Megan's Head

A place where Megan gets off her head.

Tag: music

Art as Life

As an artist who plays in many different forms – performance, writing, directing, marketing, facilitating, teaching, I am always preoccupied with whether the work of the arts can make a real and powerful difference, and can bring about fundamental, systemic change.

Art, especially theatre, can be a potent way to deliver commentary on the human condition. The arts change, often with the use of emotion, how audiences think and feel about many things. It’s what happens to those thoughts and feelings afterwards that I am interested in.

This current version of the world is full of distracting fake everything. It is a rigmarole to find out who really said what, and when a thing happened if it, in fact, ever did. It is distraction of the highest order and it makes us feel bogged down, immobile, and also unable – dis-abled. In art we are unburdened by whether something is a fact; we are made to believe the ‘what if it were true?’ notion of things, and then we see the consequences of it, as if it were true.

We test things out in this artist space. We examine these ideas – and they can be anything, from how to rise above childhood trauma, to the apocalypse, to politics and their intersection into community. We rewrite the common view of history, we invent people to go through hell on our behalf, and we make radical choices and ask our audiences to make decisions based on what feels right. The theatre, the gallery, the darkened cinema is an emotional dissection space where politics, science, history, psychology, and the deeply personal are portrayed in a such a way to elicit a response.

This is powerful stuff. This stuff is the emotional juice of any revolution. It is the potential glue of genuine uprising. It is how Vaclav Havel rewrote the history of the Czech Republic. It is how Woodstock was the expression of a shift in the new world order and a total discarding of the old narrative.

Right now fake news on social media, manipulated by big business politics, is our greatest distraction because it keeps us locked into an outrage that feels both helpless and impotent, and then we suffer outrage fatigue. I believe ostrich head in the sand or even true despair and depression come next. We don’t see the point of voting, participating, or even telling people to pick up their litter. In this state they have us where they want us; we are consumers. We consume their information and their products.

This is where art – theatre, film, literature, stories can be the great shifter. Art can introduce a new possibility. It is the least we can do.

 

Another Friggin’ (fabulous) Tribute Show

The mix was noticeable. Old old. A few young and hip. Some dweebs. Establishment (from a theatre point of view). Friends and family. It was the opening of Another Friggin’ Tribute Show on THE SAME night as Coldplay! So the seventy odd people that weren’t at the gig were at Pierre Malherbe’s new one man show, directed by VIncent Meyburgh at The Intimate. I was glad. I’m not into Coldplay (although I like their greatest hit I Will Fix You).

This one man show is a non-musical tribute to music (in general and in particular) and how it moves you. Pierre is quite a bit younger than me but a lot of the influences, and the ‘how’ of listening to music, and taping, and how Pink Floyd altered our musical DNA and how we became music lovers are very similar. It was often like he was speaking my childhood, adolescence and youth into memory.

The show is very funny. Very. It is a unique blend of stand-up, sketch, personal take and musical nostalgia. I love Pierre on stage. He is wacky, cute, crazy, physically gawky, and quite demented, but all in a very engaging way. He develops a vibe with the audience, and, even though he is quite clear at the beginning that he will be doing all of the talking, it does actually feel like one of those ‘remember when’ conversations.

This is the show’s first airing, and I am sure some of the stuff will tighten up as it goes along. My favourite bits were the pre-show sketch, the taping sequence, the anti ‘one particular band’ (I won’t spoil it for you by saying which one) hysteria and the very Cape Town references. Actually, my all time favourite bit was the totally ridiculous comparison with being as upset as if someone had stabbed a labrador in the face. But you had to be there.

Pierre has managed to create a delightful, weird, accessible, friggin’ funny show that is slapped with nostalgia, musical mayhem, and delicious attachments to (musical) people and things. A bit like a South African Nick Hornby, brought to stage in Cape Town. It’s on until the 15th October.

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