Megan's Head

A place where Megan gets off her head.

Tag: Anne Hirsch

Illness and Inspiration

I have been waiting for the flu to pass. I have that seasonal flu that keeps kind of threatening to get better and then gets kind of worse again. I don’t like being sick, and I think that my immune system is a bit weak from the stinking tick bite fever I had, but more that 4 lines of sick diary is unacceptable, so.

I am trying to focus on some upandcoming good stuff, and the first one coming is this.

impromp2all

 

What this is is 5 performances of an improv show called impromp2, running at the Alexander Bar theatre at 9pm from Tuesday 19 May to Saturday 23 May. How it’s going to work is, every night I will be joined on stage by a different improviser from ImproGuise and the two of us will perform duets for 55 minutes. Some of us have had brief conversations, or email chats about what we want to do. Others haven’t had even that. All I know is that, with the best improvisers in Cape Town, we are going to make each other look good.

Here is a bit about each improviser that will be joining me, and the night that they share the stage.

1. Tuesdsay 19 May is Brett Anderson night. Brett is a crazy lateral thinker, clever wordsmith, multi-hair-do, Terry Pratchett fan, powerful force of good improviser. I love playing with him. We are going to try out a completely new format. So new we don’t even know what it is called. #nobobisnotinvited

2. Wednesday 20 May is Anne Hirsch night. Anne doesn’t need any introduction. She is her own hilarious brand of kook. Anne and I haven’t spoken yet. I am not scared. She is so funny and crazy and unexpected on stage. And on youtube, and on Twitter. Do not miss this. #iheartAnneHirsch

3. Thursday 21 May is Ryan Jales night. I love playing with Ryan, and it just so happens that the two of us have done some of our finest improv with and on each other at the Alexander Bar. Ryan is a writer, copy writer, comic maker, PR guy, and I think he is the only improv guy in Cape Town who knows how to use his iPad properly. #justsaying

4. Friday 22 May is Carolyn Lewis night. Carolyn was in the first ever TheatreSports course I ever ran, ever, in Cape Town. She is my cougar of comedy, my delicious of naughty partner. She is also gearing up to launch her stand-up career again, and I have had a sneak preview and it is high-larious. #watchthisspace

5. Saturday 23 May is Tandi (Bucket) Buchan night. Oh joy. Oh fun. Oh love of improv. Tandi and I have inherited improv genes. We met, fell in love, and have been married to each other through improv for over 20 years. When Tandi knew we were going to be doing this she sent me an email with 16 ideas for formats. I have no idea how we are going to choose from the crazy thoughts in her brain.

So, there is a lot to choose from. I decided to keep the tickets as cheap as possible so you can come to more than one. But I warn you. They are going to be so good (and different and unique) you will want to see them all.

What about Leon Clingman I hear you say. Well, when I got confirmation to do this gig Leon was away, shooting in Jozi, and all 5 nights were snapped up by people who were actually there. Damn I want Leon all to myself to play with. Leon plays my husband, brother, assassin, mad professor, clown lover like nobody else. I will arrange another run just so I can play with him.

Ok, bookings are now open on the Alexander Bar website and you get R10 off your ticket if you book for it online. And go!

I’m gonna be a Crack!

I am so looking forward to this Friday. It’s my birthday, and I am performing with an all girl improv team from TheatreSports at the monthly Cracks Only show at The Baxter! I think that it’s a great way to celebrate my femaleness and agedness. It also counts as work, which I love doing on any celebration day.

Cracks Only is wickedly funny Marianne Thamm, delicious, quirky comedienne Anne Hirsch (one of our TS team too), clever, physical character comedy actor Shimmy Isaacs and brilliant actor Anthea Thompson (who is in Broken Glass at The Fugard at the moment so won’t be being a crack on Friday). Cracks Only normally have guests at their monthly performances and this Friday we are them! Tandi Buchan, Candice D’Arcy, Yve Pelser and I will be jumping into some testosterone free improv as the final act of the evening. Anything could happen.

