Megan's Head

A place where Megan gets off her head.

Month: November 2009 (Page 2 of 3)

The Tent comes down

I’m feeling quite sad actually. Tonight is the final performance of this run of The Tent and I don’t really know if it is ever going to happen again. I want to thank everyone who made this run possible; cast, crew, Artscape’s New Writing Programme and those of you you who came, gave feedback, encouragement and affirmation.

THE TENT 110

Consumer disobedience

I was in my final year of ‘varsity in 1986 (I know, by all calculations I should be dead!) and this was the height of political turmoil. South Africa was in a ‘state of emergency’, things were burning, people were in detention without trial, Adrian Vlok was in charge of education and ‘the quota system’ for universities, the ANC was a banned “communist” organisation, and we students were angry and active. But, being drama students at UCT’s Michaelis, and sharing the space with art students, resulted in us coming up with some interesting and effective (or at least we thought so at the time) civil disobedience campaigns. My favourite one, which I remember so clearly, was dragging red tape over all the toilet seats at CAPAB (now Artscape), with posters on the back walls explaining why people were being prevented from sitting down.

I was remembering this yesterday while I was trying to control myself from launching my body as a missile through the plate glass windows of MTN SP (SP stands for service provider. What a joke.) at Century City. I was there to fetch my piece of junk phone that I was coerced into taking as an upgrade when I had to blah blah blah a new contract in March this year. My phone broke, and although it had been fixed and was ready to collect on Monday, I was still ‘in the queue’ to be contacted, since they had such a ‘high volume’ of customers to get hold of. This is after me phoning about six times to find out if my phone was actually there. I didn’t want to make the unnecessary trip because you can wait for half a day in their ‘waiting’ section, after getting your damn number ticket at the door.

Needless to say, I had all the time in the world to think up a million, totally ineffective, things to say and do to somebody at MTN. But you never get to say and do it to the right person. They just don’t give you access to anyone. They stonewall you. They block you out. I hate MTN. Really. I do.

I resent the money they spend on advertising and branding and sponsorship while ripping us all off. I hate the fact that they are able to get away with the worst service, the most useless call centres, total inefficiency, false promises, and fake ‘deals’. I hate that it would cost me a preventative amount of money to cancel my renewed contract, and so they don’t even have to treat me like a human being. They have me by the short and curlies.

Now, I don’t want to break the law, I really am too old for that, but I would like to indulge in a consumer disobedience campaign against MTN. It will start here, on meganshead, and I am looking for ideas. I will continue slagging them off, writing to Hello Peter (I don’t even get a response any more) and complaining bitterly all over the show, but if any of you have any good ideas, please let me know.

Suffering Artist Syndrome

It’s confession time again. I have to confess to being deeply angry, jealous, frustrated and sorry for myself when I was told that a particular review show (one of many hundreds that appear on our stages all the time) had sold out and audiences had loved it and wanted more. I don’t understand.

I actually don’t really get review shows or tributes at all. here’s the deal. Off you go to watch and listen to other, not famous, people singing other famous people’s songs. Now, it stands to reason that the person or people covering that song will never be able to do it as well as the original, and, while I’m not being a snob or a purist, why not buy the CD or even watch it on youtube?

There is no shortage of review shows. And they obviously get big audiences. There are some performers here in Cape Town who do nothing else. And people are delighted to buy tickets for these shows. My theory is that audiences feel safe going to see something that they ‘know’. They know the words and music to the most popular songs of the eighties (oh, how many times can Sweet Dreams or It’s Raining Men be shoved onto stage?), the greatest hits of Neil Diamond, Queen (the favourite, commonest and most supported choice of all tribute shows), Elvis, or even ‘mix ‘n match with a weak little theme to string them together (greatest rock ballads, best boyband songs, disco fever).

I guess it’s the same with musicals, which get churned out over and over again. Fiddler on the (same old) Roof, Cats, Phantom, My Fair Lady. what sells them is the fact that people know the story and recognise the music. Try staging a new, local, original musical and see how hard it is to get an audience; even with the greatest crits and big publicity.

And even that isn’t half as bad as trying to put on a brand new play that isn’t comedy and doesn’t have songs. Talk about pissing in the wind.

You know what’s going to happen here? I’m going to tag all those musicals and artists and this post will get a thousand hits, with people looking for those shows!

Bah humbug.

Recycling

I really, really want to start recycling properly. I get depressed every time I remove anything organic (even organic, organic) from a cellophane or plastic wrapper, in a plastic punnet, with a sticky label and a cardboard outside label. Woolies are the worst for over packaging their stuff! I am definitely going to buy a worm farm for the wet stuff, but it’s all the other recyclables I need a solution for.

I make a half-hearted attempt to take our glass to the school drop-off up the road, and I usually leave our newspapers outside for the pre-garbage collectors, who I think get some money for paper and cardboard. But that’s it.

So when I heard about my friend’s whole block getting recycle aware I decided to contact Think Twice. Unfortunately, they only do the Atlantic Seaboard. And I am back where I started. I can’t find someone to come and fetch my stuff, nor somewhere to drop everything off. This place does glass; that place does paper, still looking for plastic, cans, etc.

Is anyone managing this better than me in my neck of the woods, Woodstock?

TheatreSports birthday Movember

I have just properly woken up to the fact that we will be celebrating TheatreSports‘s 16th anniversary of performances in Cape Town next week. How is that for totally amazing, terrifying, brilliant, scary and plain fantastic?

We are celebrating with a week of performances; the usual Monday 16 Nov at The Intimate and then Tuesday 17 to Saturday 21 we have shows at The Kalk Bay Theatre. Then, the following week we perform the normal Monday and Tuesday here in CT and then we dash off for four shows in Knysna, as part of a fundraiser for an overseas tour by Oakhill School grade 11s.

I also love that our birthday month coincides with Movember, the month of growing moustaches, for fun and charity. I don’t know why, but we have often given discounts to ‘tache wearers to TheatreSports, be they real or fake.

Please come and play with. I think these shows are going to cook. marksgetset_smaller

It’s ZA News

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I’ve had a bit of time on my hands this week so I’ve watched almost all the episodes of ZA News and I have to say, I am loving it. Let’s face it, we have a lot to mock about. Naturally, Malema (or for my purposes Mal enema) gets a showing almost every day, along with our president, who I shall continue to call Zooma. My favourite characters are Madiba and Tutu, who do little footnote comments from the lounge, with Graca occasionally complaining about Tata’s language. Cutie sputie. Oh, and Mbeki “and so on” is delicious. And Div, the bokkie coach, who has something useless to say about everything! Poor Helen Zille though, she just isn’t funny, and somehow manages to suck out any fun there is!

Nik Rabinowitz does the classic voices and he is absolutely brilliant and hilarious. Particularly good are his Tutu and Div. Less successful for me is Helen Zille’s voice, by Nicola Jackman, but ag, she is quite hard to do.

The puppets are phenomenal and hilarious. I particularly love Tim Modise’s hands. They are so expressive. One of our TheatreSports players, Kim Kerfoot, is a puppeteer on the show!

ZA News still needs to grow, as I’m sure it will. I find most of the scenes a touch too long and drawn out, sometimes way after the gag. It’s a hard lesson, learning to be very short. I am also sure that it will start hitting lower and lower and eventually some of the blows will land below the belt. At the moment it’s still pretty tame, which is probably because Sou fefricans still struggle to totally laugh at themselves.

Bravo to Kulula for sponsoring the show. Their ad in the beginning, with the cardboard cut outs and the naf sound effects is my best.

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