Megan's Head

A place where Megan gets off her head.

Tag: Candice D’Arcy (Page 1 of 3)

Our 4th Improv Fest

ImprovFestI cannot believe that we ImproGuisers are about to perform our 4th Improv Fest, from 14-19 March, at The Galloway Theatre.

Inspired by an amazing improv travel experience to Oz in 2012, Candice D’Arcy (now living in Oz with Melbourne improviser Mark Gambino), Tandi Buchan (artistic director of ImproGuise), and I came back with inspiration, motivation and a lot of madness, and slapped together an improv festival that offered the best improv in short and long formats.

We were amazed at the amazement of our audiences. We listened to what they loved the most. We were inspired by their suggestions. And we did the festival three times in a row, for the last three years.

This year the biggest difference is the venue. Our last three week long festivals were in Kalk Bay, but now we will be performing at ImproGuise’s home base, The Galloway Theatre. This makes it much more accessible for most of our fans, (although there will be a few long faces because we are not on the other side).

Every single night of the week will present a different improv form; some tried and tested, and our audience favourites as well as one entirely new, very dangerous one, Naked Improv, where absolutely nothing is known beforehand.

I am not gonna lie. We have been performing improv in Cape Town for 23 years now, and the biggest challenge is getting, and keeping, an audience. It is tough, and we have to do a tightrope balance of reinventing ourselves and doing what our audiences love. If you have seen us before (or if you embarrassingly never have) please come and get a sample of this smorgasbord of improv delights.

Tickets are ridiculously cheap. R80, and R70 for students or for block bookings. They are available here on TIXSA and you can find out more if you call our own booking line 0729393351. Every night is different. Choose your best from the line-up in the poster, or take a risk.



My best theatre of 2014

One of my most favourite pieces of theatre this year was Drive With Me, written and performed by me and directed by Liz Mills. I not only loved doing it, I loved doing it at The Alexander Bar, loved the extraordinary responses I had to it, critically, but especially personally, and I totally loved being on stage in front of tiny full houses, receiving the love and warmth of shared work. I particularly loved being able to share my writing of this piece.

One of the most dangerous and exciting theatrical things I did this year was I Could Go On, three nights of me performing solo improv. Did everything work? No. Did some things exceed expectations? Totally. But I loved it. (I was held by director and gorgeous friend Candice D’Arcy).

One of my proudest moments of the year was the reading of my play Clouds Like Waves by friends and brilliant talents Jaci de Villiers, Tandi Buchan, Nicole Franco, Heather Mac and Charlie Keegan. They made me see how much I love this play. They were awesome and awe inspiring.

One of my absolute delights this year was directing Lynita Crofford in Violet Online. What a sexy little experiment that totally paid off in deliciousness. (opening at the Kalk Bay Theatre on 26 Jan for a 2 week run).

My big and enduring theatrical love affair was my industrial theatre road show for Engen. Honestly, after 10 years they just get better and better, and I love my cast, client and audiences deeply.

One of the last favourites of the year was the total joy of directing Nicholas Spagnoletti’s Drowned Bride. I was as off the wall as I could be, and I was allowed to be. What a gift, I tell ya.

My most outrageous theatrical project was coaching and directing a group of bankers to re-interpret four fairy tales and then perform them competitively. They were inspiring, hilarious and the best teams ever. They taught me so much.

There was more. All of it, in fact. But these were my favourite favourites. Thanks to all who help me do exactly what I love.



The Anthologists

red-sea-fishA gift was passed my way. Nicholas Spagnoletti gave me his brand new short play to direct as part of The Anthologists, a tiny run of three plays taking place at The Alexander Bar from Monday the 8th of December. The other two are plays written and directed by Candice D’Arcy and Louis Viljoen, so expect different, unusual, crazy. Amy Wilson and Adrian Collins are in all three (how is that for a challenge?) and Brendon Daniels appears in Fundamental, Candice’s play.

I have had such fun with this. Drowned Bride is about 15 minutes long, and it is pretty funny. No, it is very funny. Nicholas really knows how to write gorgeous dialogue that actors can just play with. And, from the title you can pretty much tell that it’s not your common or garden wedding setting.

What has also been delicious for me is working with two actors who I haven’t worked with before. Amy Wilson and Adrian Collins are really fabulous, and so, so funny. Also, Nicola Hetz Date has offered me her design services, which is an added bonus. This talented theatre person is making us bits of set and sourcing bits of costume in that special, it won’t cost much, theatre way. I meet with her today to get an idea of what she has been doing and I can’t wait.

So, come and see the plays. Next week. Book here.


I Could Go On

Ages ago I booked a teeny 3 show slot at Alexander Bar for what I considered to be a highly experimental thing, a one woman improv show, performed by me and directed by Candice D’Arcy. Suddenly it is next week, on Thursday 7, Friday 8 and Saturday 9 at 7pm in the evening, and I am excited and terrified in equal parts. The show is called I Could Go On and it will run between 50 and 55 minutes. That is pretty much all I know. I have to keep myself from making up the format in my head. I have to keep characters out of my brain in order to be truly spontaneous on the night.

Here is what I think is going to happen. First a quick chat with the audience. Second, suggestions. Third, go. That is about it really. No idea about content, subject matter, theme or format. Candice will be there to help me, with lights, sound and even interventions (she is the shaper and holder of the show), and she will be my safety net should I go out on a limb.

