chair with his scandalous email flying like a ghost streamer around him, although nobody else seemed to notice or care. The public voted their choice anyway and he should have trusted the process instead of interfering and making his name gat. 

Now they rehearse the actual musical and  I’m sure that as long as the tickets are affordable, every child from six to twelve will be dragging a parent to see it. Thank the gods we only have animals.

Venom and other residual poison

We went to the opening night of Venom last night, at The Intimate Theatre. It’s Juliet Jenkin‘s new play; a two hander performed by Juliet herself and Nicholas Dallas and directed by Michael Inglis. A group of young theatre makers, they have formed a little, independent theatre company, The DOT Conspiracy, which in itself is exciting and inspiring. One of their really good ideas is getting audience to pay R10 for being at the opening. I think we should all do that, especially for small, un-sponsored work. R10 is so easy, and if everyone does it, at least the company can pay for their programmes or opening night wine, or whatever.

I had mixed feelings about the play when we left the theatre last night, and those have gotten stronger, but in a haunting kind of way, which is good.

n655386048_1691211_8474 Both Juliet, as sometime thief, ex-lawyer and self-mutilator, and Nicholas as traumatised, paranoid, hysterical victim of violence, were excellent. Their performances were natural, layered and complicated and they worked well together with energy and sensitivity. Obviously the director shaped and formed and held the piece and that was really good.

The themes of the play, particularly the mechanics of fear and the guilt of racism are clever, interesting and bravely handled, making it South African, relevant and deeply recognisable. So what niggles me is that I think the script itself is not entirely ready. The exposition of the relationship between the characters and and how it works is set up very clearly from the beginning and it becomes a little repetitive, which is fine, only they are not really changed by each other until the very last moment. I wanted to know how they came to be where they were rather than why they were there.

This is brave, challenging and interesting work. The performances and direction are good. It just has a few boring bits that need something and I think more laughing would help, even if it is noisy, uncomfortable and nervous.

Shivering Shez

We’re leaving for Jozi on Saturday morning and I’ve started to feel a leetle nervous. It has been a while since I had any work on in front of a Jozi public. I am also very excited though; I think Shez Sharon is perfect for a Sandton crowd. I love the show and Nicole is really fabulous so it should be great. Still, there are one or two butterflies!

There are probably scarier places to be right now, like the president’s office. I am amazed how fickle SA’ns are. One minute everybody is criticising Mbeki; he’s this, he’s that, kak plan with Zimbabwe, AIDS denialist, unapproachable and blah blah blah. Next thing he’s ‘recalled’ (what a pathetic euphemism) and he was the guy; hard working, diplomat, honourable, blah blah blah.

A funny thing happened on the way to TheatreSports

n547471119_1239509_383 We are off to perform for a full house at the Kalk Bay Theatre tonight. We have a block booking of 30 11 year old boys and their parents. So, the KBT booking line has been warning other potential audience members about the presence of the kids. I think it’s hilarious, but we gave gotten into trouble with this kind of thing before. Once, when a group of kids attended a show, some stuffy old ducks felt like their evening at the theatre was ruined and they left without paying for their meal and drinks! They ended up missing a fantastic show, but used the kids as a bad excuse to justify their stealing of some wine and pasta. Sies. So we learned from that and have been letting other ‘normal’ audience members know about the kids. It’s been really cute though, and I’ve had some really genuine responses of amazement that we are pre-warning them.

I don’t know. I think it’s amazing that a show like TheatreSports pulls in young people and gets them involved and delighted in theatre. That’s how we develop theatre audiences; a thing not exactly abundant in this country.

theatre shmeatre

One thing that I am constantly reminded of is how (and I know I’m generalising here) theatre people find it so difficult to get themselves to see their fellow performer/director/writer’s work. One of the things I find I do endlessly is nag theatre people to come and see my stuff. And, more and more since I’ve started this blog, have I found people nagging me to go and see their stuff. I have no idea why I manage to get to some stuff with such ease and other stuff I just can’t face. It must be the same for everybody. But I think all theatre people need to make more of an effort to see each other’s work. That’s how you learn. That’s how you see who is out there. That’s how you see who is doing what.

One thing that actors are particularly bad at is self promotion. A good way to get into other theatre people’s good books is to go and see their stuff. Simple.

Godfrey is Growing

180px-Noelcoward A delightful evening spent at a show

With Godfrey Johnson at the piano

Doing Coward, his songs and his rhyme

And doing it well! A jolly good time.

This happened last night at The KBT.

Flirting with Coward by Johnson, Godfrey.

godfrey07_small_2 It’s true. I went to watch Godfrey Johnson’s new show, Flirting with Coward, last night at The Kalk Bay Theatre. I have worked with Godfrey for many years, and he plays regularly for TheatreSports, and last night was proof that he has really grown into the award winning performer he is. The show is a one man theatrical cabaret, well directed by Sanjin Muftic and beautifully lit by Jonathan Keevy who also made the little, pretty cut-out silhouettes. Noel Coward‘s material is not easy. It is dense and wordy and the music is not the most accessible but Godfrey managed to pull everything together and make it funny, quirky, sentimental, light and moving, all over the place. It was a joy and I was really pleased as punch. Well done fellows!

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