Megan's Head

A place where Megan gets off her head.

Tag: Out the Box

Trying…and Failing

My Out The Box Festival got off to the worst start this evening when I was trapped in the Intimate Theatre courtyard for the first performance of Trying. This experience was definitely in my top five of worst pieces of theatre ever, and I am so sorry about the fact that my talented friend and colleague Nicole Franco is in it. (I feel like that about Francis Chouler too, from whom I have come to expect such good things).

In fact, the last time I hated a show as much was two Out The Box festivals ago, and I had that same hideous feeling tonight, of being desperate to escape and totally unable to because the show was in the courtyard where the entrance was on stage.

Rachel Wood (the director) pulled twelve performers onto stage, as well as assembling a production team for video, sound and lights. Which is the reason why there was a technical hitch or three that meant that the show started 15 minutes late; not great at a festival where some people were booked for another show that they couldn’t make.

Once it got started though, I was in theatre hell. Endless, meaningless moments, little or no characters or sense entering and exiting. Arbitrary dancing. Horrible improvised (I assume) relationship scenes. Inappropriate jokes. Ages and ages to set up more arbitrary moments. Dreary movement pieces that went on forever. Cringeworthy, under rehearsed, directionless, repetitive, unconvincing and plain bad. This is ‘experimental’ theatre of the most unsatisfying. And I kept on thinking of the absolute waste; of resources, of talent, of time, of energy, of everything really. There was this one moment quite near the beginning where the one Israeli actress is sort of lying on the tarred floor and another actor is kind of running up and down, backwards and forwards alongside her. I overheard her whisper to him, “Ok, ok, it’s enough!” and he stopped. I so wished I could have said that and the show would have gone away.

The second funniest part of the show was when John Caviggia arrived very late, entered the stage, made his excuses and sat down, all the while complaining that he had heard there was a technical hitch and couldn’t believe the show had started without him. The funniest part of the play was when John Cavggia’s cell phone rang. And he answered it, announced to his friend Rita that he was in a show, commiserated with her about her cat’s gout and then explained that it was a new phone and he didn’t know how it worked. The person sitting next to me thought he was part of the show. He wasn’t.

Inua Essence

‘”The key is my place in the family of things” is a quote from Inua, choreographed and performed by Jori Snell at Out the Box. I cannot explain how this line and concept moved me.

I have seen Jori before, in her other eccentric and wonderful piece Very Short Stories of Creatures and Their Journey Towards a Home but this piece is better, stranger, more cohesive, and most wondrous.

I think the story is about a somebody trying to make their way in a not always friendly world, following their heart and dreams, and having to make sacrifices because they are different. That’s what I got out of it, and I found it deeply moving. Who knows? It actually doesn’t matter. It is possible to go very deep into the layers and meaning of the work, but if you don’t want to, or can’t, it is beautiful and amazing to just watch the lightshow and hear the words and music.

Inua is what visual theatre is about, and can be. Jori, of the most amazing back, has the most amazing ideas, and then executes them in a visual way, with brilliant use of lights, screens, costumes and props. She also has the most amazing aesthetic, so everything is like an expression of art. I completely loved this show. I loved it.

There is one more show on wed 24 at 8pm, but book now; this afternoon was sold out.

PS. Jori also plays a child in this show, but it speaks gibberish, and doesn’t have those sideways arms!

Pictures of you special offer

I think this is pretty cool. Last year I went to see Pictures of You by FTK when it was part of the Out the Box festival and I really liked it, a lot. Read my review to see. Anyhoo, there is a full run of the show from 2-21 Feb at the Sanlam Studio at The Baxter and Ugli Bob, creator and director of this fab show has offered readers of this here blog a special meganshead special!

Here’s the deal. Any reader can take advantage of the special deal, which is up to two tickets per person for R50 (fifty bucks!) each on any night (other than cheap Mondays, two for one Tuesdays and Valentine’s day night).  

How do you get them?  You need to email Tarryn at or phone her on 021 680 3991 or 084 742 4991, quote the code word "meganshead" and book your tickets.  They will then be waiting for you at the door.

Now, this is a totally new thing I’m doing here and I’m quite keen to see how it works. Let me know what you think!

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