Megan's Head

A place where Megan gets off her head.

Month: February 2010 (Page 2 of 2)

Fleur du Cap Theatre Awards

The nominations for the Fleur du Cap theatre awards are going to be public this morning; in about an hour, so the idea of speculating is ridiculous, and yet! I have butterflies. Will Noah of Cape Town be nominated, and if yes, for what? How do you choose performers from an ensemble cast like that? Obviously I believe that Jaci de Villiers was the best director of the year (if not the decade) and Dicky Longhurst’s design was beyond spectacular and Mannie Manim’s lighting took the production into the stratosphere, but hey, I am a bit biased.

We’ll know at 9 this morning!

Inside Interiors

I felt very special, I must say. I was invited to a special preview performance of Amy Jephta’s new play Interiors at The Intimate Theatre last night. This kind of theatre is what I want to write about. It is a tiny, independent, original little piece, that is obviously only at the beginning stage of being. It also only has six performances, Tuesday to Sunday this week, so people of Slaap Stad, if you want to check it out you better get your act together.

The blurb about Interiors goes “It all starts when He gives Her a table for their first wedding anniversary.” And that is really what this play is all about. That is where it starts, and that is where it ends, with a lot of relationship stuff in between. Amy has written a delicious little script. It’s cute, wacky and it has an original take on a well worn theme; the path from boy meets girl to ‘WTF is he/she on about?’ It has a kind of Juno quality about it (especially with the choice of music) and I have no doubt it is the kind of play that will have huge appeal for a young, fresh theatre audience. This is good. Very good.

Amy also directs Nadia Caldeira and Bren Belknap, who are the Woman and Man respectively. They are both recent graduates of UCT’s drama department, and here lies my first problem. Neither of them have shaken off drama school yet. Nadia is by far more successful; it’s just in those little moments of tippie toeing between scenes, or ‘physical theatre’ acting that it comes through. On the whole I found her mostly engaging, although I wished that she had made slightly stronger character choices, especially when she was standing still with her hands held girlishly in front of her. Beren, for me, didn’t manage Man very well. His performance isn’t real yet. He falls into big, meaningless facial gestures and drama school (and sometimes even American?) pronunciation too often, and he didn’t really connect to the Man, or Woman genuinely enough. I know this sounds like harsh stuff; I just think that if you are going to try and pull off a two hander then you need two very, very strong performers, since they are it really. That is who you watch and who you have to put the story across.

Amy’s direction has moments of genius inspiration, but there are funny little bumps too, which make it inconsistent. Still, it is a treat to watch and listen to a fresh new voice in theatre. I do believe that this little piece has tons of potential and will grow and grow the more it is put on.

Yawazzi are responsible for the multimedia (which I completely loved) and lights are by Jon Keevy (and they are also really cool; being The Intimate an’ all). One tiny thing though, stage management and designers; I think I recognised that table. It was used in my favourite play of 2009, …miskien? wasn’t it?

Shimmering Shadow of Brel

brel I went to Tabula Rasa (the laundromat by day theatre by night) last night to watch my friend and colleague Godfrey Johnson’s new show The Shadow of Brel. I was a little apprehensive; being a bit Brelled out. He has become the height of fashion lately; a trend started by Clare Watling and Godfrey himself as accompanist. I also know Brel very well. My father introduced me to him when I was about 12, and I loved his lyrics and the theatricality of his songs. I was introduced to politics, love, seediness, friendship, and that special European sentimentality that Jacques Brel was all about. I have seen many Brel shows and even movies. I know the words to most of the popular Brel songs.

So I really lucked out last night and was delighted by The Shadow of Brel. This one, directed by Sanjin Muftic, is a real goodie. It couldn’t be simpler. Godfrey, in shirt and tie, sits straight backed at the piano and sings Brel to his own masterful accompaniment. He has chosen a very good mix of songs, including the most popular ones like Carousel, If You Go Away and If We Only Have Love, but introducing a few most obscure and interesting and unusual songs like Next (my favourite), The Lockman, and Fannette.

Godfey was naturally a bit nervous last night, which made him take extra care. Once he settles in and relaxes I think he will let rip and the show will be a complete scorcher. A friend I was sitting next to said afterwards that Godfrey was ‘without artifice’ and I thought that that was a lovely way to describe the obvious simplicity and sincerity of this show. His voice and range are perfectly suited to the material, and his interpretations are from the heart, with deep understanding.

The venue is lovely and lends itself perfectly to this kind of intimate little cabaret. I loved the washing baskets turned over into tables. Yawazzi Fish (Jon Keevy and Sanjin), a newish and very exciting theatre company in Cape Town, are responsible for the staging of this show and the creation of a theatre space in Tabula Rasa, which is, really, a laundromat. The ability to do this successfully is brilliant. This kind of thinking is what makes me love Cape Town, but these teeny ventures have got to be supported to survive. It’s so easy to get there. If you are going down Roeland street, turn left at the set of robots into Canterbury street. Go past Ohrm’s  on your left. Tabula Rasa is on the opposite corner. This show is on until 20 Feb, and it’s a great one to get you there.

Boring. Just like that.

You would think I have no life at all (which is a pity, with all the amazing sounding things on the boil in Cape Town); the last thing I wrote about was Survivor Santa Carolina, and here it is a week later and I’m writing about it again!

Ho hum is all I can say about last night’s episode. Don’t rush out and get the DVD y’all!I think I understood one of the problems last night, and again, it has to do with editing. So much TV time is spent on the team that will lose the immunity challenge that you can predict which team will lose, and then who will go. Craig whines and is the voice of dissent. Craig Jacobs misses the immunity idol. Chibulu lose. Out goes Craig. Unfortunately the editing has stuck too closely to formula and hasn’t given us, the viewer, enough meat, or drama. 14Jan_gys8518_lg

I mean, Darren Maule losing his mind is funny for a bit, and then, we’d like to see some of the others. There are still people on the island that I have no clue about; like Lady Lea and ProVerb. Where are they and what do they do? And also, there are no night shots.

I still say Gys de Villiers for Survivor (although Okkert Brits was cute in moments), because there really isn’t anyone out there giving him a run for his money.

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