I invite you to come and take the risk with me. Book here for your ticket and I promise it will be the unexpected.




photo 4I woke up with this little bubble of joy in my chest. It is wintery and my arms are cold out of the bedclothes as I type and the dogs aren’t in their usual rush for me to get out and walk them, instead they are happy to lie on the blankets and snuggle. Back to the joy bubble. Last night was the beginning of my second week of performing Drive With Me at The Alexander Bar and I loved it. After that Charlie Keegan and I read bits of Clouds Like Waves for the monthly Playthings as well, so it was a theatre double bill for me. And I loved it. I absolutely loved it. I loved the whole of Drive With Me and the response from the small but completely engaged audience. I loved getting notes from Liz Mills who is the most attentive and clear director. I loved reading with Charlie, to an audience that doesn’t usually see my work. Afterwards I loved hanging out with The Alexander boys, Nicholas and Edward, and my gorgeous friend Candice D’Arcy, and I loved driving home full of the theatrical possibilities running through my brain. It is absolutely true that I am a theatre animal, and doing it makes me the happiest I can be. I am savouring this feeling. I am completely aware that it is fleeting. There is nothing more shocking than the end of a run. It is like waking up and something being forever gone.

Compared with my deep misery last year, while I was at the festival that shall not be named, I am a different person. Instead of being the invisible ghost of my character Marion Taylor, I feel entirely seen. People are coming to Drive With Me because they want to. I am not desperate, bitter or lost. Don’t get me wrong. I am passionate, driven and hard working (none of that grateful and blessed stuff). I am proud and clear and satisfied that what I am trying to do is almost what I am actually doing, and with writing and acting that is a pretty good result. Bubble of Joy.

Match made in improv

I got the Save-the-date in my inbox a couple of days ago and when I looked at the gorgeous, silly, ridiculous pic that my friends had chosen it was obvious. These were the fun guys. These were the cool ous. These were the cheeky clever ones. And I was so happy again because they are getting married. I am talking about my lovely friend Candice D’Arcy, and her Oz beau Mark Gambino.

This is the story of how they met, according to me, and why I totally adore the fact that they found each other and are good together. I take full responsibility for embellishing the story to make my point. This is my version of their story. (I have asked permission to write about them, in case you got nervous.)

In 2012 Candice D’Arcy, Tandi Buchan and I decided to travel literally half way around the world to participate in an improvisation festival, Improvention, in Canberra, Australia. I had seen the festival on facebum and decided that I really wanted to go, and Tandi and Candice were also very keen. And so we went. It was our first real exposure to improv outside our own little company (aside from the few workshops we had had from people like Joe Bill) and our heads improded with it all. It was life changing for me, and more so for Candice, who had been spotted by Melbourne improviser (the guy who we all thought was beyond amazing in Jason Geary’s long form improv format Fat City).

Anyway, the details of how they hooked up, made it work, had a long distance relationship, are in a long distance engagement, and are soon to be married shall remain theirs.

What really excites me about their story is that they are both improvisers. Now I am projecting here, but I am convinced that the rules (if you can call them that), skills and habits of improvisers are the best ones to use in relationships. These habits and character traits are the exact opposite of those of actors (even though there are some in common, like showing off, loving an audience, enjoying success), and they are all relationship building habits. And they work.

Here are a few of them in no particular order.

1. Yes, let’s. This is a silly, lovely warm up game, and a philosophy. It is the response. Now, close your eyes and say this as the answer to every offer (no, not ever the disgusting ones). So often we write negative scripts in our lives because we default to the no. We are used to it. Improvisers are trained into the yes, let’s of games, and it spills over into live. It is the best default ever.

2. Listening. The most important thing to do in improv is to listen. You have no idea what’s going to happen next and you need to make sure you hear what your team mates are saying and doing. Really listen, without waiting to answer. Really hear. To do that you have to be present, open and available. Now take those three things and bring them to a relationship and suddenly beautiful things happen.

3. Make your partner look, feel and sound brilliant. In improv it’s no good if you are the hero and the rest of your team are in the shadow of your singular brilliance. You are brilliant when your whole team shines, and that is your intention; to make everyone in your team be the absolutely most brilliant they can be. That’s when the magic happens. In relationships if you are always wanting that for your partner, wanting them to be the best that they can be, you won’t (often) go to the place of jealousy, need and blame.

4. Be on the same team. Improv (unless it is one man improv) is teamwork. Bang goes for relationships.

5. Have fun. If you aren’t, you are doing it wrong. Both.

6. Roll with them punches. One of the best things about improv is that you have to expect the unexpected. When you are making things up the world is fun, exciting and unpredictable. You take what you get and make that lemonade. In relationships, I have heard the experts say that predictability is death. I wouldn’t know, since nothing about my life, work or world is. And this is great in relationships too. Be ready for anything, and you will always be amazed, surprised and delighted.

7. A sense of humus.

8. Feel the love. One of my favourite things about improv is when you are in the groove, and it’s easy and joyous and delicious. That usually happens when the audience, you, and your team mates come together in that magical place. On the one hand you make it, on the other, you receive it.

Page 1 of 3

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén