Megan's Head

A place where Megan gets off her head.

Tag: Godfrey Johnson

Godfrey Johnson’s Charity Exhibition

My darling Godfrey Johnson put together an art exhibition, See The Point Darling – An Exhibition and Auction and it is on right now at The Framery, 67g Regent Road, Sea Point. The idea was to get non-painters to paint and then to auction the paintings off for charity, with funds going to The Darling Trust. I painted this picture called Elephant Dreaming Dreaming Elephant (and so far someone has bid R500 for it). I love this painting by Leon Kowarski and have opened the bidding on it. There are paintings by Pieter-Dirk Uys, Tandi Buchan, Charles Tertiens, Didi Moses, Karen Jeynes; to name a few. Go and take a look, bid, and support this fab, fun idea.

The Minnie and Johnson Show

A posse of friends was organised to go to Beefcakes last night to eat burgers and watch Godfrey Johnson and Emile Minnie’s cabaret. It was the way to do it; a big enough group where we could be loud and a little obnoxious and have a jolly good time.

I hate Beefcakes actually. Their burgers (veggie one for me) are not fabulous. I hate that they continue serving, ringing up and running things as the show happens. It is my biggest beef (eina!) that any management can do that to any artist. It sucks. I hate that people are allowed to sit at the bar and pretend like there isn’t a show on, by talking so loudly with turned backs, while we strain to hear from our seats. It is a kak way of putting on live theatre and it makes me upset.

Having said all that, Emile and Godfrey managed to pull of a totally quirky, very funny, delicious and camp little two man cabaret that was completely entertaining and delicious. Lady Gaga (done Die Antwoord style), YMCA, a whole bunch of other 80’s numbers, Waka Waka, and lots of other eclectic stuff were included by these two hilarious and talented men, who were dressed in their Spring Bokkie T’s and little white shorts. It’s a little bit of musical madness done magically well, and it cast its spell over us, in spite of the venue’s limitations and irritations.

If you are hardy enough to catch the show at this venue without getting upset, then check it out every Sunday in October. Otherwise, I have no doubt it will reappear at another venue. Delicious.

Brilliant Shadow of Brel take #2

Godfrey Johnson is doing a short two week run of his Brel show at the Kalk Bay Theatre and I went along last night even though I have seen it before and reviewed it here. In this venue the show is stronger, harder and somehow more intense, hardly giving the audience time or space to breathe. I think it has to do with the brilliant lighting that Jon Keevy made as well as the stillness of Godfrey in his chair for the whole thing. Brilliant. If You Go Away has never been done better and Next, The Lockman and some of the other lesser known songs are genius. I couldn’t stay for the second half, where Godfrey performs requests that members of the audience choose and pay for and the money goes to the Darling Trust (what a brilliant idea), I had a headache from hell that I couldn’t get rid of. The message to all who haven’t seen this show is, go. This is Brel with a capital B. And to those who have; it’s worth seeing again in this space. It’s not a laugh a second journey. It is intense, harrowing, sentimental, crazy, potent, poetic, demented and magnificent.

Shimmering Shadow of Brel

brel I went to Tabula Rasa (the laundromat by day theatre by night) last night to watch my friend and colleague Godfrey Johnson’s new show The Shadow of Brel. I was a little apprehensive; being a bit Brelled out. He has become the height of fashion lately; a trend started by Clare Watling and Godfrey himself as accompanist. I also know Brel very well. My father introduced me to him when I was about 12, and I loved his lyrics and the theatricality of his songs. I was introduced to politics, love, seediness, friendship, and that special European sentimentality that Jacques Brel was all about. I have seen many Brel shows and even movies. I know the words to most of the popular Brel songs.

So I really lucked out last night and was delighted by The Shadow of Brel. This one, directed by Sanjin Muftic, is a real goodie. It couldn’t be simpler. Godfrey, in shirt and tie, sits straight backed at the piano and sings Brel to his own masterful accompaniment. He has chosen a very good mix of songs, including the most popular ones like Carousel, If You Go Away and If We Only Have Love, but introducing a few most obscure and interesting and unusual songs like Next (my favourite), The Lockman, and Fannette.

Godfey was naturally a bit nervous last night, which made him take extra care. Once he settles in and relaxes I think he will let rip and the show will be a complete scorcher. A friend I was sitting next to said afterwards that Godfrey was ‘without artifice’ and I thought that that was a lovely way to describe the obvious simplicity and sincerity of this show. His voice and range are perfectly suited to the material, and his interpretations are from the heart, with deep understanding.

The venue is lovely and lends itself perfectly to this kind of intimate little cabaret. I loved the washing baskets turned over into tables. Yawazzi Fish (Jon Keevy and Sanjin), a newish and very exciting theatre company in Cape Town, are responsible for the staging of this show and the creation of a theatre space in Tabula Rasa, which is, really, a laundromat. The ability to do this successfully is brilliant. This kind of thinking is what makes me love Cape Town, but these teeny ventures have got to be supported to survive. It’s so easy to get there. If you are going down Roeland street, turn left at the set of robots into Canterbury street. Go past Ohrm’s  on your left. Tabula Rasa is on the opposite corner. This show is on until 20 Feb, and it’s a great one to get you there.

The Satyr of Springbok Heights

 20090604 Wouter  Hilda hi-resWhat an impressive premier of a local movie. The Labia was buzzing last night with friends, media and even the stars of this little movie, who had arrived for the first official screening.

The Satyr of Springbok Heights is produced, directed and written by Robert Silke, who had all sorts of help from everybody involved on lots of levels, and so it’s this collaborative effort that makes the film work.

It’s all about this block of flats across the way from the Company Gardens in the middle of town, its history, design, and the people who lived, and live there, including a Satyr!

The movie is a mocumentary in the style of Confetti and I love the genre. There are two streams to the film; ‘real’ interviews with people who play themselves, talking about the block, Springbok Heights, and actors playing the people who live there. The ‘real’ people are architecture professor Fabio Todeschini, John Caviggia who knows everything about every style and period of everything, being a drama expert, and Sunday Times columnist Lin Sampson, who, slumped and virtually immobile in her chair, is hilarious and totally weird. Oh, and there are two excellent and very real cameos from two delightful street people, one very friendly and one not so very.

Some of the actors are Godfrey Johnson, who plays Wouter Malan, Victoria Caballaire who plays Hilda Steyn, Nicholas Spagnoletti who plays poor Nathan Golding and Nicole Franco who plays one part of a ‘lebanese’ couple. This is where the movie gets a little uneven. While the characters are huge and hilarious, the performance style is a little too big for the fake documentary style. Most successful is Nicholas Spagnoletti who underplays poor Nathan Golding perfectly. The others are terribly funny, but not very ‘real’, and even though I loved huge Hilda Steyn, I would have preferred slightly more ‘naturalistic’ performances.

That, and the funny way Lin Sampson referred to everybody in the past tense, were my two sticking points. Otherwise, I think the whole thing was quite fabulous. I loved Sean Michau’s music. I loved Nigel Murphy’s off screen interviews. I loved John Caviggia because he is so entertaining, and I mostly loved the fact that with no budget at all, Robert and his friends and connections made a full length feature and bladdy well put it on. Bravo to all involved!

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