Megan's Head

A place where Megan gets off her head.

Tag: Not The Midnight Mass

Long Street Delight

I have just finished reading Banquet at Brabazan by Patricia Schonstein and it has left me feeling really strange, and delighted and uncomfortable and sad and oddly uplifted.

Banquet at Brabazan could not be more Cape Town. It is set in and around Long Street and the City Bowl, but also touches on the suburbs and townships of Cape Town. It is another weird mix of fantasy and reality, images and characters from her previous book A Time of Angels.

Obvious references to existing people like Graham Weir and Not The Midnight Mass, or Pieter Toerien and Pretty Yende, to name a few, as well as actual buildings, streets and places, are interweaved with imagined characters, places and spaces and it’s strange and confusing and delicious and unsettling. It is also underscored with a weird nostalgia, abundance, and Italian decadence too odd to explain properly.

The characters are beautiful, and strange and awkwardly special. There is an angel who lives at the YMCA. There is the real dwarf who often stands at the robot in front of the Engen in Orange Street, only here he has an imagined wife and life. There is a cross dressing Jewish business man who has the most beautiful affair with his secretary. There is the Long Street we know, and the one we kind of know, or at least suspect, and the magical Long Street we wish we got more glimpses of, and the Long Street we fantasise about.

There is the disturbing reality of child trafficking and muti murders, of drugs and xenophobia, of the Angolan war, of Mozambican horrors. There is politics, and poverty and nasty human stuff. There are beautiful costumes, romantic paintings, beautiful light and music.

It is a really, really strange and totally haunting read. I want to be in the movie.

Do NOT miss NOT The Midnight Mass

files.php I went on Thursday night to their final preview ( I was away in Plett for their opening on Friday) and it was fabulous. This is perfect summer holiday fare; funny, quirky, balanced, artful and totally feel good.

Not The Midnight Mass celebrates its 21st birthday with this incarnation and it is worth the trip to Theatre on The Bay to have the best time ever in a theatre.

Genius anchors Graham Weir and Christine Weir are joined by Amanda Tiffin (who has blossomed into the most amazing actress; she always was a dream of a singer), Jason Ralph who is divine to watch singing with his magnificent voice, and the hugely huge and talented Pierre van Heerden who is made for this type of work.

I was jealous not to be involved this time. I love Not the Midnight Mass and have directed and stage managed the show a few times over the years. But after I got over the jealousy I sat forward in my seat and blommed. There are the old faves The Hallelujah Chorus, Wuthering HeightsGraham’s original Eh Barahn. There are some new surprises and some brilliant re-workings. The only thing I wasn’t crazy about was the TV theme medley and that’s probably because the volume in the first half was a bit down and it needed to be a bit more punchy.

I swear, this is a show that people need to see this holiday. It cheers your soul. If you are choosing what to spend your theatre money on then choose this.

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