Megan's Head

A place where Megan gets off her head.

Month: September 2008 (Page 2 of 3)

Red Winter in Gugs

My friend and colleague and long time theatre somebody Itumeleng Wa Lehulere asked me to work with a young actress Pumeza Rashe in preparation for her performance in the one woman play Red Winter in Gugs. I had two sessions with her where we improvised and played, helping her create definition and contrasts for the many characters she has to portray.

redwinter I went to watch the show tonight in The Sanlam Studio at The Baxter and I was proud, excited and amazed, first by the consummate performance of Pumeza (she is a young 23 years old), then by the clean and very tight direction of Itumeleng and also by the detailed and gripping script. It’s really difficult to do a one woman play, set in Gugs during the eighties, and told by the many voices of the characters, but this play really works and it is funny, touching, poignant, horrific, real and clever.

For a first ‘outing’ the play was a real success. It is going to have a longer run in January and I am so pleased that I will be involved again, even though my part in the whole is very small. This play is going places, and this actress is going to be huge!

Completely wrong about Reeds Delta

Ok, brace yourselves. Here goes a massive moan-in. Remember, about a month ago I raved about what fantastic service I got from Reeds Delta here in Cape Town? Well, it was a ploy to reel me in!

It’s been a week since I took my car in for them to check out what was a serious noise when the car was cold. The noise was related to the turning of the steering wheel and Big Friendly suggested that it might have something to do with the ‘power assist steering’. Now, granted, ‘power assist steering’ on an Opel Corsa Lite Plus is like diamond earrings on a cabbage. It’s the ‘plus’ part of the car make and model. And ‘plus’ normally means a shit load of money to fix.

So, when Sean at Reeds Delta phoned on Friday afternoon, I knew it wasn’t going to be with good news. He told me there was a problem with the ‘power assist steering rack’ which needed to be replaced and it was going to cost R5300. What do you do? You swallow hard, make a plan and give them the go ahead. He told me that I would only get my car back on Wednesday because they needed to order the part. Again, what do you do? You say OK and live with it. So, I was surprised to get a phone call from Sean late on Monday afternoon to tell me that my car was ready. I told him that I would only be able to fetch it the following morning. Off I tootled to get the car, which seemed very strange to drive. I had to go and fetch a friend from the airport and I was struggling to change gears. And was it my imagination but could I hear that sound again?

On Tuesday afternoon I phoned Sean and explained my problem with the gears. He told me to bring the car back on Wednesday morning for a test drive. On my way there that morning the old noise became worse and worse, so when I got there I told Sean that not only was there a new problem with my gears (which only started when I fetched the car from them) but that the old problem had returned; the one I had paid R5300 to fix.

Now, here’s the best part. Sean says he’ll get the ‘technician’ to ‘assess’ the ‘situation’ and then he’ll get back to me; which he does in the afternoon. This is what he says and I quote “We have your car on the lift and there is nothing wrong with it.” At which point, I confess, I went berserk. So much so that Big Friendly had to phone him back and threaten to come and get the car back, get the old part back and get a refund and go elsewhere!

An hour or so later a contrite Sean phoned me back to tell me that they were still ‘assessing’ the car and they still couldn’t say what was wrong at this stage and he would contact me in the morning, which was yesterday.

So yesterday I wait. In the late morning I get a call from Rochelle from Reeds Delta who is checking on whether I was happy with the service I received from them. Shame. The poor girl got my tongue in one ear and poking out the other side. Finally, yesterday afternoon, Sean calls to tell me I can pick up the car. He tells me that there was a fluid leak because they hadn’t fitted one of the pipes to the power assist steering rack properly, and also they had rerouted the gear linkage cables which had been done wrong the last time. He proudly told me that this time there would be no charge for the work they had done. I couldn’t help myself. I went berserk again.

I have the car back. When I got in to drive it away Sean asked me to first check the gears. I did. He said, “Much better now hey?” I said, “No, they’re like they were before.”

