Megan's Head

A place where Megan gets off her head.

Month: December 2012

Why we are world leaders in road deaths

This is my final, big, fat moan of the year. Yesterday I was driving home after work. I was listening to Africa Melane on 567 bemoaning the huge holiday death toll on our roads. He was saying the usual (we have heard it all a million times) about how nobody cares about their own lives and the lives of others, and how people do the most ridiculous things behind the wheel, and callers were phoning in with their 2c worth.

Anyway, I was at a red robot when I started hearing the sirens of a yet unseen emergency vehicle. The robot changed to green and I saw the red flashing lights of a fire engine weaving through the diagonal traffic, so I waited for it to go through the red. Would you believe that the complete chop in the car behind me started hooting for me to go? Yes, the knob wanted me to ignore the rules of the road and common decency and just drive, because the robot was in my favour. As I gesticulated like a berserk crazy thing he just hooted again. Finally, after the truck had gone by and I had turned, he overtook me in the left hand lane.

I was boiling. Africa and his callers were still going on and on, and I understood how deeply messed up we are on the roads. As if  by universal design I was then nearly forced off the road by an Albany bread delivery truck who didn’t think I was going fast enough, even though I was doing the speed limit.

So depressing.

 

30 Exciting things before the year ends. And after. And latkes.

So Christmas has just been, and in a special twist of lucky fish fate it was a divine family one, with Big Friendly’s true blood in the Cape to celebrate. It was delicious, and seven year old Kai crowned me the best cooker. What an award.

But before I even relax a teeny bit I am getting ready to jump into a few things before the year is out. I am in the recording studio over the next two days, directing voice overs for GreatGuide, who have more than one or two projects on the go that I am involved with. And tomorrow (Thurs 27th) w are performing our first monthly long form experimental improv show called Jam Sandwich, at The Alexander Bar. The teeny theatre above the bar seems to have taken off with wings, and we are delighted to be part of it. I think we are all sold out for tomorrow night. How cool? Cool.

Then, rehearsals are under way for Fully Committed. I worked on directing this show at the very beginning of the year with Pieter Bosch Botha, who performed this decadent marathon of a one-man-playing-37-characters, before he took it to the Festival of Fame in Jozi. Well, now on the first two weekends of 2013 it is going to have its first showing in Cape Town at The Alexander Bar. I can’t wait. Pieter Bosch Botha is inspiring. It will be on on Friday and Saturday the 4th and 5th and again the following weekend of the 11th and 12th. Book here now because the small venue sells out fast.

And then, on the 9th of January I am winging my way to Prague, of all places, for two weeks. It’s also for GreatGuide. We are going to be designing and writing commentary for walking tours of Prague and I cannot wait! Prague. Winter. Oldness. Eastern Europe. 1st time.

I come straight back and jump into our most exciting Improv Festival at the Kalk Bay Theatre from 30 Jan to 9 Feb.

Gung ho for next year I tell ya.

But right now it is latke time with our favourite family, the Noodles. Here is my made up recipe for the most flawless, delicious latkes. Grate peeled potatoes on the fine grate. Do an onion too. Squeeze out as much juice as you can. Mix in an egg and some flour. Put blobs of the mixture in hot oil. Turn them often and try your hardest to wait until they go a delicious golden brown. Eat with sour cream, apple sauce (apparently), marmalade (not my cuppa) or even dijon mustard. Yum.

Totally Enchanting Kitchen Fables in a Cookie Jar

pic by Niklas Zimmer

Second time I have literally had to drag my sorry arse to morning children’s theatre, only this time I had the legitimate excuse of feeling a little jagged. it was fellow improviser Lisa Greenstein’s wedding last night.

As much as I didn’t feel like driving out to Kalk Bay Theatre for Jori Snell’s Kitchen Fables in a Cookie Jar, I knew I would love it once I got there and I wasn’t disappointed. Ok, I was, because it wasn’t totally sold out. But that’s the only reason.

There were lot’s of teenie weenies in the audience and before she started, Jori introduced herself and put active imaginations to rest in terms of scariness. It worked. The kids bought in, cookie jar, spoon and whisk.

This delicious piece takes place in a kitchen that is sometimes an ordinary space, and sometimes a strange, dream place, where all the ordinary becomes interesting and unusual and something other. Lights, paper, utensils, flour and special effects transform, but it is the magical Jori who takes us on, with and through. She is a technical master, an elastic girl and an imagination wizard. I loved every last minute. And so did the kids around me. They laughed, cackled, whispered and spoke their delight.

My favourite was lemon finger man. But I loved everything else too. The special magic grass floor, the flour faced old lady, the quirky cookie kitchen pixie, the light fitting, the jar face. The sound was trippy and wonderful too.

Find a kid to take along to this absolute delight.

