Megan's Head

A place where Megan gets off her head.

Month: May 2008 (Page 1 of 3)


Isabella is the new offering written by Scott Sparrow, performed by Scott Sparrow and Leila Anderson and directed by the overwhelmingly busy Rob van Vuuren on at The Intimate Theatre until the end of next week.

I went tonight and I wasn’t impressed. I was anticipating enjoying it; I love Scott as a performer and I usually like most of what Rob is involved in, but tonight I was restless and bored and completely unmoved.

I saw Scott’s Performer’s Travel Guide only recently and I really loved it. Isabella continues certain themes that are obviously a preoccupation with Scott. It also deals with the life and death existence of the performer albeit in a more Gothic and obvious way here. It’s probably not fair but I am going to compare the two. And Isabella comes off second best. Where PTG was fresh and original Isabella is contrived and derivative. Where the style of PTG was enchanting and captivating the style here felt repetitive and inconsistent. Here the characters are too broadly sketched, with vague accents and lots of posing. In PTG the two props were carefully chosen and brilliantly used. In Isabella jackets and scarves and a little baby guitar were arbitrary and unjustified. The action was fuzzy and the storyline had gaping holes. To be honest, it felt like we were watching the first draft of a potentially good idea that was nowhere near audience ready.

Scott almost gets away with some moments because he is so charming, but his performance is sloppy and cutesy and vague. Not good enough from this very talented boy.

I was also disappointed with Leila Anderson. No doubt she is very beautiful, and she looked just like a beautiful gypsy dancer girl. But the character of Isabella was thin and slow and posed, lacking an earthiness and a spontaneity. It was all about pretty pictures. Then, there was not enough electricity between the two to light a dry match. Without that spark there is no story, no passion, no conflict, no point really.

Rob van Vuuren needs to work harder as director, choreographer and editor here. I don’t think this show is ready to be seen yet. More script, characterisation, story, clarity, rehearsals, intention, motivation, resolution will turn this good idea into a play.

The exploits of Cone-face and Chassie

Believe me, it has been a real challenge not writing a daily diary about the ‘brilliance’ of our kitties. I have held off for a long time, but today I need to purge.

Last Friday we squeezed Charlie and Annie into the plastic basket and hopped off to the vet. They are seven months old and it was time for their sterilization. Now, Annie hates the vet. The week before, all the animals spent the morning at the vet being de-flea’ed while Big Friendly and I bombed, sprayed, vacuumed and squirted the house. When we went to fetch them, Karina, the cutest, nicest vet nurse called me to help with Annie. Annie is the teeniest, weeniest, lol cat, with cartoon green eyes and a munchkin little face. She also has the sweetest temperament. When I went to the back however, I was met with a hell-cat; spitting, swelled up and hissing. She was the meanest, scratchiest, nastiest thing I had ever seen and Karina was terrified! We brought them home and Annie didn’t speak to me for days. I was heartbroken. She would sidle up to Big Friendly and cuddle but if I came near her she would stick her bum in my face and then run away. I bribed her back into friendship. But  you can imagine how scared I was to fetch her after she had been spayed!

When Karina called to say we could fetch them she said, “Charlie is fine, but we had to put a kappie on Annie. We were going to just give her a bandage but we don’t know if she’ll let us take it off!” I could hear the fear in her voice. We dashed off to fetch them. Apparently Annie had been so badly behaved Karina had to get George the vet to help with her pre-med injection. They were both terrified! This time I sent Big Friendly off to the cage to get her. He came back shell shocked.

They were both completely stoned when they came home. Of course it is the worst state to be in when you are trying to deal with a huge, see through plastic cone tied around your neck. Annie was devastating. She bashed into things. She reversed. She tried to pull the cone off. It was too horrible.

It’s been just under a week now. Annie has pretty much adjusted to being a cone head and can do almost anything. I have recorded her on my phone climbing the portable washstand like an acrobat,  and she is able to bend right down and drink the bath water as usual. when she snuggles, you get a stinky, dampish plastic cone pushed into your cheek. Charlie is also none the worse for wear and is active and naughty; although he has spent less time in the road, which is good.

But Tuesday was another story altogether! My boet came down from Jozi for the night. He hasn’t been to Slaap Stad this year; since we got the kitties. And he is not an animal lover. He has grown into the allergies that I grew out of. I went to the airport to fetch him with a box of antihistamines and a bottle of water in the cubby hole. I promised to make the bed with fresh, clean linen at the last minute. Which is what we did. But, you know cats. I heard the cry from the spare bedroom. “Chassie! Chassie!” When I went to look my boet said, “Chassie’s there and he’s just staring at me!” next thing I hear, ” Cone-face is here too! Off! Off!” Annie was on the bed! I had to chase them out of the room. They thought it was hilarious. But their speed can only be equalled by boet’s speed at nick-naming them. So, from now on, it’s Chassie and cone-face!

Hooray Jamie Oliver

Best curry recipe. From scratch. And easy. Yum.

Our shame

Today, 25 May, is Africa Day. We are supposed to be celebrating, honouring and respecting. We are supposed to be unifying on this day. Instead, we are full of shame. Instead we are full of nightmares. Instead, fellow Africans are being forced onto busses and trains and taken back to places that are no longer their homes. Instead, thugs steal other people’s dustbins to transport the loot they have stolen from a Somali shop in Khayelitsha; the Somali having been warned and forced to flee. Our police stations are overflowing this morning; not with criminals, but with refugees. Today up to 14000 people in Cape Town alone are displaced, homeless and living in fear.

Our government has failed us. It has failed the poor. It has failed foreigners and locals alike. I am filled with anger. But mostly I am full of shame.

Things we can do

There are collection points that have been set up here in Cape Town for food, money, clothes, blankets. There is also this face book group which seems like a good one to join if you can help. Here are the addresses of two collection points that I know of. 206 Selborne, Prince Street, Gardens and South African Red Cross Society in Broad Road, Wynberg, Cape Town. They also have an account for depositing money. South African Red Cross Society – Xenophobic Victim Support, Standard Bank, acc# :071760563, Constantia Branch 025309.

More Zen less Phobia

I have just got back from the protest vigil. We didn’t march exactly. We gathered. There were a few candles, many small pieces of paper with PEACE written on them, some truly meaningful signs; my favourite was HANI WOULD BE TURNING IN HIS GRAVE. There were every colour, size and age of person. Thee were lots of people telling their friends where they were on their cellphones. I saw faces from my varsity protest days in the 80’s. I saw new, younger friends and this was their first. There were times that I struggled to hold it together and times when I felt comforted by the fact that we were all there. A hymn or two were sung. There was some clapping and hand holding. There were lots of friends and acquaintances. More like a peace social actually. If only everyone in SA felt that way.

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