Megan's Head

A place where Megan gets off her head.

Month: February 2011 (Page 1 of 3)

Aziz The Gardener

A split second decision not to take the old ladies to the beach but to our usual weekday park this morning led to an inspirational Sunday morning encounter.

It was still and getting warm as we dodged the sprinklers. Then I saw a dog arriving that I was sure we hadn’t met before and she was a pitbull that looked mean and dangerous. Big Friendly and I decided to avoid contact with her and we left the park via the far entrance and made our way to the field below, with the dogs at our heels.

We were walking along the edge of the field, along the fence which looks onto the back of the Nur Orphanage, when I noticed a man watering a gorgeous patch of garden. It was herbs and flowers and some veggies and sunflowers and geraniums and Okra and fennel. It was a heavenly patch of growing, there, along the fence. I spoke to the man, exclaiming, “what a lovely garden!” and he got really excited and enthusiastic. In absolutely broken English he told me he was Aziz, from Cairo, Egypt (he made pains to explain) and he had been in South Africa for 17 months. He loves Mandela, his one sunflower plant had 27! flowers (he called them fruit), he something something about a room and a lock, and he wanted to give me (he gestured with his hands in a cupped position) “plant with roots!”.

Before long I had a fist of basil leaves, mint and lemon geranium and firm instructions to wait. Next came two cosmos flowers and a tip of pink geranium. Then I had to wait while he cut a bunch of spinach and gently washed the leaves before putting them in a plastic packet. Finally he pulled out, washed and trimmed three green onions for me.

I got into the car, where Big Friendly and the old ladies were patiently waiting for me, with the fresh, fragrant and delicious smell of herbs, flowers and veggies.

TheatreSports FUNdraiser for Natalie

Firstly, a bit of housekeeping. Within hours of Simon laying down the challenge, his R50 000 ceiling was capped! How awesome is that? We still need to raise much, much more though. So, is there anyone out there with a similar deal for the next R50 000? I am beyond proud of meganshead readers who have been human angels.

Then, the rest of this post is my press release. Please come. Please spread the word. We have exactly a week to sell 638 seats.

Natalie’s Circle of Love TheatreSports FUNdraiser

Where: The Baxter Theatre Concert Hall

When: Fri 4 March @20h00

How much: R100 a ticket

TheatreSports, Cape Town’s longest running and most favourite live theatre show, has been delighting audiences with their special brand of creative, interactive hilariousness since 1993.

If there is one thing that this team of improvisers know, it’s that laughter is the best medicine. That’s why, when we, the members of TheatreSports Cape Town heard about 10 year old Natalie Cohen’s rare cancer Chordoma, and the huge and expensive treatment she was going to need overseas, we decided to put on a FUNdraiser.

So, on Friday the 4 March, at 20h00, at The Baxter Theatre Concert Hall you can come and laugh and play with us for an hour and ten minutes. It’s going to be improvisation like you’ve never seen it before! Teams of players will compete against each other by playing improvised games based on suggestions from the audience, and scored by judges in the audience. It’s crazy, unpredictable and completely hilarious.

Natalie and her whole family will be there. It’s their last night before Natalie and her mom Shirley and dad Jonny fly off to Regensberg in Germany for huge surgery.

While so many generous people have pledged and donated money towards this unbelievably expensive undertaking to get Natalie treatment, there were many who felt unsure about what they could do, or intimidated by how small and insignificant their offering would be. This is a chance for all of you to contribute! R100 buys you a ticket. The Concert Hall has 638 seats! Our goal is to sell out the show. The show is suitable for everybody and is especially loved by young people of all ages. Buy a ticket. Bring your family and friends. Buy a ticket for someone else! Share in the laughter and become part of Natalie’s Circle of Love.

Info about TheatreSports www.theatresports.co.za

Info about Natalie’s Circle of Love and the human angels who are helping  www.nataliescircleoflove.org

Natalie’s story and some of the amazing people who have helped on my blog www.meganshead.co.za

To reserve tickets please email megan@improvision.co.za or call me on 0834403961

My rekindled love affair with TheatreSports

I woke up this morning with a real spring in my step. I had a grin stretching to both my ears and I was completely full of beans. The reason for this is that I played TheatreSports last night after a break of 10 months, and a cannot begin to explain what a total jol it was. It was a regular TheatreSports show at The Kalk Bay Theatre. There was a great and warm audience. And the show was original, very hilarious, and an absolute soul energiser for me.

