Megan's Head

A place where Megan gets off her head.

Month: March 2011 (Page 1 of 3)

Rhymes with wit, smells really bad

The Fleur Du Cap awards have sent out an embarrassing and contrite press release on artslink explaining how they discovered that two of the recipients of awards in two separate categories on the night were wrong! So, read the story. The gist of it is that judges were surprised at the results on the night and ‘discovered’ that the two awards had been given to the wrong people!

James Cairns who won (not!) for Best Performer in a One Man Show and Ilse Klink who won (not!) for Best Performer in a Musical were quietly stripped of their awards and the “rightful” recipients, Antoinette Kellerman and James Borthwick were officially crowned the winners. Anyone else find this one of the siffest, most unsavory things for the respected (but often controversial) annual Cape theatre awards to have done?

Nothing like saying “sorry, wrong guys” to royally screw up the credibility  of the process, the judges the organisation, the supporters and the artists who were (and weren’t) nominated! A bit like pissing on your own battery and then still hoping it will run your car, if you ask me. I would be furious, and hurt and embarrassed if I was James or Ilse, and confused and embarrassed if I was a ‘newly crowned’ winner.

There are also some really fishy questions that need to be asked. If the ballot is really secret how were the ‘glaring mistakes’ discovered? Then, why was it not left alone? At what point could it be helpful or respectful or credible to open that can of ‘past-its-sell-by-date’ worms? Why? Why do something that definitely only causes huge harm and creates massive doubt in the minds of all who won, and didn’t win and those of us who watched. Why make your own names gat like that?

The story is a horrible, hurtful slab of skinner, complete with shock value, skandaal and bad taste. And I don’t know how it can be fixed.

Aikona FDC and Distell.

Broken, but not just Glass

A few people saw me at the opening of Arthur Miller’s Broken Glass at The Fugard on Thursday night, and a couple of them have asked me what I thought. I guess there has been a bit of a surprise that I haven’t written anything. So here’s why.

I wasn’t sure I was going to write anything; I wasn’t sure it was fair, since my date and I left at interval, and unless I am in a rage of offense about the terribleness of a show, I don’t think it is fair to write. But we didn’t really leave because of the show. We left because of our seats.

Again, it doesn’t really seem fair to complain; I was invited to the opening night after all, but actually, it was more like a punishment than an honour. It was my first time at The Fugard. I used to work in the building, when it housed AMAC, and I would climb up the stairs to teach a motley crew improv. So I was suitably impressed when we walked through the grand doors and into the gorgeous foyer/bar/bookshop area. I felt like I had entered a portal from the grimy streets of Cape Town directly into West End. What a transformation! Then I saw my date’s face when she saw our tickets and I had a feeling we were in trouble. Up the stairs we went, stopping briefly to salivate at the most magnificent rehearsal space I have ever seen in my entire life. Up even further we went. To our barstools in the ceiling; SSL22 and 23 to be exact.

It was then that I realised the extent of my punishment. We were deeply along the left hand side of the venue, with only the right hand side of the stage visible. We were on bar stools. We were in the sky, with a perfect view only of the cellist who played the in between music between scenes. We negotiated awkwardly with the other fellow Siberian outcasts next to us, too afraid to lean too far forward in case they couldn’t see. It was awful.

I stood for the second half of the first act. When my date whispered about whether I had a policy of leaving at interval I didn’t give it a second thought. My back couldn’t take another session of standing. And I didn’t feel like doing that for what was ostensibly a radio play for me. I know that all my quibbles with the performances of the actors would have lessened if I could have seen their eyes, or faces!

We left. So, here’s what I think, dear Fugard Theatre. Thanks for the comps, but no thanks. Do not invite people and then make people sit there, in the Siberian Steppe equivalent of theatre seats; especially for traditional, old-fashioned theatre, more suited to a proscenium arch space. Maybe, if really poor, desperate students of theatre are prepared to pay R15 to sit there, on the understanding that they have been given a special chance, then use them. But, I felt like I was being sent a message. You can come to opening night, but only just. The problem is that you can’t watch theatre from there and not hate every last second of it. I know that the production really wasn’t that bad, but from where I was the accents were inconsistent, the relationships unconvincing, the Jewishness stereotypical, the play dated; Sir Antony Sher notwithstanding.