I can’t wait! Tickets cost R100 and can be booked through Computicket. The show starts at 2130. I’d love to see you there.

All Cracked up!

I don’t know why it’s taken me this long to see Cracks, but last night Big Friendly and I finally got there and I had one of those best times of laughing my head off for over an hour.

This incarnation of Marianne Thamm’s on stage mid life crisis as performed by her, Anthea Thompson, Shimmy Isaacs and Anne Hirsch is at On Broadway, which used to be the New Space which was not a theatre for a long time after it stopped being the old Space.

Cracks In The City is comedy. There is stand-up (mostly Anne and Shimmy), sit down and demonstration comedy by host Marianne, character and song by mistress of transformation Anthea, and even funny recorded sketches. Marianne is one of the funniest people I know and she has this completely wacky, very fast delivery of material that is bizarre, original and quite mental. She is a fantastic emcee and host for the evening. Anthea’s character, a lopsided breasted old stinker, who has a bit of a habit dispensing and taking pharmaceuticals is hilarious, and her singer who sings a dirty little song had me weeping. Anne Hirsch does a fresh young stand-up routine, my favourite part being the Sokkie sucks; you have to see it. Then Shimmy does a warm, delicious combination of stand-up and sketch which is local and totally lekker. I particularly smaaked her gangster dance/fight routine.

The most hilarious moment of the show (and one I will never, ever forget) is a visual one, virtually impossible to describe here (but you know me, I’m going to give it a bash!). Anthea’s old lady is doing the most bizarre sequence of ‘eye’ tests on a hapless male volunteer from the audience (last night’s man was this tall, grinning stick of embarrassment) and suddenly, after placing him in the right position on stage she gallimpses towards him with a chart that he needs to read. It is so fast. And weird. And totally, completely beyond anything. I thought I was going to suffer a physical ailment myself from that lopsided speed assault on that poor man.

Obviously some stuff is more funny than others, and each audience member will have their favourite favourite. Four completely different cracks on stage. I was jealous, but in a good way. All I wanted was to be a crack. And I am one! Hau!

A tiny footnote must be added. What’s with the shabby little venue downstairs? Big Friendly and I went down there after the show to wait to say thanks to the cast and the lights were on bright, there was no music, a programme called ‘teen mom’ was on the big screen TV, but Big Friendly thought it was called ‘Please change the lamp’ because that was the display message on the screen, we weren’t offered a drink (in fact I don’t even know if there were wait staff around) and it felt a bit like being in a hospital waiting room. Which is not a good thing to feel after an amazing, funny show that makes you want to hang around afterwards and drink and talk and laugh. What gives?

Cracks In the City is on at On Broadway until the 27 November.

Creative inspiration

It’s no secret that I have been in theatre denial the last three months. It’s been bad. So bad that I have actively avoided going to see anything, and I have even avoided doing anything theatre related. My work has taken me elsewhere (which has been interesting, stressful and eye-opening) and I have been totally out of the loop.

I was nervous when I agreed to play TheatreSports last night, in the final performance of a week’s run at The Kalk Bay Theatre; I haven’t played or been involved for months. The anxious excitement had me listening to hard-core kwaito in the car on the way. Really, I had nothing to be afraid of. It was a tiny, intimate audience and we were on top form!

I haven’t played with Heather Mac, who has rejoined the group, in 12 or so years, and we were in a team together. What a delight! We started off by singing the National Anthem of Gobleenya. We discussed an Irish poem called The Slimy Green Goblins under the Rock, and Heather and Leon put it to music. We made friends for life after a navel staring incident in the bathroom of the Woodstock library. We were camels in a Western. I was her English daughter-with-a-beard in an English period drama set in India. I can’t remember when last I had such total and complete fun!

It was also a special night for Anne Hirsch; it was her first performance in front of an audience, and she was fantastic. She spent the evening with fabulous TS veteran, Candice D’Arcy, who looked after her in the best, creative and supportive way.

I have to admit that I am already thinking about when I’ll play again. TheatreSports, you are the other beautiful game, and I love you!

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