Megan's Head

A place where Megan gets off her head.

Tag: Fiona du Plooy

Revisiting my fab Industrial Theatre job

Aside from the fact that I am deeply thankful for the return work of my long-term client (I have been making industrial theatre plays for them for seven years now) I also love it. We are into our second week of rehearsals, and this time around it’s a full-on musical. I know. I know. Completely silly, crazy and foolhardy. A thirty five minute, five-hander musical with a message. But I have an amazing cast; repeat offenders Ntombi Makhutshi, Larissa Hughes and Daneel van der Walt, and newbies Richard Tafane and Aphiwe Menziwa. They are a magical, creative and delicious team.

We had our first client viewing today; scripts in hand and gaps in places, and still, the cast were power, and blew the client away.

I know that a lot of actors see industrial theatre as a necessary evil; a chance to pay the bills, but for me it is a chance to take the target audience into consideration right at the outset, and then to go about making them something that they will love. The details are taken care of, and all we have to do is make a beautiful, entertaining, clearly messaged show. Isn’t that what every writer, director and performer wants? When it’s made my cast go around the country, performing to huge audiences who go completely crazy for them.

This time around I have to thank Trevor du Buisson for making the most amazing backing tracks, and Fiona du Plooy for awesome, hilarious and wonderful choreography. I can feel it. This one is a winner.

OWL

I’m not even sure why I liked it so much. But OWL, written and directed by Jon Keevy, with Briony Horwitz is a strange, slightly addictive and creepily ‘growing on you’ piece of theatre.

A skinny wide eyed girl appears from the back of a small, falling-to-pieces couch. And she starts telling the story of herself, the girl Olivia, from when she was 10 and she moved with her dad to a small town in the Overberg. The story follows the meeting of and friendship with Kay, the strange, blonde girl next door. Did the falling-to-pieces couch just move?

Beautifully observed writing makes this piece totally delicious. I usually hate grown-up actors pretending to be children, but here, Briony is strong, and unusual, and has an innocent integrity that manages to pull it off.

The simple, swiveling couch is the only set and prop. The lights and sound are effective and unobtrusive. Same goes for Fiona du Plooy’s choreography. Thing is, none of that even matters, because OWL is a great story. And I love a good story.

On nightly at The Intimate. GO.

 

Putting the fest to bed

I wanted to write a general post with little bits and pieces, stories and skinner, before I forgot them and got straight back into real life.

I loved being at the fest this year. It was my first time ever that I went as an observer/writer/blogger, as opposed to performer or director, and the shift in stress levels was remarkable! My only wistfulness was that I had to drink all the wine at Bushman’s where I was staying, instead of in G’town, because I couldn’t drive drunk! I am also fired up about bringing work to the fest next year, which is a good sign.

Reasons (other than good shows) I loved the festival this year: I loved Garvey’s coffee at The Monument. I drove the 60 odd k’s in the morning for a macchiato in a real cup. More expensive than most of the meals I ate, but completely spectacular. I brought a bag of his coffee back for Big Friendly. I loved The Art Lounge and the cutey Argentinian boys who made great masala chai, gluwein, veg pies. It was bladdy cold hanging out there, but it was delicious. I loved Fusion (I think) at Cape Town Edge. Mark remembers everyone, and he makes us feel special. It’s also the best food, and jauling, at the fest. I loved being invited to perform at improv comedy at Cape Town Edge, as a fundraiser. I loved hanging with my little sisters and shooting the breeze, slagging off bad shows. Fiona (Shorty’s daughter) du Plooy and Candice (oh my word) D’Arcy are fantastic fest friends. I loved disagreeing with Simon Cooper about virtually every show we saw. I loved evening replays of some of the funny moments with Helen, Mike R, Anthony and Simon. I loved getting hopelessly lost and having Simon and Mike give up the best parking place to find me. I loved weeing with laughter at The Spur with Ntombi, Thembani and Connie. I loved banging into Strato, a Gtown local and friend, and catching up. I loved my chats to Toby and her sister about everything they had seen, and getting feedback on stuff I recommended. I loved Jon Keevy but didn’t see him enough. I loved free wi-fi at The Monument and at The Spur. I loved writing and posting reviews. I loved my media badge and bag, and all the comps I got, and the fantastic Cilnette in the media office. I loved being media (thanks Steve) and having more than my own blog to share my loud and opinionated voice with.

I hated the cold. I hated missing shows completely because of no electricity. I hated those moments where I realised I wasn’t going to see everything I was asked to see, and I saw the look I obviously gave every year to everyone, right back at me. I promise I’ll never do it again. I hated being so far away and leaving the passing of precious Bayla in the hands of Big Friendly. I hated that I was traveling home on my godson’s birthday! I hated that one or two rubbish shows got ‘ovations’ and accolades. I hated some CUE reviews. I hated what happened to the posters in the rain. I hated being manipulated into giving parking money by everyone who saw me leaving a parking spot even though I had found it all by myself.

I loved facebook and twitter and BBM for hooking me up, keeping me in touch and allowing me the occasional vent. It was a good one.

Rehearsals

I am loving it. We are into our second week of rehearsals for an industrial theatre project and I am totally in my element. I am in love with each and every member of my cast, Ntombi Makhutshi, Anele Situlweni, Larissa Hughes, Keeno-Lee Hector and Daneel van der Walt. Not are they only amazing performers in and of themselves, they are also brilliant team players and work most wonderfully as a group. They make me feel blessed, and they give me the best kind of creative energy and inspiration.

The super talented Fiona du Plooy came in to rehearsals today to teach the cast some moves for the final song. Yo! She was great, and the cast already look brilliant and hilarious. Then Trevor du Buisson dropped by. He brought the backing track that he made for a very funny rewrite of I Believe I Can Fly; I Believe I Can Drive. It is fantastic! Nothing like pulling in my brilliantly creative connections to do the job.

Tomorrow we do a photo shoot in the morning and rehearse in the afternoon, and then on Thursday we have our first client viewing. I can’t wait for them to see what we’ve been up to. Life is good.

Angels on horseback; a very lekker ride

It was the rather glam opening of Angels on Horseback at On Broadway last night and I took my friend Frob, who is shooting a movie in Slaap Stad, with. And a jolly good, thigh slapping, yeehaing, toe tapping time was had by all.

I first saw (and wrote about) Angels on Horseback way back in 2007, and the show has come a long way since then. In fact, other than the same team (except for Bood) it is hardly recognisable as the same show. This version is slicker, funnier, prettier, tighter and there’s more of it too.

So what is this show Angels on Horseback? It’s Candice D’Arcy and Fiona du Plooy singing, dancing and even baking and horse riding,  backed up by Jamie Jupiter and Gene Kierman on many various guitars, drums, a small tuba thing, and even voices. This is all directed and made sexy and funny by Peter Hayes.

I love the original songs. They are very, very funny and sharp and really entertaining. I love Oh Johannes, Erotic Kitchen and Doop Doop. Some of the covers are excellent choices too; my favourites being Gene’s version of Dolly Parton’s I Will Always Love You, Don’tcha and the hilarious Texas Annie. I am still struggling with the version of The Boss’s Dancing in the Dark, but let’s face it, when it comes to Springsteen (and probably only him) I’m a bit of a purist. Nothing will get Candice’s headpiece out of my mind. You gotta see it to believe it!

This show has got a lot going for it. It is proper, genuine entertainment. Because both lurvely ladies are primarily actors, their skill is in delivering a performance, making the songs into little scenes, which for the most part are hilarious. I think the more serious stuff is not as successful; but there’s not too much of that. It’s the pony riding, real rhyming, square (ish) dancing stuff that I lurve. 4907_Girls loo web

Jamie and Gene have come a long way since I first saw them. They have made that difficult transition from pure musician to entertaining performer and they are both totally engaging, funny and delightful, as well as being the great musos they are.

This show hits the scene at a great time. I was feeling a bit starved for good entertainment, and here it is, like Ryk Neethling, on a silver tray. This original show is a blues chaser. It’s feel good. It’s good mood. And it’s well done. It’s not another tribute show (thank the gods). And it’s cheap! Tickets are R85 per person, and there are two halves. Put yr cowboy boots on and dig out your stetsons and make sure you see this one. The run is until 21 March.

Cool offer for Cowboys and girls

So, almost two years ago I saw Angels on Horseback, a cheeky and hilarious romp through some great original country songs with some very funny and even rude lyrics, fronted by Candice D’Arcy and Fiona du Plooy. Now they are doing a brand new version of this cool show and there is a preview on the 3rd of March and you can pick up a ticket for a lowly R50!

Oh, it helps if I tell you the where and when hey? Angels on Horseback is at On Broadway and runs ’til the 21 March. Yee ha!

Angels poster09web

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