Megan's Head

A place where Megan gets off her head.

Tag: Tandi Buchan (Page 1 of 3)

2 Parrots and a Sandcastle

IMG_6968So, my way of starting the new year is with three improv shows at my fave Alexander Bar, this coming Thursday, Friday and Saturday night. I will be performing with a different improviser each night, for an hour of made up stuff, with no pre-plan or any idea at all about what we will be doing. I cannot wait.

The line up of performers joining me is unbelievable and I am so lucky to have these people to come and play, and fulfil my dream and first love, improv.

Tandi Buchan, AD of Improguise, our improv troupe, joins me on Thursday night. We have been improvising together for over twenty years now. In fact, Tandi is like my improv wife. We are so safe with each other, but still continue to surprise each other. Tandi is imagination. Tandi is a storytelling machine and brilliant characters. Tandi is Noel Coward and South African Soap. I love being on stage with her.

Friday night is Brett Anderson night. It is also the night of his birthday, so double celebration. Brett ‘take it and run with’ it Anderson is a different kind of partner in crime. Wordsmith, rhyme guy and creative punster, Brett gives me a run for my money with quick thinking and wittiness. I so enjoy being on stage with him.

On Saturday it’s Leon Clingman’s chance to join me. I have been waiting for a chance to share a stage for an hour with Leon. We really get each other as improvisers. With Leon I can take risks. With Leon there is conflict and drama and relationships. Leon is my improv husband. I know it is going to be interesting, and amazing.

I don’t want you to have to choose which night to join us. Come to all three. It’s cheap as bad gossip. R80 if you book online.

Improv Inspiration

Not that I need it, but yesterday is living proof that improv is the most extraordinary tool and philosophy in the corporate environment.

A few weeks ago I was approached by an international company who wanted to find out about the possibility of doing some industrial theatre at a conference. They had a product (a data system) that needed to be launched, and they wanted us to spice up the launch and make it fun and exciting. After a lovely chat, they were broad minded enough to consider my suggestion that we run an improv workshop/show shop with the delegates (instead of doing rehearsed sketches), and then pepper the presentation with some improvised interventions. (I must add here that the terrifying idea of trying to understand the product and then deliver accurate content around it was the main reason why I wanted to avoid writing a script and then rehearsing the stuff).

Only after I had sold the idea to them did I hear that there were going to be 200 delegates. 200! That is 200 people in a room, 10 at a table, 20 tables.

So when we (three veteran improvisers) arrived at the venue yesterday and started setting up while everyone was at lunch I felt like an imposter. How were we going to pull this off? I shouldn’t have worried. It was magnificent, and energising, and hilarious and potent and unbelievably barrier breaking. It worked. It was amazing. My fellow improvisers Tandi Buchan and Brett Anderson were superb, and we managed to change and charge the room.

Now this is all I want to do, for the rest of my life. So, if you need us, let me know. Send me a line on megan@improvision.co.za

 

Our 4th Improv Fest

ImprovFestI cannot believe that we ImproGuisers are about to perform our 4th Improv Fest, from 14-19 March, at The Galloway Theatre.

Inspired by an amazing improv travel experience to Oz in 2012, Candice D’Arcy (now living in Oz with Melbourne improviser Mark Gambino), Tandi Buchan (artistic director of ImproGuise), and I came back with inspiration, motivation and a lot of madness, and slapped together an improv festival that offered the best improv in short and long formats.

We were amazed at the amazement of our audiences. We listened to what they loved the most. We were inspired by their suggestions. And we did the festival three times in a row, for the last three years.

This year the biggest difference is the venue. Our last three week long festivals were in Kalk Bay, but now we will be performing at ImproGuise’s home base, The Galloway Theatre. This makes it much more accessible for most of our fans, (although there will be a few long faces because we are not on the other side).

Every single night of the week will present a different improv form; some tried and tested, and our audience favourites as well as one entirely new, very dangerous one, Naked Improv, where absolutely nothing is known beforehand.

I am not gonna lie. We have been performing improv in Cape Town for 23 years now, and the biggest challenge is getting, and keeping, an audience. It is tough, and we have to do a tightrope balance of reinventing ourselves and doing what our audiences love. If you have seen us before (or if you embarrassingly never have) please come and get a sample of this smorgasbord of improv delights.

Tickets are ridiculously cheap. R80, and R70 for students or for block bookings. They are available here on TIXSA and you can find out more if you call our own booking line 0729393351. Every night is different. Choose your best from the line-up in the poster, or take a risk.

 

 

Illness and Inspiration

I have been waiting for the flu to pass. I have that seasonal flu that keeps kind of threatening to get better and then gets kind of worse again. I don’t like being sick, and I think that my immune system is a bit weak from the stinking tick bite fever I had, but more that 4 lines of sick diary is unacceptable, so.

I am trying to focus on some upandcoming good stuff, and the first one coming is this.

impromp2all

 

What this is is 5 performances of an improv show called impromp2, running at the Alexander Bar theatre at 9pm from Tuesday 19 May to Saturday 23 May. How it’s going to work is, every night I will be joined on stage by a different improviser from ImproGuise and the two of us will perform duets for 55 minutes. Some of us have had brief conversations, or email chats about what we want to do. Others haven’t had even that. All I know is that, with the best improvisers in Cape Town, we are going to make each other look good.

