Megan's Head

A place where Megan gets off her head.

Crazy Grahamstown Festival Idea

So I am seriously thinking of going to the Grahamstown festival for about three days this year. I was thinking of going smack bang in the middle, to try and catch some stuff from both ends of the fest. I want to see as much as I possibly can, and I want to write about everything here, on meganshead. I really believe that I am a good, if not very opinionated voice, and I am sure I can add an important critical alternative to the more traditional review writing that happens at the festival. So, that’s my plan, but I know I’m not going to be able to afford the five shows a day I’d like to see. I was thinking though, that there are always press tickets (and many of them go under utilised, or unissued) and I was wondering how to get my hands on these. Does anyone know? Are you taking a production to the festival that you would like me to see and write about? Do you have press tickets or comps for me to get my grubby little hands on? Do you have a connection in the press office? PLease let me know.

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9 Comments

  1. Righty-ho Megannnnn. Why not team together on the drive-up? I am looking for a nice car collection, otherwise I’ll just have to fly up.

    Thinking of going for about 4 days any time from Sunday 3rd onwards.

  2. megan

    Yes, let’s!

  3. Pieter de Villiers

    Dear Megan.

    What an interesting initiative. I cannot help but wonder what the intention behind this is. I have followed your writing and although you seem very passionate about theatre, your ‘support’ of it has always seemed somewhat harsh. My confusion is then heightened by your inability (for whatever reason) to support these shows financially.

    So, why, if I may ask, would anyone like you to come and see their show for free (when joe public is paying) and run the risk of being slaughtered by your self-named ‘opinionated’ writing?

    Just my opinion… Enjoy the festival, see you there.

  4. megan

    Pieter,
    You say you are confused so I’ll clear some stuff up. Firstly, this is not an “initiative”, but an idea. Secondly, I, unlike other people who are employed to go to theatre and write reviews, often get invited to see theatre because I write about it passionately and from the heart. I am also pleased to say that it is not unusual for productions and managements to quote me or direct people to my reviews when they are good. This also suggests that my reviews are certainly not “always somewhat harsh”. On the contrary, I am instantly reminded of my last review for Ouroboros. Managements and directors and publicists seem comfortable with taking that chance and it seems to pay off. With regard to this year’s festival; I am not going to the festival with a production. I have discovered that I have a gap, and thought it would be a good idea to go and watch stuff, and to write about it. That is all. And because I want to do it a lot I thought I would put it out there. It’s no different from what I do back at home. I get invited to plays, I see them and then review them, here on my blog.

  5. Jaci de Villiers

    I think its a great idea. Perhaps it might be a good idea to contact CUE and see if they would like you to be their online reviewer. I think it is so important that we all start to realise that the way we are getting our info, even at festivals, is on line and through Facebook. Its so sad that there are so few theatre reviews for shows. Usually they only send a reviewer if you have placed an advert in the newspaper. These days individual bloggers are getting more hits for their coloums than the readerships of entire newspapers. I am in New York at the moment and there are sooo many critics writing the most insightful, passionate pieces on new shows.Load of different people all writing about the same show. All with very different opinions -how amazing. Becasue there is no way that we ever all unanimously agree about anything. But over time you find the reviewers voice that best suits your opinion and you follow their recommendations. Many are seriously harsh but the industry is taken very seriously. So often I read reviews in SA that are glorified press releases (giving the twist in the plot away)with a tagline at the end saying, ‘The actors were very good’ or some or other banal observation. Obviously there are still some great reviewers trying to uplift the entire industry with thoughtful, educated reviews. I find your work to be passionate and opinionated -and thats what we need -an informed opinion. You know your stuff Megan. If i had a show at gtown I would gladly give you comps because every review written can generate publicity for a show and theatre needs every bit of media it can get. Happy reviewing.Please keep writing from the heart and don’t ever be sycophantic or polite. It takes a lot of courage to stay true to your opinion even when you have friends in the show. I hope you get to G-town -you would be a great addition to the media team.

  6. megan

    Great news. Artsblog has invited me to submit my reviews and will be getting me accreditation.

  7. bob

    way to go! excellent. i can’t wait to read your reviews.

  8. Jaqueline Dommisse

    Dear Megs
    I would suggest going the direct route:
    Festival website, and click on “media accreditation” at the bottom of the home page – it has a form to fill in, and call Gilly and talk directly to her – she’s so connected, I’m sure she knows your blog already.

    NAF Media Liaison
    Gilly Hemphill
    The Famous Idea Trading Company
    Tel: +27 (0)21 880 0889
    gilly@thefamousidea.co.za

  9. megan

    Thanks Jaqueline
    I have filled in the form already!

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