There is something so refreshing and inspiring about being on stage and making things up in front of an audience. Of course, not everything works, and some things are more successful than others. Some ideas fall flat, some don’t even get a chance to come out of your mouth, and sometimes things go pear-shaped in front of you. But when an idea happens and it gets taken up and transformed, and achieves soaring heights of original, often hilarious results, it is the best feeling in the world. There is nothing quite like the team spirit of a TheatreSports team. There is nothing like the shared enjoyment of a successful moment.

Ah, I have been reminded of my fix. And I am playing again on Monday night, at The Intimate. I can’t wait!

Simon’s Challenge

Simon has challenged to pay R2 for every R1 (up to a maximum of R50 000. I kid you not!)that Meganshead readers pay, to raise money for Natalie, the sick little girl I wrote about a few posts below. Meganshead readers, this is an extraordinary thing. PLease, make payments into the Circle of Love account whose details can be found on Natalie’s Circle of Love website. Then email me your proof of payments and I’ll forward them directly to Simon to match and double. How completely amazing is that?

Also, watch this space. We are going to be doing a massive TheatreSports performance to fundraise.

Memory of How It Feels

I took my friend V with me to last evening’s opening of Neo Muyanga’s Memory of How It Feels at The Baxter because she loves music a lot. This live performance is directed by Ina Wichterich, with Apollo Ntshoko, Chuma Sopotela, Andile Vellem, and musicans Galina Juritz, Thandi Ntuli, Candice Martin, Benjamin Jephta, Anna Telford, Natalie Mason, Nicola du Toit. Obviously Neo wrote the script, composed the music and was there with the musicians, playing, singing and conducting.

My writing about this piece is definitely going to be all over the place and will probably make little complete sense. This is probably because it’s exactly how I received the piece. There were things I absolutely loved, and thought I ‘got’, things I loved without having a clue, things I ‘got’ which I found a bit boring, things that I totally didn’t understand and didn’t enjoy.

The piece is sort of in three stories, but it’s hard to tell how they are that. They have weird, non-verbal, dance-move links. I love the language of the stories, and the words. They are strange and the language is manipulated in a totally different, clever and sexy way. It is delicious and surprising. The three performers are quite fantastic. Apollo does most of the speaking, and it’s a tough job with the kind of words he is given to use. He is successful for the most part. And he is an amazing performer. Chuma is so wonderful to watch. She manages to be totally invested in what she does, and it feels so right, and natural, and real. And she has the most beautiful back. Andile is gorgeous too. He is deaf, and his sign language gives the whole thing a different dimension.

It was a treat to have the musicians live, on stage and to watch and listen to how they linked up with the action to become part of a whole. And I enjoyed the music itself, which was original and exciting. And the dancing/moving was beautiful too, if not quite repetitive. You see, I don’t actually get a lot of the dancing/moving stuff, especially if it has a lot of unexplained emotion with it.

And that is the thing, I think. A lot of unexplained emotional stuff. When that happens we, the audience, watch and enjoy but don’t feel. We are watching others feel. And I wanted to feel, but didn’t.

I think Ina, as director, did a wonderful job with the areas that she is an expert in; all the physical, dance, movement stuff was fantastic. The phrasing of the magic words though, needed better sculpting.

Memory of How It Feels is an interesting, sometimes magical, very strange performance. It is not for theatre sissies though. You need to have confident theatre opinion to get your head around it. It might make non theatre people scared.

My friend V didn’t say much, but on the way home she said the experience was a bit like watching cricket when you don’t know how the game works, and you don’t really understand the why of it.

The funny thing is, I’m still thinking about it. And remembering how it feels.

tweet tweet

So, I’ve only recently got into twitter, and while I’m loving it, it’s also making me completely mal. And now I’m also a volunteer tweetcaster. Ja, I am part of CapeGooi and we are going to be voice overing our tweets all about Cape Town, under the banner of @CapeTown. Do I know what I’m doing? Not really. Will it be fun and informative and give me a chance to be out there tuning? Probably. Listen to my first one here and tell me what you think.

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