Megan's Head

A place where Megan gets off her head.

Tag: Susan Danford

The List

I do not have any children. This makes me one of a very few women of my age who don’t know what it’s like to look after and grow them. And it is possible that that is the reason why I wasn’t entirely swept up by the script of The List, in spite of being entranced, moved, mesmerised and awed by Susan Danford’s performance.

The List, written by Jennifer Tremblay, directed by Leila Henriques and embodied by Susan Danford, opened at The Baxter last night. And it is a like an arrow to the heart in terms of performance, regardless of (for me) its rather ‘for chicks’ subject matter.

I must confess, I didn’t like the set except for the projections of the words, like chapters, and I wasn’t crazy about the lighting, but who cares? Susan was brilliant, and she held me and moved me. She is a godess of acting.

Villa Sofia stealing my heart

It’s really exciting for me that 3 of the most interesting works I have seen this year have been plays presented as part of the Theatre Arts Admin Collective and GIPCA’s Emerging Director’s Bursary. Thando Dhoni’s Eutopia, Dom Gumede’s Crepuscule and now Villa Sofia by Lidija Marelic. It’s been a treat seeing such diverse, yet detailed, passionate and committed work of a very, very high standard. Bravo.

Villa Sofia starts off at a massive advantage. Lidija put together Cape Town’s best to devise this work. Susan Danford, Terry Norton and Adrian Galley carry the life of this play and make it brilliant and moving. It is an odd story, that takes a while to access; what I actually know about the Serbs and Croats (the setting and subject matter of the play) is terribly limited, but by half-way in the characters have drawn you into the story and it is a tragic journey then, to the end.

But that’s not all. I loved the set. I loved the music. I loved the lighting, costumes, styling. The text needs another phase of writing, I think. I imagine a dramaturg working with Lidija to take the text to the next level. In the meantime, go and see the deft young hand of the director and the brilliant cast who live their characters so truly.

I want to make an appeal to The Theatre Arts Admin Collective to find a way to do two week runs of these works. A minimum of two weeks is needed before the Fleur du Cap judges can consider a production, and all three of these deserve being considered.

The Deep Creative relief of I, Claudia

Aaaaah! Everyone knows I’ve been in a theatre funk lately, with the last few things I’ve seen not taking me to the good theatre space of wanting to rush out and force everyone I know to go and see the play, but last night changed things back for me.

On our way to The Kalk Bay Theatre Big Friendly said his wish for the night was good snacks (The Kalk Bay Theatre puts on a very sexy, jolly pre-show opening night snack and hang out), and a short play (we had both been up since the crack of dawn.) He asked me what I wanted from the night and I said “transformation”. I am delighted to report that we both got our wishes, in spades.

Now, first up I must confess to this being the first time I have seen I, Claudia even though it has been on twice in Grahamstown and at least one other time in Cape Town. Susan Danford performs, Lara Bye directs this one-hander written by Kristen Thomson.

It’s a tiny story of a young girl managing her puberty, the separation of her parents and her father’s new relationship, the death of her pets, school and all the thoughts and crazinesses of bursting out of your emotional and hormonal skin. It’s told through Claudia’s, the school janitor’s, her father’s fiance’s and her grandfather’s voices. And it is totally engaging, hilarious, moving, and magical.

Susan Danford is amazing. Because she is working with masks (that are fantastic by the way, and made by Melani-Rene Louwrens) you forget that it is beautiful Susan in there. She totally becomes the characters, especially Claudia, in the deepest possible way, removing herself from them almost entirely, and giving them new life, which radiates through every finger tip and through the holes where we can see shining eyes. She, Lara Bye and the production team have done an awesome job.

I was mesmerised throughout. I was transfixed. and I was transformed. Take my word for it. Beautiful, magical, moving theatre. On for another two weeks at The Kalk Bay Theatre.

Edit! Next four weeks! No excuses not to see it.

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