Every now and then I get it right, and I do something totally for me; something that makes my heart sing. A few weeks ago my friend Nicky Newman ‘spoke’ on Facebum about Patreon, this site she had joined that collects patrons for artists who make beautiful work, and then the patrons get special access to some of work. I decided to become a patron of Nicky’s (for an embarrassingly small amount of money every month), and I was promised rewards. Today I was granted access to 25 of the most spectacular photos and the right to use them on, and for, stuff. After finally getting my breath back (these pictures are really sublime) I realised that one of the photos is the title of my play, Clouds Like Waves, and I have to share it. Every so often I will be able to get a special glimpse of Nicky’s work and share the love. This is the start of a most beautiful thing.
Month: April 2016
I was shocked to see how long it has been since I wrote a blog post. Clearly, I have been busy with other things; other writing, rehearsing, doing. I miss the kind of stuff I let loose on meganshead, especially the kind of random stuff that just pops into my head and out into the blogosphere. This post is not that. It is a very specific, share the joy, self promotion (and promotion of others) type of post. It is about the incredibly short run of the latest instalment of Violet Online, opening tomorrow night at The Alexander Bar.
When the loveliest Lynita Crofford asked me to direct the first Violet Online and I said yes, we were both a little nervous about how it would be received. Lynita had been reading (and chuckling and clucking and guffawing at) these anonymous blog posts written by a recently divorced, looking for a new way of being in the world, over forty everywoman, and Lynita (rightly so) thought it would make great one-woman-show material. It did. Violet Online managed to do something a lot of other theatre doesn’t; appeal completely and with delicious abandon to a not very obvious theatre audience. What a treat. Women, and their girlfriends, and their lovers, and their dates, and their husbands (first, second and third) flocked to Violet Online in Cape Town (thrice), Grahamstown and Jozi. People could relate. Mothers and daughters nodded knowingly at Brazilian waxes, bad brush offs, flaming hot sex, online Scrabble sex, and dresses, dickheads and dodgy dates. People wanted more of Violet. She was hilarious in that completely relatable way.
And the real Violet came out. The proud writer now has the most outrageous and delicious blog of her own. It is irresistible. You will become addicted. Check it out, here.
So, since the last time Violet appeared on stage, airing her slightly damp french underwear in public, she has grown in confidence, and experience. She has a whole lot more to talk about, and there are fewer holds barred. Botox, bargains, boobs, balls, boys, bakers, brisk walks; you name it.
I love this Violet, and I know you will too. Lots of people are anticipating loving her, and have booked their tickets for this very short run, in the tiny theatre. So get in there. Book here online now. And join us as we laugh and delight in Violet’s continued search for love, and sex, and love AND sex.
Last night I went to see the final performance of the very short run of Ubuze Bam at the Theatre Arts Admin Collective. Directed by Thando Dhoni, four real life parolees perform stories from their lives, and their time in prison. Not gonna lie, it felt like I was doing my community service by going. You know that feeling? The show you should, and aught to see, but don’t really in your soul want to? Sometimes your soul is utterly surprised, shaken up, thrown about, and possibly fundamentally changed. Last night that is what happened to us.
Sitting in that space for just under an hour was a combination of agony, heartache, hope, hell and even humour, in the most profound, delicate, searing and brain challenging way.
Thando is absolutely magical at creating ritual and meaning through repeated movement and he managed to get four non-actors to deliver complex and terrifying material with such complexity. I was undone. I started crying and couldn’t stop. When one of what seemed to be the more quiet performers let rip in an agony of screams, demands, pleadings and rage, behind a converted bench of prison bars, I could barely breathe. “Ndidiniwe” – I am tired, he wailed over and over and over again. I could only imagine.
You cannot ever forget, while watching them, that these young men have just come out of prison, serving time for hard core crimes. You cannot ever forget that they are now performing for an audience who are listening to them instead of separated out from them. You cannot ever forget the hideous and terrible things we do to each other, and the the exact opposite; humanity, compassion and connection.
There is no doubt that this was one of the hardest, most beautiful and challenging performances to witness, but it is clear that it changed me, us, the audience, as much as it changed these young men. I pray to a god I don’t believe in that they will feel that change for a very long time. And that they will do this play forever.