Megan's Head

A place where Megan gets off her head.

Month: April 2010 (Page 1 of 3)

A drawing board

I love the idea of a board that you draw on. It holds all the possibilities before they are even made or thought through, or given words to. I remember those fabulous, cheapandnasty presents we used to get as kids, where you drew with a plastic pen on the top surface of a little screen and it made black marks on the bottom. Then, when you were done you wiped it clean to start again. I loved those. I would draw and draw until the top layer was permanently stuck to the bottom.

I love the idea of  going back to the drawing board. I think that there is nothing as powerful as a really fresh idea. Also, somehow, when you go back to the drawing board, you go with other people. It’s what turns the solo act of drawing into a group activity. Around that drawing board is team work, co-creation, a bit of compromise (naturally), discussion, communication, and often, inspiration.

My little Mac a Tiny is a bit of a drawing board. I have been scribbling on it and wiping it clean. It’s the big people version of those cheapandnasty kids’ toys. It’s a highly portable ideas possibility machine. And, slowly, I feel myself…going back to the drawing board!

Great Green Ghoen

It is not often that I become full of hope and excitement for the ‘youth of today’, but last night was one of those moments.

Big Friendly and I are in Knysna, visiting our friends Jaci and Gys de Villiers. Gys wrote a play called Groen Ghoen, which Jaci directed, and, here it gets complicated, Gys is performing it as a one man show, and Jaci directed seven of her school learners in a version of it for their school play at Oakhill School.

I went with Jaci and some of her students on their Europe tour in December last year, so I have a connection to some of them. I was delighted when our visit coincided with their short run. So, off Big Friendly and went up the hill to the school to watch the show last night.

I confess, I was definitely thinking I was going to have to be really generous with the production; a bunch of school kids, doing their school play, but from the very moment it started, with the first ‘kaching’ sound effect, to the last ‘love generation’ moment I was delighted and captivated.

This is a complex, highly message driven piece, with many characters, lots and lots of ideas, humour, irony, history, imagination, and challenging questions about how we are treating our precious planet. And the cast of seven were completely up for it. All dressed in green throughout, and with the minimum of props they jump in and gooi. They all played beautifully together as a well knit ensemble and each and every one of them had a moment to shine. I loved Pheliswa Dayimani as Mother Earth, Nicholas Heymans as Triton, Jo-li Kotze’s Kugel hairdresser and Dylan Owen’s camp cook. Stephen Campbell’s very Seff Effrican Atlas, Katherine Clark’s brilliant Camilla and Lara Meter’s disgusting Red Horseman of the Appocolypse were also fabulous. And that is just the proverbial tip of the iceberg. Speaking of icebergs, how could I not mention Nick and Stephen’s hilarious polar bear scene?

These young people created an exciting, fast paced, moving piece, filled with energy, enthusiasm and commitment. Bravo.

Small Furries

Every now and then there is an amazing animal moment in our house. We have just had one. I ‘needed’ mash for supper tonight and Big Friendly obliged. He is one good mash maker. Mash done and had, there was still some left in the bowl so I took two glomps in each hand to give to the dogs. The cats heard the action and came running! Then began the ritual of dogs first, then cats, eating mash off my fingers. Annie’s back paws were on the dining room table and her front paws were stretched out on the chair back, Chassie was between my legs and Bayla and Gally stood lined up for their turn. It was a hilarious, ‘please can I have some more’ performed by dogs and cats. Love it.

Fabulous Little Poof

16857_295318435026_559715026_4942158_4980140_n.jpg Bruce J Little performs his teeny little cabaret called Little Poof this week at Beefcakes in Somerset Road and I went to check it out last night.
I’m going to tell you all about the show before I get into the venue, because I don’t want to put you off.

Little Poof is a collection of sketches and songs performed by Bruce with music (and music direction) by Catherine Hopkins. It is a charming, very funny, relaxed, intimate little show.

Bruce is delightful. He has a lovely, pleasing singing voice, and while his song choices are not always my faves, I like what he did with almost all of them. I particularly loved his serious and very moving interpretation of Brenda Fassie’s Weekend Special, and his rendition of Mad World by Tears for Fears. His hilarious opening, I’m Coming Out, as he does between the clothes on the rail, is beyond cute. While reinterpretations of songs to push the gay angle are nothing new, Bruce has a naughty twinkle and a very relaxed style which allows him to pull it off.

His character sketches are equally good. I especially loved Marika (I think that was her name), the fag hag, with the divine pink poncho with attached boobs and pearls. She was so, so funny as she explained Gay 101. I loved coloured Shenaaz, that rhymes with the wine, and I loved black Joburg dancer, ‘jealous down’. His very serious runaway boy worked less well for me, but that’s because I really don’t like people being children on stage.