Swooping Swoop

I have to confess, the last thing I felt like doing was dragging my adult self to a children’s show at 11am this morning, but I am so chuffed with myself that I did. I missed Swoop the first time it was on, but today I got to see its first performance at the Theatre Arts Admin Collective in Obz, and I am so bladdy excited that there is a clever, fun, original piece of live theatre for kids this holiday.

Swoop, based on a story by Hilda Cronje, worked on by Karen Jeynes and directed by Pieter Bosch Botha is an action packed, multimedia, environmental piece that will delight and entertain even the most jaded of 6 to 12 year olds. And it is local. And it is local.

Swoop tells the story of a young boy, Sam, who moves with his mom from Cape Town to Durban and how he befriends Jabu, who sparks an interest in him for swallows. This leads to all sorts of things happening; at home, at school and even at the airport! It is action packed, modern, age old, hilarious and even moving (I did. I shed a tear) with songs, and dancing, and puppetry and a brilliant table that can do and become everything. Talented young performers Iman Isaacs, Harrison Makubalo, Shaun Acker and Shaun Gabriel Smith make a beautiful meal of it all. I loved them equally and very much.

So here is my challenge. Dear parents of Cape Town, break the mould. Get off the beaten track. Take your kids to something different, in a different space. Swooping great story, brilliantly told and 100% enjoyable.

The Epicene Butcher, Kamishibai and my new found joy

I didn’t even really know what it was. And now I am entirely in love with it. Maybe I am in love with it because Jemma Kahn and her sulky, sexy, schoolgirl sidekick are so completely amazing. Maybe I am in love with it because of Jemma’s voice, which would make Liz Mills so proud. Maybe it is the stories; each one more mesmerising than the next. Maybe it’s because it’s Japanese and I thought of Japan. Maybe because it sweeps through all emotions and times and genres lightly, accurately and full of laughing. Maybe it’s because of Maru, or the Japanese metal in between, or the blackboard titles, or the blacked out rude bits, or Nerusome Manderah, or the poetry or the darkness.

So, you don’t have too many chances to go and see The Epicene Butcher and Other Stories for Consenting Adults at Upstairs at The Alexander Bar, because it is the most teeny of runs, but you need to know that it is beautiful, amazing, touching, riveting, hilarious and brilliant. I would go if I was you. I am going to go again. Just saying.

Going to Gaga

Everyone still wants to know why I went to Lady Gaga last night. And I had a few good reasons; I wanted to go to the stadium for a big concert, I could go with some friends who had actual seats (in the old days I would go to concerts with my own crate to stand on so I could see), and I imagined a Lady Gaga concert to have amazing spectacle.

I loved the efficiency of the park and ride from the Civic. I loved how easy the stadium was to access. I loved the amazing smell of the sea as we walked through the gates and I loved the great sky view once inside. I loved that I was a 47 year old off to a concert with my friend and her 12 year old daughter, who was going to her first big concert ever. I was a little pissed that you weren’t allowed to bring in one single thing of your own to eat and as a non wheat eating non meat eating person there was literally nothing to eat at all, except for a packet of Simba chips for R25, but that shall be the subject of an open letter to stadium management.

Lady Gaga made a spectacular and grand entrance at 9pm (after a seriously forgettable performance by The Darkness; a UK one hit wonder band that posed not one drop of creative threat to the Gaga gaggle) and then, for the first couple of songs at least, we were exposed to the crazy, complicated, and amazing combination of brilliant set, costume, dancing, singing, lights, weird hologram, and giant four storey castle that was completely mind blowing. Yes, I was having a great time, and I even knew (and liked) some of the songs! This was the Lady Gaga I had expected; edgy, provocative, cheapandtrashysexy, foul mouthed and rude, energetic and bizarre. It was fun! Her dancers were outrageous and amazing, the set twisted and turned, her costumes were crazy and radical and it was all going as planned.

Then it turned. Then she did a weird “I love you Cape Town” speech. It was long. And shmaltzy. And completely manipulative. It felt like she thought we weren’t loving her enough. And it went on and on. I was uncomfortable and I wasn’t the only one. And then she did it again. Then she took ages choosing fans to come up on stage with her, and they were godawful. They smooshed around her while she sang the song about being born beautiful and I started gagging at Gaga. It was endless. She was like a little, broken winged, American, Oprah-Barbie with trite bullshit about how we could all make it and become stars. Eeew. And then she did that again! In her encore. By which stage a third of the crowd had left the stadium. I bet they were as creeped out as I was.

We were all efficiently moved from the stadium back to the Civic in a bit of a dwaal. What had just happened to the psycho who told us she wanted us all at work with crazy hangovers in the morning to turn her into the slightly simpering fag hag who needed to share her childhood dreams with 45 000 of us? Weird out.

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