Megan's Head

A place where Megan gets off her head.

Month: October 2007 (Page 2 of 5)

PANSA playwriting competition

After a very late start to A Circus Side Show last night I had to really hurry to The Intimate Theatre to make it in time for the first staged reading in this year’s competition, Nicholas Spagnoletti’s two-hander London Road.

The PANSA playwriting competition is a pretty cool initiative and I’ve been involved before as an actor, director and I even entered as a writer this time around. What happens is writers submit their plays, a few get chosen by a panel of judges to be staged as play readings and then the best one is chosen. This all happens regionally, and then the best of the best is chosen nationally. I missed the selection but was given a special mention. Good but not good enough?

I had mixed feelings about the staging of London Road even though I completely totally love the script and I think it would make an amazing production. It is set in Sea Point’s London Road and the story tracks the totally different lives of, and unexpected friendship between, a Nigerian drug dealer Stella, played brilliantly by Faniswa Yiza and her old and lonely Jewish neighbour Rosa, played less successfully by Yvonne Banning. Lara Bye directed, and although she really got to grips with the humanity and pathos of the piece, she was less successful at the humour and irony of it. This meant that there were parts that were a bit long. I also was not convinced by Lara’s choice to keep the actors seated throughout. I know it is a staged ‘reading’ but we need to see the piece ‘translated’ onto the stage to see its potential. Although this choice gave us the opportunity of getting to know the characters very well, they struggled to look at each other, to really see each other. And I struggled to imagine the action.

Faniswa Yiza is something else. She sat in her Nigerian dress and looked HUge, even though she is this tiny little thing. Her accent, style, and confidence were spot on. Yvonne Banning was not a great choice for me as Rosa. There just wasn’t anything Jewish about her interpretation, which meant that all the attendant humour that comes with the Jewishisms were lost. I must totally confess to having had a strong desire to play the part although I am hopelessly not old enough. Jacqui Singer or Molly Seftel could have been more successful choices for me.

None the less, I remain committed to the play itself and I hope Nicholas wins. I think he writes absolutely brilliantly.

Full Circle

I have just read with sadness that Patrick Mynhardt died in London. He was a formidable performer, an excellent clown and a wonderful teacher. I had the amazing privilege of playing Jessica to his Shylock in a fantastic Afrikaans production of The Merchant of Venice in the early 90’s, directed by Ilse van Hemert.

Isn’t the world an amazing place? I am currently doing research for next year’s Maynardville production of The Merchant. I cheekily put myself forward as assistant director; Roy Sargent is directing. So, the play has been much on my mind. And on Big Friendly’s. ‘The Complete Works of Shakespeare’ has been living in the bathroom for the last couple of months.

Back to Patrick Mynardt. He died doing what he loved best. he was performing is one man show in London. Amazing.

How cool is this quote? During an interview to mark his 70th birthday, Mynhardt told Beeld newspaper: “Look, I wanted to be the world’s best and biggest acting star. And look where I am: a has-been in Henrietta Road, Norwood. But people tell me ‘But Mr Mynhardt, you’re a household name. And then I say ‘Thank you, madam, I am so honoured, but so is Vicks Vaporub.'”

Back home on stage

Nothing makes me feel more at home in my body and in my self than a Theatresports show, which is what I did last night. I haven’t played in weeks so I was a bit rusty, but I was helped by a great team and that’s the thing about improvising like that. You are helped and supported and you are never alone. We had a full house of mainly young British scholars, some Wet Pups and a hen party. How’s that for a weird mix? Everyone seemed to have a great time, with ovations at the end. We have decided to celebrate Theatresports‘ 14th birthday by having a marathon week of Theatresports shows for the week starting on 20 November. We will perform every night that week, with our regular Monday show at the Intimate, and then Tuesday to Saturday at The Kalk Bay Theatre.

not that anyone would have noticed

The Poepteas managed to lose convincingly again today. This is the 2nd in three ODIs against Pakistan that they have lost. Even though there are still 2 to go, I have seriously lost interest and faith. Actually, that happened a long time ago. Before and during the world cup. The 20/20 confirmed my suspicions and now I get surprised if the Poepteas win anything. Mickey Arthur ain’t no Jake. I read online that after their 1st ODI loss he said he was quite happy with the way the Poepteas had played. Am I going bonkers? He’s the COACH! Shouldn’t he be spitting and swearing and promising it will never happen again? I’m sure the press will be filled with the usual pathetic excuses, but I am fed up. Poep poep poep.

Primary Coloured

We went to Brent Meersman‘s book launch yesterday evening. It was a who’s who of Cape Town somebodies and I was touched and flattered to be included on the list. He spoke so well about the book, Primary Coloured, a fictional thriller in and around SA politics, and really piqued my interest. I bought a copy and had it signed. Yay. I haven’t started reading it yet; I am still busy with the strange and fascinating A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers.

It was good to be out and about though and I chatted to all and sundry about who’s doing what in the city.

Home sweet HOME

The washing is churning in the washing machine. The dogs are staring at me with “beach” written on their little faces. The neighbourhood is suffering from a rugby world cup hang over. Big Friendly keeps on interrupting me to tell me how good it feels to be rugby champions of the world. It really is good to be back home.

I went to see A Circus Side Show last night. It’s just under a week ago that I saw it last and it really is very different. Some things are better, slicker and more flowing. Other things have gotten a bit sloppy. The show is growing and breathing. Please don’t be truly Cape Tonian and not get to see it before it finishes. It’s a week to go, including tonight.

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