Megan's Head

A place where Megan gets off her head.

The fat lady is singing

and it’s me. Once I am done, then it will be over and let well alone. I have been tjoepstil while I was in Durbs relaxing, but now I want to put this Assassins thing, the NewSpace theatre, my thing with F&M and the whole affair to bed.

Candice, Ray, Megan Carelse and even the Saint, while I appreciate your commitment to meganshead, I am feeling sidelined, and that’s not good. It’s my blog, wena. If you want one Big Friendly can organise. I have enjoyed the debate (a bit) but you guys are embarrassing me; your comments are so long! And well written! And boring. So, whether or not Assassins closes early, I don’t want to know about it anymore. 

I’d like to make a few final points about this whole thing and I’ve had time to think, so here goes. Candice and Megan, you both make a desperate plea to people in the industry to support your work and you say that we should stick together. What a joke. I have been involved in the industry for twenty five years and it is notorious for not being supported by its own kind. Not even my friends and colleagues get it together to support my work. And it takes a very special effort from me to attend the amount of stuff I do go to, mainly out of my own pocket too. That’s because I want to. I am deeply committed to it. and I don’t get to half of what I should. Most performers I know are more than delighted to get an invite to opening night, especially if there are free drinks; are happy to skive comps off fellow performers, and come up with the best excuses in the world if they are expected to actually buy a ticket. So I think you are misguided when you appeal to fellow ‘artistes’ and believe that they could make or break a show.

I also think it is important as performers to realise that no matter how brilliant a show is, you can’t make people want to see it by playing the sympathy card. I certainly don’t want to see a show merely because the actors are  going to starve. If that was the case, all the community theatre projects would be full to the brim and I promise you they aren’t. I am often the only person I know who sees any of them. It doesn’t work. People will go and see what they want to see.

Now, I think it is important to let you know that all shows all over the country are struggling to get audiences. Musicals, classics, comedies and kid’s shows are all playing to tiny audiences or closing early. When there is a recession, the last thing people spend money on is live entertainment. We are all in the same boat. And it’s sink or swim for the lot of us.

My last word is a response to something you wrote Candice, and I quote, "But I really hope that this whole business (my very public banning and all that followed) will eventually be nothing but a fun anecdote for parties." Although many, many people have dined out on the story and laughed at the ridiculousness of it, I was deeply hurt, shocked and thrown by the whole experience. It was frightening, hideous and very painful, with repercussions that included me being called into a ‘disciplinary hearing’ as well as me having to do an enormous amount of explaining to people I care about and respect. I was faced with what I consider to be awkward and difficult choices. Making it small and trivial is wrong. I need you to know that.





Not my favourite


  1. Margie

    Hi Megan (and everybody else it seems),

    Thank you for this comment – you are no fat lady though! It is time that this is laid to rest, it seriously has now gone on for long enough.

    I so know that it is of little help to performeres facing the early closing of a show, but the reality is that few South African’s have extra money right now, those who do are not spending it on what they view as luxury items, and even the tourist industry is considerably down this year. (I read in the week-end news papers that we should be grateful for a rugby tour next year, because that is going to put SA in a better position that North America and Europe. Irony upon ironies.)
    We are living through political and economic scary times WORLDWIDE, not just in Cape Town. We can look for someone to blame, but that is seriously a waste of time – the line of ‘culprits’ is long and probably consists of politicians going back a good couple of decades.
    Uncertain times for everybody in the entertainment industry. My partner is a chef, and trust me, they have never had a dead season quite like this one before. Bottom line: we are just going to have to hang in there. The tide will turn. But right now, people are not thinking about either theatre or eating out.

    So, vasbyt to all of us. Am long enough in the tooth to know that it is going to get better again eventually. Am aslo long enough in the tooth to know that we are going to bitch even when it is good. So, let us enjoy this silly season as much as is possible, look to a lot of change coming our way – hopefully most of it good.


  2. ray

    Youch. Got it. Sorry to have made you feel sidelined, Megan. (And for being boring.) Welcome back!

  3. megan

    Hau Ray. It’s good to be back. In more ways than one. Singing (to the tune of Ole Ole Ole) it’s…My Blog My Blog My Blog My Blog! My Blog! etc!

  4. Candice van Litsenborgh

    Megan, sorry we went moggy on your blog(gy) (couldn’t help myself there). It would be great to actually have somewhere where we could all discuss the state of theatre in this country and come up with good solutions.

    I know it’s still close to home and painful for you now – but you know, as a wise and mature woman that eventually (maybe only when you’re 70) you will look back on this and it won’t hurt like it does now.

    And it will turn into an anecdote (“an interesting biographical story”) because it is part of your life. I can’t apologise for speaking the truth and my semantics being misunderstood. “Anecdotes are NOT JOKES, because their primary purpose is not simply to evoke laughter, but to reveal a TRUTH more general than the brief tale itself, or to delineate a character trait or the workings of an institution in such a light that it strikes in a flash of insight to their very essence.” What better ending could all this have.

    I think the dictionary definition speaks for itself and shows why I simply cannot feel guilty or sorry for what I said, regardless of the fact that you seem to be hurt by my comment. I in no way implied that I saw the situation as small or trivial. I would not ever have bothered writing on this blog if I didn’t feel it was important. I do not see what I said as wrong, it should not have caused you any hurt and was not something I hastily or carelessly wrote. It was a considered, emotional and intellectual response to what you’ve been through and was intended as comfort. I can only say I’m saddened and sorry that you didn’t see it for what it was and that you felt the need to imply a lack of sincerity on my part. But I have also sometimes interpreted things incorrectly when I’m hurt and you don’t know my nature, so please know that I’m not hurt or angry about it, I just couldn’t let your comment stand as it is because it reflects badly and incorrectly on me.

    You’re 100% right that most industry people do not support theatre and it’s disgraceful, and I will not be one of those people for as long as I can scrape the money together to go to shows. Thankfully my non-theatre-friends always pay full price and only ask me if there are group specials or discounts because they understand what a tough business it is and that they’re paying my salary. Unfortunately, the fact that I haven’t been paid for a while on this show and will not receive my salary until sometime next year (hopfully) means that I not only won’t be seeing shows but probably won’t be in any shows for a while. Thank you to the few who did support this phenomenal piece of theatre, because it was not just the show we were trying to keep open here, but the actual theatre. I don’t know what will become of the NewSpace now, but it would be a great loss to see her die again.

    Thank you for allowing my comments here Megan. And sorry that I go on a bit. Over and out.

  5. megan

    Hi Candice
    Good news. Watch this space. Big Friendly is about to create an amazing website and forum where anyone with anything to say about theatre, venues, shows, people in the Cape Town industry will be able to write things. it will be called youcrit and it will be a totally open forum. I can’t wait.
    Also, maybe now everything is done we can all look at things a bit more realistically and see how the NewSpace and all it should stand for is taken forward and made the best use of.

  6. It’s all over now. Goodluck to everyone, Merry Christmas and a blessed New year to all.

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