Megan's Head

A place where Megan gets off her head.

hard

naf_photos You have no idea how hard it is to write this particular post. I am sure you have guessed by now that I am not going to Grahamstown this year for the festival, and I have such radical mixed feelings about it, now that everyone is getting ready to go. I haven’t managed to go to the fest two years in a row for many years so it makes sense that this is my year off, and I am 100% sure I will go next year (I have a few fingers in a few pies), but there are those pangs. I can’t explain them. They are part jealousy, part longing, part fantasy, part habit, on the good side. Then on the other side there is the relief at missing the anxiety, exhaustion, desperation, cold and bone numbing slaving.

I was way overloaded last year and I definitely burned out, so imagine how Rob van Vuuren is going to feel. His production company Juju Productions is connected with 11 productions this year, and Rob himself is performing in three, I think! Insanity. I am sad that TheatreSports is not there this year. We performed at the last two fests and did really well, but it’s very expensive to take without sponsorship and we couldn’t manage it this year.

There are a couple of things I would have loved to have seen this year. There are more than a few that will come and have runs in Cape Town later in the year, so I’ll get to see them anyway. And I have never been to the festival as a spectator. I think that would truly drive me nuts.

So here I am, brooding, jealous, grumpy and more than a lot relieved: Secretly hoping this year’s festival won’t be the best by far!

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3 Comments

  1. Tam

    I’m leaving for Grahamstown on Friday morning at 4 am. Why this ridiculous time of departure is necessary is beyond me but one should never be in con with the voy. Why is it that the last two days before Grahamstown drag on incessantly? The show is as “ready” as any show could ever be. I have ticked off almost all the to do’s on the 37 lists. I should be fast alseep resting the body and the voice but pre- fest jitters have left me dipping into a bottle of cheap wine and scouring the internet for god knows what. I really have to stop tapping hypothetical figures of estimated houses into my calculator at the hopes of coming to some notion of ANY financial gain. Even the waiting for the festival is a schlep, before any icy toe hits the proverbial pedal. Ugh.

  2. The Saint

    THOUGHTS FROM ABROAD ? – WELL, FROM THE EASTERN CAPE

    I am a Festino. My New Year begins in late June and I don’t know what all the fuss is about at the end of December !!
    I’ve missed only 2 Grahamstown Festivals since 1989, both times I was unavoidably detained in a hospital, and I hated not being there. So right now I am suffering from the usual post-Grahamstown fatigue/over-theatred stress syndrome and am in that stage of intense analysis of what we saw and the perennial “how is the Festival?” discussion.
    How is the Festival ? Its jogging along, quietly but unjustifiably satisfied with itself, doing what it has always done – there is no spark, no vibe, no heartbeat anymore. The Main gets mainer [meaner?] and the Fringe gets fringer, and the Village Green [and all the other stalls] are “same old, same old, same old”. More than ever before I hear people questioning whether the trek next year will be worth it, and when John the Potter announces that this is his last Festival, you know there is something wrong.
    Maybe the changes at the top will shake things up – a right, royal shaking is needed. Certainly the Main needs to be looked at with coldly critical eyes. The ballet this year [“Don Quixote”] was apparently crap – source : everyone I talked to who had seen it, “Romeo & Juliet” was good by all accounts, “Bar Flies” was amazing [I saw that], “Ozymandias” was good apart from the last self-indulgent Gary Gordon dance, and in drama “I, Claudia” [in my but not my companions views] and “Cissie” were very good while”Australia vs South Africa” was OK. But nobody even spoke about the other 40/50 odd shows available in the performing arts. Jazz ?? Was there a jazz festival ? No one said a thing about it. And the Main is where just about all the public funding goes enabling these productions to undercut Fringe prices.
    None of the productions mentioned above, with a half exception, were the expensively imported non-South African performers. Something is wrong here guys !!!!
    The Fringe is a mixture of good and well supported and bad or unheard of and badly supported. At least the Fringe is open to anyone who can pay the entrance fee and mostly you pay your own way. This allows you to perform with quite often dodgy equipment supplied by the Festival [the words, guys, are UPGRADE NOW]. If there is heart beat, it is here in the scout and school halls on metal scaffolding with old Standard Bank cushions, in the lecture and sports halls at Rhodes, oh and don’t forget the Church halls. Cold, back-breaking, crowded to over capacity, empty, uncomfortable, welcoming, unwelcoming, fucking difficult to find……..
    There are 250/300 productions on the Fringe – I saw 28 : as a household we probably saw 42. Highlights ? “RUMPSTEAK”, AMANDA STRYDOM, “ANGELS ON HORSEBACK”, “ISABELLA”, “PICTURES OF YOU”, “OFF THE RAIL”, & ROB VAN VUUREN IS RON VAN WUREN”

  3. megan

    Thanks Saint!

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