Month: February 2009 (Page 1 of 6)
Would you believe I have just read an article online in the Mail & Guardian on menstrual cups? This is actually a great thing, but for those of you with no need or interest, go watch the cricket. Anyway, I read the whole article and found the idea very exciting. It has always bothered me that there are no good alternatives to tampons and pads, which are environment destroyers. There was a brief time when I tried a natural sponge with a horrible name, but it really wasn’t as easy at it said in the instructions. This menstrual cup, made from latex free silicon seems like the bomb (what a nasty turn of phrase). So, I decided I wanted to get one. Even if it was about R300. It’s supposed to last 10 years, so you would start saving money pretty soon, what with the price of tampons these days. So I dutifully read the whole shebang, but there was no mention of where to get it. Then, in the comments, Sam Williams says, "I’m surprised this article doesn’t even mention our local brand, Miacup. (Their website is www.miacup.co.za, where you can find lots more information about menstrual cups in general)." Yay, I thought, and off I clicked. Only to discover that 1. It’s R394.95 without shipping costs, and 2. They have no stock. Yup. I kid you not. So there is this great new(ish) product out there, that we can’t have. Actually, I wonder if it’s a Slaap Stad based business? That would make a lot of sense. I guess it’ll have to be those cheap, nasty, environmentally damaging tampons for me this month. Ho hum.
I have really wrestled about whether I should write this post. It is not a kind one and I know that people are going to get upset, but my reasoning is that it would seem weirder if I didn’t write it.
There are a few things I need to say up front. Yes, I was invited to the opening night. And yes, I didn’t make it for the second half. And of course I feel shit about it, but I really struggled with the first half. So, for all of you who think I shouldn’t base an opinion on just one section, please stop reading now, and forget you even saw this.
Macbeki is a brand new play by Pieter-Dirk Uys, performed by UCT drama students under the direction of Chris Weare. The piece literally replaces the characters of the Scottish play with an array of main players on the South African political scene. It is the same story as Macbeth, largely using actual chunks of Shakespeare’s verse, with bits and pieces of updates, and the occasional big deviance from the original. It is, in essence, a brilliant idea, with the comparisons between the two Macs, Manto ‘beetroot’ Tshabala Msimang as Lady M, the old king as Madiba, being potentially hilarious and even horrifyingly chilling. Unfortunately, no matter how hard everyone tried, it just didn’t work.
Firstly, the play is pure, impossibly difficult satire. The characters are ‘impersonations’ which give them little depth, narrow range and a completely ‘hit or miss’ quality. They are Pieter-Dirk Uys specials, and really, I could only imagine him managing to perform them all. Drama students are just too inexperienced to manage the irony of satire, no matter how huge their talent or commitment. Having said that, the blast of talent of Lerato Motshwarakgole as Lady Manta literally blew my socks off. She is in a league of her own, with a perfect impersonation, a savagely accurate handling of the comedy and a presence that takes over. The other success is the Porter, played by Gabriel Marchard, who is a treat. Granted, his character is the only fictional one, although he has to embody the psyche of the every white man in the country. He is also so …Pieter-Dirk Uys! Unfortunately, the rest, while never being totally hideous, struggle to manage the material.
Everybody tried really hard. The actors gamely slogged their way through and Chris got them to do their absolute best. The lights and sound and set and costumes were great, but just couldn’t help enough.
So, while I sat there last night, in an audience that mostly really wanted the play to be brilliant, I really tried to enjoy myself. But it was hard. The man next to me giggled occasionally, but mostly his giggles, barely formed, petered out into…breathing, I guess.
I apologise for ducking out at interval. But I hope I’ve explained why.
I blog a lot about TheatreSports. it’s a very important part of my life. It should be; I’ve been playing it for about seventeen years, and we’ve been doing it in Slaap Stad for more than fifteen. We first performed it at The Dock Rd Theatre at the end of 1993, and since then we have seen venues start and die out, had homes at The Purple Turtle and On the Side at Artscape, to name just two. We have had regular audience members, and fans who have clocked up hundreds of TheatreSports performances. We have performed at corporate functions (a lot of pharmaceutical companies actually, for some unknown reason), schools, birthdays and barmitsvahs. We have travelled to Knysna, Grahamstown, Windhoek and even Orlando, Florida. We have seen players come and go, and sometimes even come back again. Every time a player leaves I take it quite personally; naturally, I am the fascist boss (although benevolent dictator could also be used), and again, now, one of our players has decided to move on. This time I am going to do it differently. And I am going to sing, "I wish you luck as I wave you goodbye!" and I am going to celebrate the time that they shared this thing with us, and me.
So, almost two years ago I saw Angels on Horseback, a cheeky and hilarious romp through some great original country songs with some very funny and even rude lyrics, fronted by Candice D’Arcy and Fiona du Plooy. Now they are doing a brand new version of this cool show and there is a preview on the 3rd of March and you can pick up a ticket for a lowly R50!
Oh, it helps if I tell you the where and when hey? Angels on Horseback is at On Broadway and runs ’til the 21 March. Yee ha!
The wind brought the smoke smell from Somerset West through the night and into the morning.