Megan's Head

A place where Megan gets off her head.

Tag: Brendan Murray

Madame Touxflouwe

Said Too (or two) flower. It is a play, at Artscape’s Arena (still no ice at the bar), created and directed by Beren Belknap (who created and directed Out of Order). Madame Touxflouwe had its premier at Out The Box last year but last night was the first time I saw it.

This play has plenty of ingredients. It has a cast of strong and talented performers; James MacGregor, Johan Vermaak, Alex Halligey and Brendan Murray. It has excellent multimedia visuals and tricks. It has horror as a theme and one hellova lot of story. There is very delicious and lovely music. Put all these into a theatre blender and mix, and there should be a good slice of play on the table but there isn’t.

The idea is that there is a haunted house in which the same old ghoulish servants prepare a meal for the head haunt, Madame Touxflouwe, every night. She has them hooked into her story because she has been feeding on their memories (or something) and now there is the new guy who they want to make sure doesn’t leave so she can feed on his memories instead. There is so much story though, and so much exposition, it kinda gets in the way of the plot.

I kept on struggling to stay engaged, right from the very beginning. When we sat down James, as the terribly nervous  cleaner, was cleaning, and setting the table. And that’s how the show starts when the lights go down and come back on again. This sets the tone for an evening of endless repetition. I guess it has to do with the fact that everyone is dead, so they do the same thing every night. Only it’s quite hard for an audience to watch the same thing over and over again.

It’s the same thing with the characters; Henry (Johan) shouts and victimises, Vladimir (Brendan) moves between thug and simpering creep, and Tilly (Alex) is a silent, haunted waif. This is a great place to start but these characters don’t go anywhere. They don’t change in any way, and they don’t affect each other to change. It’s very hard to care about them. Then there is the dialogue, which is also drearily repetitive, with characters saying the exact same things over and over again. A bit like me, here.

I must confess, I started squirming about twenty minutes in. Which was not good because the show was an hour and a half long.

Phew Phew, smash, crash, yeeha, Nic and Ninjas!

Yo! I need a whole new style to write about this show Nic Danger And the Rise of the Space Ninjas. It opened last night at The Arena at the UCT drama school campus and it runs to the 19 and it’s a flippen jaul!

Sci-fi, physical comedy, space kung fu, mad raps, very funny singing, hilarious overhead projector animation, a classically bad/brilliant reworking of a few major artworks, lots of space travel, lots of figurines (of the hero, the baddies, dinosaurs), brilliant manhandling of the pieces of set, weird seventies cozzies, about 30 different characters, hilarious masks, slow mo, human sound effects, buckets of sweat, many small throwing bomblets, dancing, send-up dancing, gibberish, many moustaches, one saviour ‘tash, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s incarnation, Gys de Villiers in Noah’s character, great bad lighting, quick-fire changes, quick fire, an oracle, a hologram, a space mission, hand puppets, glove sex, ballet, team work, heroes, funny robot war, weird frog potty thing, alien PS 7 game, ‘running away like little girls’, alien council, confrontation, abduction, conversation, mission accomplished.

Nic Danger and the Rise of the Space Ninjas is one crazy shit storm of a piece of live theatre written, directed and performed by the insane, hilarious and talented Nic Davies, and also performed by the very brilliant Brendan Murray (who I’ve only seen doing stand-up before and he is much better at this shit!) and the fabulous Trent Nightingale. It’s fantastic. Fathers should take their sons, and then try out the whole show at home again. I loved the hell out of it. It is the kind of thing that all people who are bullshit-theatre-sniffer-outers will love. It will appeal to a Theatresports audience, and even Theatresports players (Brett, you in particular), it will appeal to Star Wars and District 9 fans, it will appeal to young kids and other people. It’s kak funnny, and delicious, and clever and accessible and I couldn’t believe it was over when it was done.

Bookings on 076 907 5082 or thepinkcouch@gmail.com

Tickets are R50 / R40 students

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