Megan's Head

A place where Megan gets off her head.

Tag: festival

Festival Post Mortem

I always knew I would write this post, but even now I find it difficult. I have been home 3 nights and there is nothing more comforting than fast ADSL, animals, my things and my solid pillar of Big Friendly. Still, for those of you who weren’t there or didn’t hear me say so, the festival was one long, tough, exhausting, often painful, occasionally inspiring, frighteningly empty affair.

I had very few people coming through the door to see Drive With Me, even though those that did seemed to love it, a lot. The combination of a great review on day 1 and then nothing until an Ovation award on day 10 didn’t help (although I am deeply grateful for both). Song And Dance got better and better, without a word or pic in CUE (to be honest I have no idea how people knew about it), and even though Pieter Bosch Botha and Richard Antrobus did a sterling publicity job on Fully Committed and people raved about it I had visions of sold-outs and extra shows because of how perfect it was for the festival. Truth is, it was a very quiet affair, with tons of parking in the streets, food and furniture always available at the Long Table, nobody at the Village Green, and people handing out comps left, right and centre. The only full show I attended was jammed full of school kids. That’s not to say there weren’t full ones. It seems shows that were there for the 2nd and 3rd time did better.

The worst part about all of this is that I am already thinking about how to do it differently next year. Please, theatre gods, if I decide to jump, look after me harder.

And now for some other news. I have decided, after much hearty discussion with friends, family and some colleagues, to stop writing review style posts here on meganshead. I am very sad about it, but I feel like it typecasts me in the industry and people then find it difficult to see me or receive me when I do theatre work of my own. Obviously, that is still more important to me, and so I think I will serve myself better if I am not seen as a theatre critic. I’ll still write, and share my opinions about everything else, including industry related stuff, but I will leave the ‘reviewing’ to those less involved, even though I am confident I did a bladdy good job. So, I will still see almost everything, and I will facebook and tweet about whether I liked it or not, but I’ll reserve this space for writing about other, varied stuff. How do you feel about that? Please send me comments to let me know.

Drive With Me gets totally real

For those of you who don’t know, Drive With Me is (mostly) about driving to Grahamstown, to the festival. And that is exactly what I’ll be doing tomorrow morning. There is no weirder way of getting into character and mood than doing all the things I have written down and been rehearsing for four weeks.

This drive will be the beginning of the culmination of almost two years of work. In 2011 I was driving home from the festival when I was flooded with the images, sights, sounds and sensations of Drive With Me. It was the music I listened to, the things I ate, the people and animals I saw.

After the massive disappointment of not performing it at last year”s festival, I decided to give it a trial run (a reading actually) at GIPCA’s conference and it was met with a really positive response. And then Simon Cooper from Kalk Bay Theatre said he would produce it for this year’s festival.

It has been a magical four weeks, working with my director Liz Mills, sound artist James Webb and media man Sanjin Muftic. It has been a joyous rehearsal in a lovely space, where slowly, the production has pulled together with invisible threads, and become ready for an audience.

I have become preoccupied and single minded. I say word runs while I do everything else. I picture the drive, the venue, the performances. I am ready for Drive With Me.

If you are coming to the festival, and you do end up seeing it, please drop me a line to let me know what you think.

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