Megan's Head

A place where Megan gets off her head.

Month: September 2009 (Page 2 of 2)

Embarrassing Confession

I am slightly addicted to Boer Soek ‘n Vrou. I am addicted in that ‘I hope I don’t miss an episode’ kind of way; although I often do miss one, and then I have no idea what’s going on. I am addicted even though I squirm every time I watch it. Really squirm.

Looking for love, on TV, in Afrikaans, in a competition, with farmers, in a second season of the show, only makes for the worst in self-conscious TV. Eek. The girls are either unbearably polite and self-effacing, being jolly and best pals with each other, or else vicious and catty beyond endurance. The farmers are a bunch of strange misfits, with awkward habits and quirks, but mostly with the supreme cowardice that prevents them from making a choice, speaking their minds or being true to themselves. Agony.

And in this season the farmers are prone to breaking the rules! Two of them seem to have found meisies outside of the confines of the show. First the freaky old guy, who looked like he wouldn’t get it together with anyone, found a cherie in a Musica, and invited her to join the …party. The two other official dames fled the scene and a whole farmer was lost from the competition. Then, in the latest episode, where the farmer had to start choosing from the two remaining girls, one of the other farmers confessed he had met a stukkie outside the show who he felt he would like to get to know better first! Sies! Those poor girlies on his farm didn’t stand a chance! Not that it would have made a speck of difference. Nobody can be real in this show. And everyone seems to be prickling with constant embarrassment. You would think that the boere and the chicks would have known what to expect, but niks. And really, there is hardly any footage of anyone doing anything besides eating, driving (boats or tractors or horses) or …sitting around. Dull as dishwater. So why am I watching?

Backyard jungle cat

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Darling Darling and TheatreSports

What an absolute treat. Candice, Ryan and I hopped into my car on Friday morning and travelled up the West coast before turning right to Darling to participate in TheatreSports‘s first Darling Voorkamerfest. This unique live performance festival was celebrating its sixth year, and I have to say, it was run like a well oiled machine.

This is how it works. 21 different performances (mostly music, but a few theatre and one dance this year) are hosted by Darling locals, in the actual voorkamers, or lounges of their houses. Guests buy tickets and go on a mystery tour in a taxi, where they get to see three surprise performances in a row. There is one set of shows on the Friday, two on the Saturday and one on the Sunday; really hard work for the performers (especially Saturday) but as we said on our way back, absolutely rewarding.

I was lucky enough to stay in a granny flat of Rosemary’s house, where we were performing. This meant we were able to get ready, warm up and operate from right there, which was great. Our shows were amazing. We just sprouted. What was so interesting was how on the same day we would get similar suggestions from our audiences. If one group gave us a teapot, the next would give us a kettle. If one group said French, all groups did after that. We did so many scenes and so many games, accents and styles that it’s hard to highlight any and the last ones stick out more prominently. One of my faves was a period drama/love story with a singing, balloon blowing suitor (Ryan), a Style Replay that took place in a vet’s waiting room, a forensic detective scene where the detective’s mother had been murdered, a Soap Opera starring duck billed platypuses, oh the list is endless.

We got amazing feedback and promises from many that they would come and see us in Cape Town. And I really hope we get invited back to the Voorkamerfest, it was such a jaul.

We also went to a field close to town to see the flowers. We went twice. So beautiful.

District 9 – Bravo Blomkamp!

Well, Big Friendly and I loved it. We finally got to see it this evening and I was very proud of this latest SA product.

District 9, directed by Neill Blomkap, is a relatively straight alien vs human sci-fi, only it is set in Jozi, so all the comparisons with apartheid are incredibly resonant, without being shoved down your throat. The recent xenophobia in SA is also felt strongly through the film, in the same way that there is always interspecies intolerance and lack of understanding.

Here, Jozi is the main attraction with the downtown shots and the depressing squatter camp all feeling very real. The performances are fab, especially Sharlto Copley as Wikus Van Der Merwe. (Of course I was delighted to see friends like Jonathan Taylor and Rob Hobbs in it too). The movie is brilliantly styled; the baddie Nigerian gang are especially outrageous, and the alien technology is great. 

The very funny first third (laugh out loud often), which is very mockumentary in style,gives way to a more serious sci-fi dilemma as we follow Wikus’s journey to self-awareness, and his shift in allegiance.  I love that the movie helps us connect with the prawns the way Wikkus does. It ends up being rather powerful stuff. And the Wikus/prawn flower was almost Wall-e-esque, it was so touching. It’s also very skop, skiet en donner.

Great story, great performances, great shots of Jozi, gritty local gangsters, hard core urban violence – both human to alien and human to human make me understand why it shot to the top of the charts in the US. It is cheeky, original, independent, and totally world class.

And, to borrow a certain prawn restaurant in Jozi’s nickname, well done Blomkop!

PS. And I have to say to all detractors; I think you’re being a leetle over sensitive.

Definitely Miskien

miskien The opening night of Miskien at The Intimate Theatre tonight was a great way for me to break what has been a bit of a theatre drought. I loved the show and was very moved by it. Directed by Tara Louise Notcutt and performed by Albert Pretorius and Gideon Lombard, Miskien is the sometimes very funny, sometimes totally recognisable, sometimes almost stereotypical, and mostly very poignant story of friendship and love between two guys.

The characters are beautifully drawn and incredibly well performed, neither man losing a moment, making it engaging all the time. I loved them. I loved their charm, their drunk scene, their rugby watching. I loved how they slipped from English to Afrikaans and from hardcore to naff with such ease.

But it was the direction of the piece that I thought was really masterful. Tara’s attention to detail was so cool. The sound and lights were amazing. The use of the space and the different doors were inspirational and the balance and tension of the final scene was beautiful. I really loved this play.

One of the best things about it is that although homosexuality is a theme, it isn’t a message. Nobody is driving anything home, or being sexually gratuitous, or slam dunking an issue down our throats. This is a story, of how two best friends live, and feel about each other. It is brave, original, sexy, South African theatre.

I must confess that there were times that I worried about the fact that I had dragged a 17 year old schoolboy, who is job shadowing me, with. The hardcore language and sex descriptions had me staring at Big Friendly with eyes the size of saucers, but the schoolboy promised me he was cool with the play, and on our way home he said how much he had enjoyed it. I’m getting old hey? I think this play must do the Afrikaans theatre festival circuit.

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