Not the Cricket World Cup

Big Friendly suffers from road rage. I, on the other hand, get Protea rage. I have had to literally calm down after yesterday’s perfect example of what not to do in a quarter-final, before trying to write anything because I have been so woes!

The reason I am beyond myself with anger is because I saw it coming, and yet, still, I hoped, prayed and totally believed that I would be proved wrong and be labelled a fickle supporter. In fact I was desperate to be wrong. And I think, with hindsight, me and a couple of violently vocal disappointniks all felt the same way.

On paper it the New Zealanders weren’t even in the race when compared with the calibre of the Proteas. But the Proteas absolutely did not have what it took, and no amount of shouting, tweeting, cursing, begging and groaning from their desperate supporters could get them into a winning state of mind.

Yesterday’s game was hard because of the loss, but also how they lost. And it reminded me of the loss against England, and even the win against India, which, if we are totally honest, could have gone the other way if Dhoni had chosen a different bowler in the last over.

I can feel myself getting all worked up, again. And this is not good. We deserve better. I swore I wouldn’t watch the rest of the competition, but I can’t help taking a peak to see what the Proteas just tossed away. Sies. Not good enough boys.  And I don’t care what anyone says, they are going to have to earn the dropping of the title ‘chokers’.

At Cracks Only last night (which was really good fun) the joke was, what’s the Proteas favourite drink? Brandy and choke!

I’m gonna be a Crack!

I am so looking forward to this Friday. It’s my birthday, and I am performing with an all girl improv team from TheatreSports at the monthly Cracks Only show at The Baxter! I think that it’s a great way to celebrate my femaleness and agedness. It also counts as work, which I love doing on any celebration day.

Cracks Only is wickedly funny Marianne Thamm, delicious, quirky comedienne Anne Hirsch (one of our TS team too), clever, physical character comedy actor Shimmy Isaacs and brilliant actor Anthea Thompson (who is in Broken Glass at The Fugard at the moment so won’t be being a crack on Friday). Cracks Only normally have guests at their monthly performances and this Friday we are them! Tandi Buchan, Candice D’Arcy, Yve Pelser and I will be jumping into some testosterone free improv as the final act of the evening. Anything could happen.

I can’t wait! Tickets cost R100 and can be booked through Computicket. The show starts at 2130. I’d love to see you there.

Theatre Theatre

The Fleur du Cap awards are the funniest things. I love the occasion, with everyone all dressed up, and all the pretty drinks and theatre sexiness and air kisses. I love Artscape as a fdc venue. It is just the right balance of totally over the top excess and kitch, and tacky theatre threadbare. Love it.

I love all the mixed emotions and happinesses and joys and even the disappointments and disagreements in opinion and results. “How could they have?” is replaced by “Now he deserves it” in the very next award. Personal favourites are rooted for in spite of the public trend. Some awards are surprises; coming totally out of the blue, and others are the ‘same old same old’ predictable.

I love the acceptance speeches, covering the whole emotional spectrum from political outburst to smothering supplication. I love Alan Committie. He is the best emcee.

I love that theatre is given this one night to indulge in the wild dream that it is valid, glamorous, successful and meaningful.

Well done and bravo to all those who were nominated, and all those who won, especially those of you I know, love and am proud of. You know who you are.

Safe wings for Natalie and Shirley

My friend Shirley and her daughter Natalie leave today for Boston. After two grueling days of travel they will fall into the amazing arms of the USA Circle of Love that has sprung up to hold, help and care for them. The team at Boston’s Mass. Gen will get to know Natalie and they will design special Proton Beam Therapy (PBT) for her before the two operations that she will have. Post operations she will have some recovery time before another dose of PBT to zap the last bits of Chordoma. Shirley and Natalie will be gone for some time, but they take with them the unbelievably powerful love, support, wishes, drives, and complete commitment of their family, friends, colleagues, schools; everyone who has been amazing on hearing the hard news of Natalie’s illness.

You can follow their story on Natalie’s Circle of Love blog or leave a message for them. I’ll also do my best to give you the latest. We are still fund raising (you can imagine how expensive all of this is) and people are thinking of amazing ways to help raise money and awareness. I want to make a special thank you to my meganshead readers for kickstarting the whole drive.

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