Little Poof is a cute, accessible, little show, that deserves an audience, because it will be so enjoyed. But, and here it comes, I am going to really struggle to support that venue.

I have never been to Beefcakes before. It’s a pumping pink restaurant upstairs with a spiral staircase taking you into its bowels for the theatre. Not a good sign for me. The second not good sign are the twenty odd silver chairs arranged in two rows of a semi-circle to make audience seats. Sheesh, you’ve gone to the trouble of building the world’s teeniest stage, at least make a plan for an audience! It is absolutely obvious from the moment you enter that the space was not designed for actual life performance that people should actually sit and watch.
Then, there is smoking allowed. How backward, barbaric and outrageous. I had someone smoking behind me, while the show was on. I kid you not. Sorry. Not good.

And then! During the show two totally unforgivable things happened. The first was that the door to the venue was opened so some guy from upstairs could come in and scratch around behind us for five whole minutes before leaving with two six packs of something. The second was a waiter opening the door and crossing the space in between us and the stage, making Bruce (who managed to remain in character and charming throughout) totally lose his place and train of thought. That damn waiter took the same route out of there after fetching something from the bar! In fact, each time the door was opened, the sound of ‘Bitchy Bingo’ from upstairs drowned Bruce out, and for the rest, when the door was closed, it provided a distracting soundtrack.

I am done with venues wanting to do a bit of theatre ‘on the side’ and making it so the performers have to fight a battle with the venue in order to do their show. Shows and performers need to be supported, helped and honoured. I’m done with performers being treated like travelling gypsy scum who will settle for scraps and damn well take what’s dished out to them. I so hope Bruce takes this show to a different venue. I think it would work really well at The Kalk Bay Theatre. I know that he is relying on the pink dollar in Green Point, but I’m sure a venue change at a later stage will give the show the theatrical space it needs. At least there will be some lights to see Bruce and Catherine in.

Nonetheless, Little Poof is still on for this week, until Saturday, and then there is a special charity performance of it on Monday 26, where proceeds will go to an organisation helping lesbians in the township. And it is worth sucking it up and going to see it.

Newlands Cape Town

Although I had trained quite hard yesterday morning I made the impulsive decision to go on a small hike through the Newlands forest yesterday afternoon with my friend and the dogs.

For all of those who have hiked up to the contour path, I don’t need to tell you about it, you’ll know. It is quite hard going getting to the top (my legs and bum were aching) but it is really really worth the effort. Then it is proper forest with low hanging growth, dark, overgrown secret bits, rocky outcrops, tiny (even at this time of year) streams, patches of purple flowers, and the stillness stillness stillness of no traffic.

On the steep way down, out of breath and almost chilly from cooling sweat, I remarked about how miraculous it was that it was possible to go on a three hour mountain forest walk in the city. Literally in it.

And I had a lasting (a bit like the stiffness I feel this morning) sense of love for this Cape Town I call home. As we wondered back to the parking lot dozens of people were coming out of the forest. Fathers and sons on mountain bikes, couples with babies, man and dog, groups of picnickers, grandparents and hyperactive grandchildren all came off the paths.

Now my only wish is that Capetonians could drive with the ease and chillness that they relax in nature, especially when it rains, which somehow makes them totally nuts.

World Cup skande

It has started. And I am shocked.

Let me start at the beginning. I went with a friend to have a coffee at a swanky/shabby/chic Cafe Neo in Mouille Point. It was my first time there and I struggled to keep my focus on our conversation because there is this huge double table in the middle of the space, with benches on either side and everyone hangs out on their Apple Macs! I have never seen that many of them squeezed into one space. I couldn’t believe that I too had one, but it was at home. This weekend I am going to buy a little sheath for my Mac a Tiny, so it can come everywhere with me. Anyway, I couldn’t decide what I wanted and just had a coke. Then I remembered that there was a little gelato shop down the road. I love ice-cream. And sorbet. Love. So I suggested that we pop on past when we were done.

So we hopped down the road to the teeny shop attached to Newport deli (not my fave place in Cape Town) and were met by the sweetest serving guy, who really struggled to tell me that one small cup, which takes one scoop of ice-cream costs R20. R20. For one scoop of ice-cream in a teeny cup. He told me it was world cup prices. I left empty handed and down hearted. This is so totally not ayoba. It is an outrageous, total rip-off. And people will get cross. In Rome, home of gelato, I paid two Euros for three scoops. So I really don’t know where Newport gets such a total bullshit idea from, but they cannot be supported. The world cup only starts in June. I am a local. And nobody should have to pay R20 for one teeny scoop of ice-cream. Sies.

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