Ugli Bob is pretty cool

It’s PANSA’s month of performance this September, here in Slaap Stad, and they’ve organised a few workshops for members and other people, so last night I went to one run by fab director, actor and theatre maker Rob "Ugli Bob" Murray, called "Listening with your Eyes". I liked the name, and I was also taken with the idea of participating as opposed to running a workshop.

cs_rob There were about nine of us who pitched up. (It’s amazing to me how few actors take advantage of this kind of offer to work and play and further their skills, but that’s a separate blog entry for another day). Ugli Bob is charismatic and charming, and totally in love with his art, so he passes this on with great ease. It was a delightful, entertaining, refreshing and fun two hours playing with new people and living ‘the art of possibility’. Thanks Ugli. It was a little like having my batteries recharged.

head spin

I can’t sleep. I lay there for hours and finally I just got up. Big Friendly is in that deep sleep of total silence. The cats are glad I’m moving around, although Chassie keeps going to the front door to be let out.

There is so much on my mind; I’m thinking about work and I’m directing, designing, fantasising, imagining, listening, all in my head.

DSCF0752 Yesterday was our first proper rehearsal of Shez Sharon, which opens in Jozi at The Old Mutual Theatre on the Square on 2 October. I must say, I am very excited, and nervous, and filled with anticipation. I haven’t had any work on in Jozi in about 15 years. Working with Nicole Franco is delicious. She is quick, receptive, clever and funny, not to mention a total jaul. And going back to the script is also fun and refreshing. We are finding new things; new rhythms, new beats, new ideas, new music. We have given ourselves a bit of a deadline, with a performance/open rehearsal show on Sunday night, 21 September, at The Intimate Theatre here in Cape Town. If anyone missed the Kalk Bay Theatre run, this is your last chance to check it out. We’d also love a revisit by those who have already seen it, to give us feedback and notes.

Then, The Tent is also on my mind. Although I’ve more or less finished auditioning I haven’t made any concrete decisions and it’s like picking a scab. You keep going back there, even though it’s not ready to come off.

jump2 TheatreSports also has a corner of my mind reserved especially for it. What helps is that we have had a run of really good shows, both public and corporate. We are  a very lekker team at the moment, with a great mix of oldies and newies. I can’t believe we will be celebrating our 15th birthday this year. We intend celebrating with a week of performances at The Kalk Bay Theatre in November. I can’t wait. And tonight we have an almost full house booked. Yay.

I think that one of the reasons I am up at the crack of dawn is that I am waiting to hear from a corporate client of mine about a script I wrote for a long term industrial theatre job that I do. It’s always an anxious wait, filled with doubt and foreboding, like waiting for exam results.

So, now the sun is starting to come up, and I’m yawning my head off. It’s going to be a long day. I need to fetch my car which has a new ‘power-assist steering pump’, I am in the recording studio this morning, doing an audition after, fetching my friend from the airport this arvie and then playing TS tonight. Bring on the coffee Big Friendly!

Coming up For Air

I’ve just come back from one of The Baxter‘s staged play readings. They have been holding them for a few years now, but sadly, publicity for this season has not been good and this afternoon’s show was very poorly attended. I am assuming that people just didn’t know about it because the others I’ve been to have been pretty much sold out.

This afternoon’s play was Coming Up For Air, written by Brit Don Kinch and directed by Paul Savage. I love these staged readings because they are filled with possibility and also offer up amazing talent from the performers. It is a hit or miss affair though, and tonight’s text just didn’t deliver.

The concept is good: How does the legal and health system decide on the mental state of a murderer, particularly a black, minority group murderer? Unfortunately, the concept never moves from the dialectic into theatre, because there is so much talking heads and not enough drama. Also, the poor psychiatrist is written as a one dimensional, whining, defensive pain, who doesn’t grow or change or be moved by her patient.

What Paul did have though, was Tshamano Sebe who is absolutely, totally superb. The last thing I saw him in was When Jesus Hopped The A Train in the same Baxter Studio and there he also played a prisoner with a story. He really is a master, and made the whole thing worth while.

I am certain that the text needs a lot of work before it gets made into a full production. But there are seeds of something. And I suppose that’s what it’s all about. The Baxter does need to do a better job of marketing the play readings though.

The Beast that is auditions

I am almost done with auditioning. There are still one or two people I want to see, and will make special arrangements for them, but on the whole I am truly auditioned out. What a hectic thing, having to come to a person to present your skills, ideas, your self. What a hectic thing it is to witness that, over and over again. What a hectic thing to see someone, who with all the intention and focus in the world, just gets it completely wrong. How hectic it is to have unrealistic expectations for those people you know. How amazing it is to have moments of being totally blown away. I am exhausted from all that energy. And I am confused. And thrilled and excited and inspired. And terrified. Thank you everybody, for bringing me a bit of yourself. And well done.

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