Megan's Head

A place where Megan gets off her head.

Month: May 2013 (Page 2 of 2)

More Song and Dance Reviews

Tracey Saunders gave it a thumbs up in The Cape Times

And Theresa Smith did too in The Argus Tonight.

“ODDLY named, Song and Dance turned out to be an entertaining slip of a comedy.

Short and to the point, the little play does contain a bit of song and dance, but not in the way you would expect from vaudeville or a musical.

It does play a bit on the expression though, in that it presents us with a familiar statement that turns out to be untrue, but only to the extent that it messes with our assumptions.

The dark comedy features three characters: two burglars and a tenant.

It starts with the two inept burglars rifling through a flat, bemoaning the lack of anything worthwhile to steal.

The set is the most elaborate I’ve seen at Kalk Bay Theatre – an open plan lounge cluttered with bright pillows, lamps and kitchen accoutrement on the bar – which then makes fun of the song and dance statement and the play continues in this vein of presenting you with a particular picture that is then proved untrue in words.

Turns out the bumbling burlgars have broken into the wrong flat and they then get to know a whole lot more about the woman than they wanted.

Andile (Nebulane) seems to be the older, more worldly-wise one, while Fikile (Situlweni) still dreams big, even if he can’t follow through on what he wants out of life. Still, for all that they have so little that they feel they need to take from others, they have got each other which is more than their victim has.

Written by Megan Furniss, this is the directorial debut of Ntombi Makhutshi who certainly picked up a lot of good lessons from her stint on London Road.

Makhutshi keeps the pace fast, using Furniss’s satirical script to keep the audience bemused and the plot unfolding at a manageable rate.

Nebulane and Situlweni provide lots of laughter with their physical comedy, while Njokweni gives us the pathos with her shell person. She creates a character who looks like she has everything on the surface, but once you start scratching you realise there is not a lot inside.

The guys go from inept to menacing at a drop of a hat, while Njokweni’s character pokes sly fun at our celebrity culture. They raise some interesting points about what it means to have stuff and whether this means you’ve actually made it in life – but don’t be sidetracked by philosophical points. Pay attention to the words because the jokes come fast.

At just under an hour, the play is very short, but that is good because stretching it further would have belaboured the point. The story reaches a point where the burglars have to make a decision about what to do next, and they do.

Watch it to find out what they decide. It’s a well-spent hour.”

Song And Dance Reviews

What the critics are saying. Artslink:

Kelly Lodewyks: Two would-be burglars break into an apartment that doesn’t quite meet their expectations.

It slowly dawns on them that this is not the apartment of the rich man they had targeted, and drama soon unfolds as the tenant returns home to find the pair of criminals in her house. So starts the comic Song & Dance written by theatre exponent extraordinaire Megan Furniss.

Currently running at the Kalk Bay Theatre, Song & Dance is a fast-paced slapstick look at crime in South Africa, which pokes fun at reality shows and local celebrities. It’s easy to sympathise with the characters as they expose their inner thoughts and vulnerabilities, and as they realise of each other that there is more than meets the eye. We even find ourselves rooting for these so-called bad guys as the show progresses and we come to recognise that everyone is simply doing what they can to get by in life.

The directorial debut of Ntombi Makhutshi (of London Road fame) Song & Dance sees Deon Nebulane, Anele Situlweni and Zondwa Njokweni deliver the three characters with such passion and conviction that when you see them after the show, it’s difficult to separate them from their roles.

The set, by contrast, is minimal with only a few furniture items and no dramatic backdrop or lighting. When sound is used, it is more than ample to put viewers right there in the room and in the shoes of the characters on stage.

Despite the comedy of the story, it hits close to home. It addresses very real issues, but in a light-hearted way. Thoughtful, creative and funny, Song & Dance serves to show that sometimes we are allowed to laugh when things go wrong. A very ‘South African’ piece, it nonetheless has the potential to cross international borders just as easily as it crosses race and language boundaries. This is a show that will appeal to everyone.

Song & Dance was runner up in the regional PANSA (Performing Arts Network of South Africa) playwriting competition and is on its way to the Grahamstown Arts Festival later this year. Catch it right now at the Kalk Bay Theatre.

And Clifford Graham from Monday Missile:

On it’s way to the National Arts Festival fringe in Grahamstown, where it is sure to be a hit, Megan Furniss’s new play Song and Dance has a preview run at the Kalk Bay Theatre. Given Megan Furniss’s impressive credentials as a theatre-maker, and sharp sense of comedy, it’s little wonder that this play is off to a good start.
A bungled burglary, two hapless would be thieves find themselves in the wrong apartment. The targeted victim lives next door! Instead, the current resident comes home to find the thieves scratching their heads at the lack of valuable pickings in her flat. This in itself  sets a scenario for much mirth, but soon things develop into an even more bizarre situation. From being caught red handed, what ensues is a hilarious look at life in South Africa. Even Gareth Cliff gets a mention. Ntombi Makhutshi directs an impressive ensemble in Anele Situlweni, Deon Nebulane and Zondwa Njokweni. I have to say I was amazed by Zondwa Njokweni’s antics in an impressive looking pair of heels. Anele Situlweni and  Deon Nebulane as the bungling burglars have enough home grown buffoonery in them to keep an audience laughing for Africa. Happily the comedy is contained making it all the more plausible. Song and Dance while being something of a dark comedy does provide an opportunity to see a typically South African issue in a different light.
Simon Cooper of KBT productions has done well to spot the potential of this play. It’s sure to do well wherever it is staged
Song and Dance may make you feel a little uncomfortable at times, given the regularity of house breaking in South Africa, but the comedy that ensues from the situation will keep you laughing long after the inevitable rousing applause.

The Hollow Men

The Hollow Men

T. S. Eliot

Mistah Kurtz—he dead.

      A penny for the Old Guy

      I

We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Leaning together
Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
Our dried voices, when
We whisper together
Are quiet and meaningless
As wind in dry grass
Or rats’ feet over broken glass
In our dry cellar

Shape without form, shade without colour,
Paralysed force, gesture without motion;

Those who have crossed
With direct eyes, to death’s other Kingdom
Remember us—if at all—not as lost
Violent souls, but only
As the hollow men
The stuffed men.

      II

Eyes I dare not meet in dreams
In death’s dream kingdom
These do not appear:
There, the eyes are
Sunlight on a broken column
There, is a tree swinging
And voices are
In the wind’s singing
More distant and more solemn
Than a fading star.

Let me be no nearer
In death’s dream kingdom
Let me also wear
Such deliberate disguises
Rat’s coat, crowskin, crossed staves
In a field
Behaving as the wind behaves
No nearer—

Not that final meeting
In the twilight kingdom

      III

This is the dead land
This is cactus land
Here the stone images
Are raised, here they receive
The supplication of a dead man’s hand
Under the twinkle of a fading star.

Is it like this
In death’s other kingdom
Waking alone
At the hour when we are
Trembling with tenderness
Lips that would kiss
Form prayers to broken stone.

      IV

The eyes are not here
There are no eyes here
In this valley of dying stars
In this hollow valley
This broken jaw of our lost kingdoms

In this last of meeting places
We grope together
And avoid speech
Gathered on this beach of the tumid river

Sightless, unless
The eyes reappear
As the perpetual star
Multifoliate rose
Of death’s twilight kingdom
The hope only
Of empty men.

      V

Here we go round the prickly pear
Prickly pear prickly pear
Here we go round the prickly pear
At five o’clock in the morning.

Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow
                                For Thine is the Kingdom

Between the conception
And the creation
Between the emotion
And the response
Falls the Shadow
                                Life is very long

Between the desire
And the spasm
Between the potency
And the existence
Between the essence
And the descent
Falls the Shadow
                                For Thine is the Kingdom

For Thine is
Life is
For Thine is the

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.

Drive With Me

KBT ads Sample 03 _0005_Drive

The Song And Dance bridge

I hope I am not reading too much into last night’s Song And Dance audience. It was tiny, but it spanned the Cape Town demographic absolutely. White, coloured and black were the flavour of the 20 odd people who laughed, chuckled, guffawed and wheezed through the show, from beginning to end. I also sat there with a face splitting grin, and laughing my head off; I find this play completely hilarious.

But my inner delight is that it feels like this piece has transcended certain racial, cultural and language barriers, and can truly be enjoyed by all South Africans. This is the amazing achievement of the director and cast, whose style and interpretation of comedy is broad and deep. I don’t think I have ever seen performances quite like these; totally true to the material, totally original and creative, totally committed and enthusiastic and totally hilarious.

Don’t get me wrong. I think it is a massive challenge to sell this play. It needs to be said. A white, suburban theatre going audience does not generally choose to see a play with an all black cast. There is this vibe that it’s “not for them”. A black audience in Cape Town is rarer than hen’s teeth. Matched with the Kalk Bay Theatre being situated off the beaten track, it is a double challenge. And then coloured audiences in general seem to throw all their support at coloured work; Mark Lottering, Joe Barber, Loukman Adams.

But last night, all jumped into the pot. All. And we kicked back and laughed. Together.

Already Reflecting on Song And Dance

I was so proud last night. I couldn’t have been prouder. I experienced the amazing sensation of having my writing, ideas, intentions and humour brought to life by other, incredibly talented people. What an honour.

Dearest Ntombi Makhutshi, thank you for agreeing to direct this piece. Nobody else could have done such an amazing job. Your casting was perfection, your comic sensibility was spot on, and you deeply understood where I was going with the text.

Anele Sithulweni, Deon Nebulane and Zondwa Njokweni you are what I dreamed of and more. You have given life to the characters and made them real, whole, human and totally hilarious. You crack me up.

Tara Louise Notcutt I am humbled that you are our hands behind everything. You remind me what being in theatre is all about. Bless you.

Finally, to Simon Cooperand Helen Cooper; you two have remained such staunch supporters of my work, from the first little thing I directed at KBT, to the biggest things. I am delighted that you ‘see’ what I am doing and then put your backs into it so solidly. It can’t happen without you.

Opening night audience, you were divine, generous and receiving. Now please tell everybody to come, laugh and have a jaul.

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