Megan's Head

A place where Megan gets off her head.

More of G’town through Simon’s eyes

It’s one thing posting somebody else’s thoughts and opinions, but having to read their comments is quite weird. Theatre people are amazing. They will find that crit, and respond to it. I love that. Google has made it so much easier, and Meganshead, all thanks to Big Friendly. I have to say, I am loving posting somebody else’s words for a change. And I’m still not jealous about being there.

Here’s more from Simon.

Day 4 – the day the lights went out.   At about 16h55, Grahamstown blacked out in the middle of countless shows and in my case as “KISS OF THE SPIDER WOMAN” was about to start.  We never got to see it as by the time the lights came back on, the play could not be performed without backing up the rest of the evening’s schedule.   Guess that experience, in one way or another, was duplicated all over the city.

Did however manage to see 4 other plays in the day.  “THE GIRL IN THE YELLOW DRESS” is a stunning piece of theatre – it is a pity that it finished at the Fest yesterday but it is at the Baxter from June 29 to July 22, 2010 before going overseas, returning to South Africa for a season at the Market Theatre in Jozi    Co-presented / produced by  the Citizens Theatre (Glasgow), Live Theatre (Newcastle upon Tyne) and Market Theatre (Johannesburg) the play “set in Paris, ……is a dark, witty and sexually charged psychological drama that explores the relationship between Celia, a beautiful young English teacher, and Pierre, her French-Congolese pupil”, both of them with secrets they would rather not reveal, both of them dealing with a growing attraction that they seek to deny.   Written by Craig Higginson and featuring Marianne Oldham (UK) and Nat Ramabulana (SA), it is a brilliant example of how to tell a story comprehensibly.  Go see it.

Next was “KAPUT”, a new play with Taryn Bennett (Frogs; Doctor Collinger’s), Helen Iskander (Baobabs…) and Dorian Burstein (Pictures of You) who breathe life into a wonderfully entertaining and funny “tragi-comedy”.  James Cuningham directs. It is a simple story of love, brotherly and  for the girl of your dreams. It bounds along at a pace and keeps you on your toes all the time – watch out for the co-star, Ricardo, who flaps in and out of the action. Mention also should be made of the set which is very clever and effective – I don’t know the name of the guy responsible but applause to him.

Third – “This Part should be Uncomfortable – Part I”.   Well it was – uncomfortable that is.   The subject of a fantastic review in Cue 50, it was way above this simple theatre goer.   Avant garde dance – is that a good description? I don’t know.  Choreographed by Nicola Elliott and featuring Lucy Kruger, Mpumelelo Malumo , Robin-Neil Williams + 2 scene changers of sinister demeanour,  it seemed to me to be a series of slightly uncoordinated movements that made “So you think you can Dance “ look good. Perhaps I am too much of a dance philistine to understand this but I thought it was terrible. I won’t be going to Part II.

Then “Hex” – a very ambitious story telling project based on tales of witches and other bad women.  It very nearly comes off but I cannot put my finger on why it doesn’t. Produced by Khomiso Theatre Company, directed by Heike Gehring, written by Riana Scheepers and featuring Chan Marti, Ntombi Makutshi and Coba-Maryn Wilsenach, and lavishly adorned with audio-visual aids and a complicated set, the cast in various guises take the audience through about 8 stories. Tending toward the sort of “spook stories” that your Grandmother frightened you with when she was angry with you, the semi-gothic feel that the Director has brought out of the performance is entirely apposite and enhances the story telling. Perhaps this is truly a “festival” piece that would battle in a pure commercial sense but then that is what Festivals are for, at least partly. I am glad I saw it.

And so to darkness and the end of the day. There are still not a lot of people at the festival but hopefully numbers will grow with the coming weekend. I am taking a day away from the Festival today to gather strength for the arrival of, first, my Festino mates and then second my family as the pace picks up next week.

Shoo, sounds like hard work to me!

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1 Comment

  1. Frank

    I saw Elliott’s “This part should be uncomfortable” and I thought it was one of the best pieces at the fest. Certainly one of the most thought-provoking. It seemed clear that the movement, while not actually being “shoddy”, was intentionally meant to look shoddy. After all, the work seemed fundamentally to be about the process of creating and performing theatre. It was, in one sense, the presentation of a work in progress, even though it was in reality a completed, well-crafted work. The show foregrounded the anxiety of the performers and the uncertainty of the creator/choreographer. That was why it was described by Jay Pather as “meta-theatre”.

    It was profoundly enjoyable.

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