Here is a bit about each improviser that will be joining me, and the night that they share the stage.

1. Tuesdsay 19 May is Brett Anderson night. Brett is a crazy lateral thinker, clever wordsmith, multi-hair-do, Terry Pratchett fan, powerful force of good improviser. I love playing with him. We are going to try out a completely new format. So new we don’t even know what it is called. #nobobisnotinvited

2. Wednesday 20 May is Anne Hirsch night. Anne doesn’t need any introduction. She is her own hilarious brand of kook. Anne and I haven’t spoken yet. I am not scared. She is so funny and crazy and unexpected on stage. And on youtube, and on Twitter. Do not miss this. #iheartAnneHirsch

3. Thursday 21 May is Ryan Jales night. I love playing with Ryan, and it just so happens that the two of us have done some of our finest improv with and on each other at the Alexander Bar. Ryan is a writer, copy writer, comic maker, PR guy, and I think he is the only improv guy in Cape Town who knows how to use his iPad properly. #justsaying

4. Friday 22 May is Carolyn Lewis night. Carolyn was in the first ever TheatreSports course I ever ran, ever, in Cape Town. She is my cougar of comedy, my delicious of naughty partner. She is also gearing up to launch her stand-up career again, and I have had a sneak preview and it is high-larious. #watchthisspace

5. Saturday 23 May is Tandi (Bucket) Buchan night. Oh joy. Oh fun. Oh love of improv. Tandi and I have inherited improv genes. We met, fell in love, and have been married to each other through improv for over 20 years. When Tandi knew we were going to be doing this she sent me an email with 16 ideas for formats. I have no idea how we are going to choose from the crazy thoughts in her brain.

So, there is a lot to choose from. I decided to keep the tickets as cheap as possible so you can come to more than one. But I warn you. They are going to be so good (and different and unique) you will want to see them all.

What about Leon Clingman I hear you say. Well, when I got confirmation to do this gig Leon was away, shooting in Jozi, and all 5 nights were snapped up by people who were actually there. Damn I want Leon all to myself to play with. Leon plays my husband, brother, assassin, mad professor, clown lover like nobody else. I will arrange another run just so I can play with him.

Ok, bookings are now open on the Alexander Bar website and you get R10 off your ticket if you book for it online. And go!

My best theatre of 2014

One of my most favourite pieces of theatre this year was Drive With Me, written and performed by me and directed by Liz Mills. I not only loved doing it, I loved doing it at The Alexander Bar, loved the extraordinary responses I had to it, critically, but especially personally, and I totally loved being on stage in front of tiny full houses, receiving the love and warmth of shared work. I particularly loved being able to share my writing of this piece.

One of the most dangerous and exciting theatrical things I did this year was I Could Go On, three nights of me performing solo improv. Did everything work? No. Did some things exceed expectations? Totally. But I loved it. (I was held by director and gorgeous friend Candice D’Arcy).

One of my proudest moments of the year was the reading of my play Clouds Like Waves by friends and brilliant talents Jaci de Villiers, Tandi Buchan, Nicole Franco, Heather Mac and Charlie Keegan. They made me see how much I love this play. They were awesome and awe inspiring.

One of my absolute delights this year was directing Lynita Crofford in Violet Online. What a sexy little experiment that totally paid off in deliciousness. (opening at the Kalk Bay Theatre on 26 Jan for a 2 week run).

My big and enduring theatrical love affair was my industrial theatre road show for Engen. Honestly, after 10 years they just get better and better, and I love my cast, client and audiences deeply.

One of the last favourites of the year was the total joy of directing Nicholas Spagnoletti’s Drowned Bride. I was as off the wall as I could be, and I was allowed to be. What a gift, I tell ya.

My most outrageous theatrical project was coaching and directing a group of bankers to re-interpret four fairy tales and then perform them competitively. They were inspiring, hilarious and the best teams ever. They taught me so much.

There was more. All of it, in fact. But these were my favourite favourites. Thanks to all who help me do exactly what I love.

 

 

Rocking Improv Fest

Last week’s improv fest got off to one hellova start for all of us, and for me in particular. We ‘opened’ our long form improv fest with a magnificent Western directed by Candice D’Arcy, and it was dark, bloody, moody and magical. I played the brothel Madam Cas, and I loved every second of being the power hungry, hard-as-nails, bitch of the town, right up until I was shot and died in front of the audience. Hectic.

Then, on Thursday night it was Tandi Buchan’s turn to direct Thursday at Thornton Hall, our full length improvised period drama. This time I was a slightly crazed, old, animal loving aunt to an eligible young bachelor, and I can say with confidence that it was the most fun I have had on stage in a very, very long time, even though there were only about 10 terribly lucky audience members there.

This week I am on stage every night, and directing the Austen on Thursday and the Family Musical on Friday. Plus I am performing the Saturday Superscene; viscious, competitive, highly entertaining improv. How could you resist? Come check us out. Here is a pic of us pre-Thornton Hall.

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