Megan's Head

A place where Megan gets off her head.

Month: January 2013

Post Prague Improv excitement

It’s taken me longer than I thought it would to recover and get used to being back. Cape Town has been aggressively windy, my sinuses are screaming, and the cough and cold I brought back from the temperatures in the minuses have been resolutely unshakeable. But, there is no time to ponder all of this, because starting from nowish, well at least tonight, is the beginning of two solid weeks of improv, with a brief break for me on the weekend for my sister-in-law’s wedding. It feels totally crazy and exciting, and the best part is that it is all improv so I don’t have to feel unprepared, just open and jolly, really.

Tonight is our first show of the year back at The Intimate, and it will be the usual evening of short form TheatreSports mayhem that our town side locals have come to know and love. Tomorrow night is TheatreSports at Kalk Bay Theatre, again for the usual suspects. After that things get properly crazy. Wednesday 30 Jan and Wed the 6th Feb are Wednesday Westerns, and I must confess I am the most excited to perform this. An hour and a half of Western drama, with guns, stage coach scenes, posses, outlaws, prostitutes, ranchers and everything else. Thursdays are also going to be totally delicious. They are Thursday at Thornton Hall, period dramas in the Jane Austen milieu (100 years today since the release of Pride and Prejudice!), Fridays are Family Musicals and Saturday is a highly competitive format called Superscene. Same thing for the 2nd week. I am absolutely convinced there is something to tickle everyone’s fancy.

I’ll probably write about each one afterwards, but if you want to see how amazingly brilliant, diverse and creative we are, book for our fest on the Kalk Bay Theatre website, or call Lisa on 0729393351 for the Monday or Tuesday shows.

Smelling Prague

One of the things you can never anticipate or predict is what a place you have never been to will smell like. Some places you visit for the first time are like a smell assault. You can’t imagine the smells before, and when you get there it’s all about them. When I was flying kilometers above Mumbai I could already smell the city. Now when I remember that time many years ago I remember the smells.

Prague remembered will also be a series of smells. There is the pre-snow smell and the snow smell. Snow has a smell. It is a great smell. There is the very different petrol smell. Absinth on tourists’ breath smell. Dog piss on snow under a streetlight smell. The cheap perfume on hot air leaving the souvenir shops. The greasy smell of outside heaters and the machines that clear the snow on the Old Town Square. The smells of winter; I cannot possibly imagine what Prague summer would smell like now.

Spiced hot wine is a smell. Dark beer is a smell. Garlic soup is a smell. Meat is a smell. Indoor smoke at restaurants is a smell. Fruit tea is a smell.  Ghost breath is a smell and old is a smell. The little sweets with funny faces in a teeny bowl at the hotel’s reception is a smell. The churches are a smell. Wenceslas Square is a different, complex, more modern, more global, doner kebab, hot wine, cheap clothes, foreign tourist, fast food, Thai massage, cigarette, marijuana smell.

Wet shoes are a smell. No sweat is a smell. Meat and potato smells fill the air. Garlic soup.

The chairs in the lobby. The lift, a vaguely herby, buchu smell.  The Italian old man who brushed my cheek in the lift smell. The bright blue soap in the dispenser smell. The ginger tea smell.

Tomorrow I will be leaving. But I will remember Prague by smell.

Prague so far

It will have to be a weird, jumbled list. Standing in a proper snow storm. Visiting the Jewish Quarter. The changing of the guards at the Castle. The insurance company’s stained glass window of the Cathedral. The beautiful astrological reliefs on the church gate. The pampered dogs of Prague. The houses with symbols instead of numbers. The micro brewery at the Strahov Monastery. King Rudolph 2’s magical Cabinet of Curiosities with unicorn horns, a Basilisk, massive dead crabs and tree books. The Golem of Prague, the Church of St Nicholas, The Infant of Prague Church, where you pray and if your prayer is answered you send a dress to the doll of the infant. The magnificent and romantic St Charles Bridge, St John who got thrown off the bridge and where people touch the two places on the relief. The strange Irish band of four Czech boys who sang Down In The Balley yo” in the Irish pub that sells Bisto, Marmite and LemSip. Nigerian drug dealers on Wenceslas Square. Cobbles. Goths. The Spanish Synagogue, soup served in round breads. Meat. Almost pagan nativity scenes. Marrionettes. Bohemia. Poor little St Vitus. Good King Wenceslas and his banner. Slavia. The Absinthe painting. The Absinthe ice cream shop. Did I say the snow? Trams. Apple strudel. Salad for breakfast. An exciting presidential election. Freezing hands. Hot wine. Hot white wine. The Sand Pact – go slow in the Nazi occupation. Slovakia. Crepes. Hot chocolate. Franz Kafka. Movies. Communism. Tourism. Pride. Horror stories. Ghost stories. Rabbi Lev. The Forbes 2nd Ugliest Building in The World. Delightful English by Czech speakers. Pastry shops. Theatre. Architecture. Statues.

Prague at a glance

The weirdest thing about traveling to a new place is how excited you get when you know where you are and you can navigate yourself back to where you are staying. The unfamiliar and strange becomes accessible and recognisable. For me it is also the moment when you stop thinking about yourself and start looking at the local people and imagining their lives. Their homes. Their routines. What they like and don’t like. What pets they have and when and where they walk them.

Our world has become very small. Prague is peppered with global brands like Mc Donald’s, H&M and Starbucks. The KPMG building looks like it has been lifted out of Cape Town and plonked into this city. But there are the things that define it immediately as unique. The horse and rider statues, the silhouette of an actual castle, the bridge over the river, the Old Town Square, the trams, the cobble stones.

I can’t wait to explore deeper, when I am refreshed and responsive tomorrow.

Racing start to the New Year

Wow. I feel like I have hardly had time to breathe, let alone write here. But at the very moment, I am on the bed with Frieda farting in my direction, I have said goodbye to family who were down for the hols, I have opened Fully Committed to delighted audiences, I have planned my recording session for tomorrow, recovered from a nasty gastro bug and I need to start thinking about Prague, which is next on the agenda. I leave on Wednesday and will be gone for 2 weeks.

It has been a non-stop, work, play, do time for me and it is how I like it. This year is going to be jam packed, and the best part is that I’ll be doing tons of my own stuff in amongst the other stuff I normally do, and I will be doing amazing, exciting and challenging work stuff. I am very excited, if not a little bit nervous.

But, while I am away, please go and see the unbelievably talented and versatile Pieter Bosch Botha in Fully Committed at Alexander Bar next weekend, or the next. It is such an entertaining piece.

 

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