Megan's Head

A place where Megan gets off her head.

Tag: Soli Philander

Taxi Nights and the incredible Soli Philander

So somehow this extraordinary, amazing, confusing and totally magical city of ours, Cape Town, has scored itself a guardian, ambassador, spokesperson, critic, teacher, reflector, therapist and rabble rouser, and it is Soli Philander. I have been joining him on Mondays on his internet radio station The Taxi, because I love theatre, and I love talking about theatre, and Soli shares my passion (even though he has many, many others).

When a slot became available at The Kalk Bay Theatre, Soli and his Taxi team took two weeks of it to do Taxi Nights, and I went to witness this last night. Taxi Nights is really a showcase of the young talent that Soli has taken under his wing. These young, fresh people share their skills with the audience in the first half, and there is a guest performer (last night it was the hilarious and hysterical comedian Wayne Mckay, and the last three shows are Gift Gwe, Siv N and Shimmy Isaacs, in that order). In the second half Soli performs some of his favourite female characters from years (and productions) gone by.

Taxi Nights is not slick. It takes full advantage of the intimate space at the KBT and it feels like you are in Soli and Toni (his wife)’s lounge. It’s like being introduced to the voices and names of The Taxi in person. And the experience is warm, funny, touching and even surprisingly shocking and terrifying at times. Eugene Matthews introduced us to everybody, mostly by screaming for them to come on stage (very funny), Ronald Jones sang with a voice like an angel, Christian Bennet did a monologue that was totally extraordinary, Roshan Philander (Wonderbra) spoke a Maya Angelou poem. Toni and the ghaatjie did sound and lights. It was a family affair.

It was a weirdly satisfying night of non theatre at my favourite theatre. I know how much I enjoyed it when I said to my friend that I wished I could get my hands on those kids and work with them, especially Christian. His monologue deserves to be made into a full play.

Soli is a very special man, with special ideas and plans. We Capetonians need to take care of him. He is a most valuable resource.

 

The Taxi and Me

So, I have managed to squeeze my arse onto Mr KapeTown (Soli Philander)’s online radio show, The Taxi. Every Monday at 1030 I will join him to talk about theatre in Cape Town and to urge people to support local, live talent in our city. In a slight departure from my usual out and out honesty that you will always find here, I will be looking for and recommending  the stuff I love. I am really excited about this. One of the things we absolutely can do in this industry is to all try our hardest to get people to go. Mostly, when people finally manage to get to a live show (sometimes for the first time) they can’t believe how amazing it is. I just want to keep reminding as many people as I can that there is amazing stuff on our stages and they deserve our support.

Facebook me on http://www.facebook.com/meganfurniss, tweet me @meganshead, leave comments here, or even email me if there is something you are sure I should be seeing and talking about.

The Taxi

I’ve just come back from having a chinwag with Soli Philander (Mr KapeTown) on his online radio station The Taxi. I have always talked to Soli over the years; he has been a passionate and committed follower of me and my work, which has been brilliant for me, because I have needed the publicity and exposure. Soli really has been amazingly generous about all of that. And today I want to ‘do it a little differently’. I want to talk about him, the work he does in this town, and how completely amazing he is.

I forget what a brilliant, enthusiastic, passionate, committed, driven and dynamic force Soli is because every time I talk to him it’s about me and the work I’m doing. And yet, he has single handedly changed how we are a community in Cape Town. Conversations with Soli are always deeply honest and to the point. He gets what’s important, and is a hater of bullshit. He loves deeply and strongly, particularly things magical and creative. He is a positive power force. And I am so happy I get a chance to chat to him every now and again. He re-inspires me. And he can you. Listen to The Taxi and hear.

The Soli Story

I’m sure it’s mostly old news by now that Soli Philander was dismissed from 567 Cape Talk a week or two ago. I realised something fishy was happening when Shado Twala seemed to inherit Soli’s slot indefinitely. Although I have read Soli’s heartfelt rhyming explanation for what happened on face book, I don’t profess to having the ins and outs and I certainly haven’t tried to find out the story in more detail or even call out that he was unjustly treated. I just have some thoughts on how corporates just get things so damn wrong sometimes.

Soli is a transformer. He is able to change the way people think, manipulate people’s ideas and encourage them to do things differently. He is exactly what you want in a public persona; someone who speaks their mind with humour and conviction, and gets people to come along for the ride. Which is exactly why his Taxi Timeout was a genius idea and why he and his show were so completely valuable, both for Cape Talk, and for Cape Town.

