It really has been a while since I wrote a blog post. In my defence, after a particularly sluggish year, this last few weeks has been intensely busy. I have been working and travelling (and also procrastinating on some important personal work) and jolling around Jozi, and being a director of plays (one of my favourite things ever), and coming home, and getting all excited about another industrial theatre project that is potentially huge, and getting ready to talk to one of my absolute BFFs, Melinda Ferguson about her newest bestseller (which it will be), Crashed, next week Tuesday 3 November, and run a couple of improv corporate workshops. Among other things. So, this is a short, pop in to my favourite space, to say, I’ll be back . Soon, with more to say.
Month: October 2015 (Page 1 of 2)
Thank you each and every one of you who messaged, shared, called, came to look in gutters, gave advice, support and comfort. Chase is back home, and lying at my feet, after a dramatic search and rescue. My life and heart can return to normal.
For those of you interested, here is the long and boring detail of what happened. I now know that it can happen to anyone, with any type of cat, even a fat, 8 year old, layabout, Big Lubowski personality. Brenton went to call Chassie in (on Tuesday evening), as he does every evening at about 7. I had left 10 minutes before to go to the Alexander Bar to watch the CityVarsity 3rd year final work. I got home at about 9pm to find a frantic Big Friendly on the stoep and no sign of Chassie. At first we thought that he might have climbed up into the engine or bumper of my car and driven with me to the theatre. Our worst and most paranoid fear. The one we visualised endlessly, the whole of Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.
All the obvious things were done. Vets, animal shelters and groups were called, emailed, and face booked. Posters were put up and flyers made. Big Friendly did the rounds, looking for a body. At 5pm yesterday we took our flyers and started going door to door in the neighbourhood, and our neighbours were sweet, and concerned and attentive. Some people felt sure they had seen him. Our last stretch of the search took us to the street behind and parallel to our one (we share an alley between us). People there told us there were lots of cats in the area. I saw a few in an alleyway and kssed to them. They perked up alertly. And then we heard meowing from across the road. It was clearly Chassie’s voice. It took a while to identify that he was hiding in a gap between two sections of a roof, and he was terrified, but, clearly, recognised our voices. I waited with him and spoke to him while Big Friendly walked home to fetch our long step ladder and the cat box (genius idea) and then there we were, hoisting our ladder onto a stranger’s house and coaxing Chassie into the cat box.
He was dirty, ravenous and terribly needy. I hope he has learned his lesson. We tried to read him the riot act but he just started purring, and hasn’t stopped since.
I have a lot to be grateful for, starting with his return. But then there are friends, family, animal lovers, neighbours, organisations and total strangers who helped. Thank you. Chassie is home (and may never be allowed out again).
This is a really hard post to write, but not because of its content or intention. I am writing it with an aching heart, because last night when I went to the theatre our cat Chassie went missing and hasn’t returned. I have conflated the two things and keep thinking that he climbed up into the inside engine part of my car and that I drove off with him and lost him on the way to the Alexander Bar. This is him.
He has a white ringed eye and a black one, making him look quizzical. And his markings give him a side parting. I cannot imagine life without him and I need everybody’s help in bringing him home.
But back to the theatre. I witnessed the CityVarsity 3rd year degree acting project last night and, honestly, I was so impressed. I was impressed that the students thought to invite me and I was super impressed with their self created texts, great concept work, and fantastic, slick and convincing performances. I thought the work was original, fresh, very brave. It was also funny, relevant, moving and powerful. I have been known to be harshly critical of student work, but Inez Robertson, Genna Blair, David Traub, Annemie Jordaan, Lobke Hein, Lizelle Bernado and Dan-Marie Viljoen you changed my mind about sloppy student work. Also, Sanjin Muftic, Jane Batzofin and Genna Gardini you can be very proud of your students.
I look forward to working with you young talents in the future.
I have a bounce in my step, a smile on my face and joy in my heart. I am still living last night, and improv with Joe Bill. Thank you Joe, Tracey, Konrad, Justine and all the other lovely and warm things who came and allowed us to make magic (and weirdness) up.
Last night I had a profound experience at the theatre (The Fugard) and what was doubly surprising about it was that it was a musical (I hate musicals), and it was one I thought I had seen before; David Kramer’s Orpheus in Africa. This not the same one I saw at the beginning of the year. This is a reworked, finely tuned, and now truly powerful story, that is devastating, uplifting, human and heroic. It is David Kramer’s best work I think.
It totally helps that he has the cast of dreams, and that Aubrey Poo is beyond magnificent and was meant to be Orpheus Macadoo. And the rest of the cast are outstanding without exception, though I will make an exception when saying how brilliant Jill (Jazz) Levenberg is. Even the little niggles I had last time (wavery accents and weird white people) are gone, and the performances are better in every single way. A welcome addition to the delicious cast is Adrian Galley.
But what has happened to transform this musical and make it transcendent is that David Kramer has found the story. It is a complicated one, and he has had to travel through facts, and scratch out history and imagination to uncover the story that makes the journeys, successes, failures and ultimately the passions of the Macadoos, Virginia, so meaningful. David captures the vision of the world, and particularly South Africa, through the unique eyes of travelling American just freed black people, and it is such an extraordinary journey. Plus, I think it is so unexpectedly brave and risky to rework a show of this scale, but it has paid off in bucket loads.
I love this show. I love the music, and I am deeply in love with the style of the period, the costumes, and the performances. I love the singing, and the music (Charl-Johan Lingenfelder you make me laugh and laugh) and the Jubilee songs. And Aubrey Poo, you move me.
(Pic by the amazing Jesse Kramer)
Not gonna lie, after 24 years of improvising it is hard to get my people freshly excited about something I am doing. I keep having fun though, almost every week of my life, but self promotion is becoming more and more of a challenge. My Facebook friends are sick of the weekly invites to our Monday night shows, and I don’t blame them, it is every single Monday night after all.
However, in two weeks’ time, on Monday the 12 October, I am involved in some improv that I can’t help shouting about, from the rooftops (or at least from my blog, and social media).
At 730pm we (Improguise) will be performing some as yet undecided format with our great friend, mentor, magician and master of improv, Chicago based Joe Bill, who is visiting our shores again. But that’s not all. At 9pm Joe Bill and I will be performing an improv duo, because we are completely desperate to be on stage, making stuff up, just the two of us. Honestly, Joe Bill is my wet dream of an improv partner and I can’t believe my fantasy is coming true.
Now, here’s the thing. I have no idea how to tell all of you how amazing this is going to be, or why it would be terrible to miss it. I don’t know what to do to convince you that this is going to be the real (made up) deal.
So I am going to tell you the details, and you can just go ahead and book, ok?
Monday 12 October, Galloway Theatre @The Waterfront Theatre School, 730pm and 9pm
Tickets are R60 per show, or R100 for both. I promise. No strings attached. Ridiculous.
Call, sms or WhatsApp our booking line 0729393351 to book, and spread the word please.
PS. Joe Bill will also be doing one of his amazing improv classes, on Wed 14 October but places are limited so contact firstname.lastname@example.org to book your spot.