Megan's Head

A place where Megan gets off her head.

Month: April 2011 (Page 1 of 3)

Monique van der Westhuizen

I was inspired by The Royal Wedding to make this. It’s weird, and I find it quite funny. Let me know what you think.

On Freedom Day, democracy, coming of age, and stuff

A few years ago wise human and fantastic astrologer Rod Suskin compared South African democracy to a child. At the time I think we were celebrating 13 years of democracy and Rod said that our country had just entered its teenage years. I thought the analogy was brilliant, and it helped me look at where we had come in such a short time, and even made me more comfortable with some of the excuses we all had to make about where we were at; after all, it was a 13 year old child we had created and now had to manage.

Using the same analogy; today, democratic South Africa has just turned 17. South Africa is on the brink of becoming a ‘young adult’ democracy but it still carries the childish burden of sulky teenager. Democratic South Africa still has problem skin; it erupts on the surface, red and flaring, just like the flashes and outbursts of crime, racism and reactive behaviour. South Africa is passive aggressive, sulky and rebellious, but on the verge of being ready to be a legal, responsible adult. South Africa is just a learner driver, not yet ready to go for its license. It still has to study, and finish its matric! South Africa is still a little too preoccupied with labels, and brands, and bling, still concerned about what its friends will think, even though it says it isn’t. The government is more like a junior SRC where ‘problem kids’ have been given a chance to grow, to prove themselves, and there is still room for mistakes and forgiveness. But time is running out, and teachers and parents are becoming impatient! There is still the teenage tendency to play the blame game, to be reluctant to own up, to complain bitterly during detention. There is the tendency to play rough and then cry when the game gets dirty, still the habit of stealing its mom’s car for joyrides, still the recklessness of a youth that struggles to hold in its present thoughts the poor, the needy, the old, the suffering.

I still have huge hope for our seventeen year old democracy. But, the truth is, I can’t wait for it to grow up properly and get to the work of big people.

Family Day

I don’t know how it happened (and no, I wasn’t drinking) but this whole weekend has gone, and with it the last of the summer! It’s a gloomy, grey Monday morning and my sister-in-law and two nephews who have Eastered with us are going back to Jozi tomorrow. I love that the week started with Passover matzo and ended with Easter eggs.

Some things are “normal” today. I rehearse this afternoon for The Deep Red Sea, and then it’s TheatreSports tonight and I’m playing. But first we’ll walk the dogs, then draw and colour in and even bake with the boys. Life is good.

Biggest Circle of Love

Today we are holding onto our hearts. We are thinking love, light and healing. Natalie’s first surgery happens in Boston today. You can follow the story more intimately here, or just join me in sending good vibes and wishes her way, wherever you are.

Slavery, and the feast to remember what it means

I dragged Big Friendly to Checkers in Sea Point today, shopping for especially kosher-ish things, since I am making a combined Passover/birthday meal for one of my oldest friends and his family on Monday night. I needed to get kosher wine, and did, loving the fact that it is called Sacramental Red!

We have decided that we are doing an interactive discourse of the ceremony. All the traditional bits and bobs will be there but we will be having a discussion about slavery; what it means to be enslaved, what it means to be a slave-master in all senses, literal, figurative, emotional, psychological. I think this is the best and most appropriate way to celebrate the meaning of the holiday rather than the shallow rituals that often go unexplained. It also helps that there is a big mix of those of us (even though we are only 6) who are purebreds, mixed, absorbed, and totally not born Jewish but with complete Jewish sympathy or leanings. (I find it fascinating being a reluctant born Jew with a husband who loves Jews and Jewishness.)

But what it does mean is that I’ll be cooking for the next two days. Kneidlach (I’m pretty good at them) and non-chicken soup (I am a pescetarian) , gefilte fish (it’s a first and I’ll let you know how it goes), charoset (a weird mix of nuts, apples, sweet wine, cinnamon, syrup) to signify cement and mortar (but I can’t remember why), boiled eggs, and pavlova (because I love making them). My friends will bring the meat course.

