It’s been almost a year since I started writing this blog. Can you believe it? My first post was a scathing review of the Maynardville production of Romeo and Juliet, which I hated so much that I was spurred on to start a whole blog to express myself. I intended it to be mainly theatre reviews but I found myself digressing… a lot. Got to love a blog.
Well, being a cherrie of action as well as words, I volunteered myself up for the position of assistant director and voice coach for this season’s Maynardville production of The Merchant of Venice directed by Roy Sargeant. See how I’ve set myself up in the worst possible way? We are two weeks into rehearsals at the moment and it is a very interesting process.
But what I wanted to write about was the strange and wonderful and sad and cyclic nature of my life. When I heard that The Merchant of Venice was this season’s production I was desperate to be involved. You see, I love the play and have a special relationship with it. In 1991 I was involved in an extraordinary production of the play in Afrikaans, translated to Die Sakeman van Venesie, directed by Ilse van Hemert at the State Theatre, in Pretoria. I played Jessica, Shylock’s daughter, and Shylock was played by Patrick Mynhardt, whose performance changed the way I see the play forever. Naturally, I felt Patrick’s death, a couple of months or so ago, quite keenly. Imagine my complete shock then yesterday, when I heard that Tjaart Potgieter died about six weeks ago. He had done a most brilliant job of translating the play into Afrikaans, the version we performed, and he was a hilarious Old Gobbo in the production. I loved Tjaart. He was brilliant, funny, warm, talented, an amazing cook, a great performer, a loyal friend and an all round mensch. I hadn’t seen him in years, but he has been so on my mind, and I dreamed about him vividly about two weeks ago, probably as he was leaving.
So, the amazing circles of life, work, friends and passings.