Megan's Head

A place where Megan gets off her head.

Junkie at the Kalk Bay Theatre

I’m thinking about the Kalk Bay Theatre at the moment, not just because we have a nice sized house pre-booked for tonight’s TheatreSports. No, I’m thinking about the Kalk Bay Theatre and Junkie. Junkie was the best thing I saw at the Grahamstown festival. It’s Shirley Kirchmann’s latest offering. It is original, thought provoking, edgy, alternative theatre. As I said before, it’s hard-core. And it’s what theatre on the Grahamstown fringe should be. What’s difficult for a show like Junkie is, where does it go after the festival? It’s a work that deserves to and must be seen, but, let’s face it, it doesn’t exactly have mass appeal (although it is the kind of brilliant work that could develop a cult following and make Shirley quite famous as a serious actress). I am thinking about how The Kalk Bay Theatre management is brave and committed and clever. Junkie is a hard show to sell. It’s not fun. Yet, an independent, small and relatively new player on the local theatre venue scene has put its belief in a show that is not a crowd pleaser. What this means (however scary it must be financially) is that the Kalk Bay Theatre develops huge cred as a venue to be taken seriously. And I really appreciate it.

Too many ‘independent’ venues have pandered to what they think an audience wants, becoming more and more main stream; with trite comedy, and tribute shows, and ‘reviews’. Actors and performers are contracted and paid poorly to be The Beatles, ABBA and Neil Diamond. They are discouraged from doing their own original work.

So, Junkie is a risk. But it is so unsettlingly good. If you were undecided, decide to go and see it. Support local, original theatre in a venue that actually gives a damn.

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6 Comments

  1. sue

    This was one of the worst shows I’ve seen this year… in parts it was so awful that it was actually entertaining.

  2. megan

    Ouch. Well, you go figure hey Sue? As Sharon from Shez Sharon says, “One man’s goose and all that.”

  3. The Saint

    It is sad when someone [like Sue] dismisses a show like “Junkie” in one line. For the record I declare an interest but nonetheless I think that “Junkie” is a piece with considerable worth and value. It is intense, close to the bone for some people and it makes you think. Mindless comedy and entertaining music certainly have their place in the theatre world as do feel good pieces but what is theatre if it does sometimes challenge the audience. No, you can’t diss “Junkie” with a one-liner – you don’t have to like it but come on, it is worth far more than that. Why don’t you see it and make up your own mind.

  4. natasha

    junkıe was the worst show ı have EVER seen … ıt dıd not make any sense and was a sheer waste of my tıme and money

  5. Andre

    Mmmm, trickiness. I for one am sick of mainstream, feel-good theatre. Megan’s initial write-up definitely did appeal, in that sense.

    What I am concerned about, from a prospective viewer perspective, is whether the show will move from solid engaged theatre with a strong physical slant into the realm of unintelligibility. I agree on the need to be brave, both as an artist and as a theatre venue, but where does brave become baffling?

  6. megan

    well there you go: Theatre generating true debate. I support that. And it’s a loud debate with passionate feelings. Theatre wins.

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