I’m liking the idea, more and more.

What’s in My Bad Mood?

I have woken up with a rage hangover this morning. I am still fuming about my night last night and I am not really sure where to even begin.

Let’s go with why I was motivated to start meganshead in the first place. I wanted to warn Capetonians about bad theatre (and cheer them on to see good stuff, it must be said). Now this one is particularly hard for me because of how I feel about The Kalk Bay Theatre. It is categorically my favourite theatre in Cape Town. It is independent, beautiful, brilliantly managed. It is where I love to see theatre and make theatre. I want the theatre to do brilliantly.

But now I need to say what I feel about the first half of the show that opened there last night, “What’s In a Name?”. And here is a warning; if you loved it, do not read further, because I am going to be saying some very harsh stuff.

Right up front, I was absolutely relieved to discover that there were two halves. This meant I could leave at interval without making a spectacle of myself. Everything I say will only be about the first hellish forty or so minutes, but I swear it is enough.

What’s In a Name is trying to be a cabaret(?) performed by Delray Burns and Roland Perold and directed by Garth Tavares, and apparently choreographed(?) by Delray. What it actually is is a completely random collection of ‘trying to be funny’ songs that have nothing to do with anything, including the meaningless title of the show. What it is trying to be is a showcase for two young performers (like a live showreel to offer what they can do), but what it becomes is a beyond irritating, badly sung, horribly characterised, cartoon version of itself. Hell on an audience, not in the least funny, and so badly done I was squirming in my love seat in the back row. Fifty Delray costume changes later (a light up bra being the only highlight, ‘scuse the pun), a hideous “lights up” audience participation section where I could not hide my disgust in the dark, a complete mafferation of two songs I usually think are quite clever, Henry Higgins from My Fair Lady and Coward’s Don’t Put Your Daughter on the Stage Mrs Worthington, and other tragic, inconsequential, murderously bad versions of other stuff (including Snoopy I think!), meant I had to escape.

I feel I need to explain here. I concede that there is often stuff that is “not my cup of tea”. I don’t get big, mainstream musicals. Yet, I can totally appreciate them (and have even loved one or two) when they are well done. It is true that a collection of random show tunes is not that cup of tea that I would choose to drink, but I am entirely capable of drinking it, and enjoying it, if it is just warm, sweet and well made. “What’s In a Name?” is not that cup.

I am going to lose friends here. Brand new followers of meganshead on twitter are going to be upset. Friends of the performers in the audience last night were “loving” the show, and even tweeted me about it. I am going to be branded a bitch. I am going to set myself up for the harshest criticism of my own work. I wrestled with whether I was going to do this at all. But when I woke up at the crack of dawn this morning and saw what a friend had inboxed me on facebook, and realised she felt the same, I felt I had to speak out. Sies. What’s In a Name? In this case, absolutely zero, zip, niks.

Then, on my drive home (just to put salt in my wounds) I happened to flick the radio on to 567. The minute I realised it was Kieno Kammies I should have switched to 5fm for some retarded pop, but I was negotiating Boyes Drive and didn’t change in time. The moron was introducing what was going to be his late night topic; a ‘scientific’ study where caged monkeys are going to be fattened up so said scientists can study obesity. Kieno thought this was a great idea because, and I quote, “have you seen the fat kids rolling around the lawns?”. I. Kid. You. Not. Kieno Kammies thinks that caging and force feeding monkeys (natural omnivores quite capable of maintaining their own healthy weight) and fattening them up is going to help us understand why children are obese. Maybe Kieno, they are obese because they are caged, overfed (usually with unhealthy processed crap that monkeys would never eat) by their parents, bored and under-exercised? I actually could not listen to him for one second more. I had fantasies of finding images of his own children, hoping they were as fat as houses, and then using them in my own experiments. The drive home from KBT is long when you are having these murderous thoughts while listening to Rehane singing …”sticks and stones will hurt my bones, but whips and chains excite me” as if she wrote those lines herself! Bah. Humbug.


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