Now I am not suggesting that Primedia management and the bigwigs don’t have a case against Soli (although I have no real idea about this) but I am pretty convinced he didn’t do anything outright illegal, like steal or cheat or do stuff that our politicians are so comfortable doing with public funds. I am sure they have very good reasons for dismissing him. It just doesn’t make sense.

I really believe that they needed to make every effort to keep him. They needed to pay him more, bend or break the corporate rules, change how they do things, and negotiate a different scenario to make sure he stayed; because he is who we want on our radio. He does it for us. He was their pot of gold, their valuable asset, their secret weapon (not their only one, I concede, but one of them). And instead of trying to make him and us believe that he is dispensable and replaceable they just needed to eat humble pie, recognise his extraordinary value (which comes with all the difficulties of being a huge, popular, magnetic transformer) and make a plan. But no, they pulled that corporate, contractual, businessspeak bullshit and got rid of him.

I loved Shado as a South Africa’s Got Talent judge, but to fill Soli’s boots on the radio as a talk show host? Aikona sisi. So, during that time slot I’ll listen to one of the few really crap choices we have on FM in Cape Town, as I am sure many Cape Talk listeners will. And that just seems so pointless. Cultivate, support and grow what people value and talent you have 567 (and all other corporates), instead of big sticking them out of there.

Fleur du Cap, fun, feast, faux pas

I’m supposed to be asleep; it’s a public holiday after all, but the Distell red has woken me I think. And my feet are a bit swollen from those damn shoes.

Last night was the Fleur du Cap awards and this year I was a proper nominee, which basically meant preparing an outfit in advance. Big Friendly chose my shoes, which looked great, gave me the extra height, but were impossible to actually live in.

As usual it was a pretty glam affair, with lots of air kissing on arrival. All the nominees I spoke to beforehand gave away their insecurities by saying how much they hated these kinds of things, but I could see their eyes sparkling.

Off we went for the ceremony and show. This year’s offering was directed by Hennie van Greunen, the director of Die Naaimasjien (winner of best new SA script and Best Actress Sandra Prinsloo), and on the whole I think he did a really nice job; it was quite short with a great opening number. I have to say though, I felt like he didn’t really know his Cape Town audience. I got the feeling that the whole thing had been put together and rehearsed up country and then shipped down for the night. Luckily, most of the presenters of the awards (actors and others) made up for it. My favourites were kept for last; Soli Philander and Helen Zille! They were brilliant, hilarious and totally entertaining. I had no idea she had it in her! (The same can’t be said for old Fiona Coyne, who did not exactly embrace the generous spirit of handing over awards!)

There were two awards that I was absolutely delighted about. Tara Louise Nottcutt’s award for Best New Director, and Angels on Horseback’s award for Best Performance in a Cabaret. And Rob Murray for Best Lighting. Naturally, I was disappointed that none of the ones I was associated with won; especially for Dicky Longhurst and Alfred Rietmann, both nominated in the same category, Best Set Design, for Noah of Cape Town and The Tent.

The big mess of the evening for me was the damn voice over announcing Noah of Cape Town in the category of Best New South African Script. It was a hellova voice over, that went on for ever, pronounced my name wrong (twice!) and then announced Jacqui Singer as the director of the show. What a disgrace! Surely not! Surely every singe piece of material had the right Jaci de Villiers down as the director! Surely. I’m still a bit bitter actually.

Soli and Helen put me back in the mood though. They rocked. Then it was back into the fray to chow and drink. I was very well behaved and didn’t overdo it for once in my life. Big Friendly was so excited by the dessert tables he got stage fright! At a totally respectable 10.30pm we (I) hobbled up those endless stairs, thinking of everything I need to do this year to make sure I get to go to next year’s one!

let’s talk 567

cv_soli I’m having a week of radio stuff. Today I am marching off to the Cape Talk studio to have a chat with Soli Philander about stuff, mainly theatre reviews and blogging. I love chatting to Soli. I don’t know if anyone remembers the last time Soli had a show on 567 Cape Talk, I would join him on a Friday arvie for Meg’s Moan In, where I would complain bitterly about all sorts of things. A lot like, this blog actually. So if you’re near a radio at 14h30, give us a listen.

I love talk radio as well. I don’t know if anyone listened to the Cape Talk drive on Monday to raise money to feed and care for orphans? They raised a whopping three and a half million Rand! Children phoned in to pledge pocket money, grannies called in to give their few Rands worth. I wept. Capetonians can be amazing!

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén