Megan's Head

A place where Megan gets off her head.

Tag: Oudshoorn

Post Oudshoorn. Some thoughts

I got back home on Friday afternoon, and only realised how intense my week had been by measuring how tired I was.

A festival is such a different energy it doesn’t feel like real life. Also, I was winging it there and having to jump from pillar to post, learn quickly in an unfamiliar environment and get to know people, places and roads from scratch.

I saw two lekker shows. I ate roosterbrood and jam and cheese. I met more than a few new people, and I networked a bit with some others. I stayed in a beautiful home, and enjoyed my delightful hostess Tina and husband Coen. I walked early every morning (except for the last one when I had to be at work at 6ish). I saw three Hoepoes one morning. I couldn’t believe how many 4x4s there were on the roads. I thought about going to shul on Wednesday for the Pesach service, but didn’t get there. I realised that having an early morning ceremony and expecting actors and theatre people to attend is a bit like hitching the wrong way up a one way street. I saw a baby hippo. I saw an albino ostrich.

I realised that festival organisers have the hardest jobs. I realised that the Oudshoorn KKNK is first a festival and then an arts festival and the two don’t necessarily ever meet or share things.

While most people were uncomfortable with some of the content, language and accessibility of the theatrical work, I was uncomfortable with some of the people. I was amazed by the campers, on every school field and parking lot. I was amazed by the meat. I was amazed by the drinking. I was unnerved by that special, drunk, middle of the night shouting.

I was amazed by the collective unconsciousness, with shows all coming up with the same symbols, the same angst, the same references. (This year the bible references were particularly strong). I was amazed at how many Afrikaans singers I have never even heard about, let alone heard.

I was amazed that despite my feeling like a rank outsider I kept on looking for and considering the possibility of my future involvement there. Theatre slut that I am.

There is no doubt that there is a theatre audience at the KKNK. It’s an audience that loves Sandra Prinsloo. They love actors who have starred on TV. They love Marthinus Basson, and Marthinus Basson directing Reza de Wet. They love Chris Chameleon (and so do I). There is no doubt that I am torn between serving such an audience and ignoring them. We are not on the same page. I loved Ararat. This KKNK audience was irritated that they didn’t understand it.

I guess I still have quite a lot of thinking to do. Thanks to my friend who needed my help and made my trip to the festival possible.


I woke up in another world this morning. A chain of interesting and unforeseen events has brought me to Oudshoorn Klein Karoo Nationale Kunstefees, and I’m under an umbrella in the sweltering heat at a funny table, just outside Die Burgersentrum, with the smell of braai and roosterbrood strong in the air, furiously writing before my battery runs out.

Famous last words. My battery did run out. Luckily Windows Live Writer saved what I had done and I’m back at the guesthouse writing while my battery charges, but I’ll have to go back into town to post it! I spent the morning wondering around, trying to find WI-FI and I don’t know if it was because I’m probably one of four English speakers in the whole town, but nobody really knew what I was talking about, and the only definite answer I got was from an actual internet cafe who explained that because of blah blah blah and blah blah blah, nobody except the Oudshoorn Hotel had WI-FI.

The hotel was far away and I was meeting someone close by and I really didn’t want to give up my amazing parking spot, so I switched on my computer and managed to find a WI-FI connection and connected! I think I am the only person who knows it exists!

So here I am. For just under a week, helping my friend with her enormous workload, including the organising of the Kanna Award Ceremony. And it’s a real eye opener. The only other time I came to this festival was about 13 years ago and it was a horrible, conservative affair, famous for being the year that Miriam Makeba was ‘thrown with’ cans, and Steve Hofmeyr punched a reporter. Thirteen years later the festival is a well-oiled machine, and the Kanna offices are testimony to that. They are calm and cool and serene, with the cars and bustle and flea-markets and beer tents and braai downstairs on the streets. It’s as if there are two festivals here; the high art creative one and the man in the street one. It takes some getting used to.

I must say though, what has stood me in unbelievably good stead with the theatre community is the winning of  the Fleur du Caps. Instant cred and recognition, I tell you. Thanks again FdC and Distell.

So, while I’m here I’ll get to see some of the shows; which is most cool. And then I’ll write about them; which is cooler.

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