Megan's Head

A place where Megan gets off her head.

Month: July 2011 (Page 1 of 6)

A weekend of Theatre

A cat stomping on my head is what forced me awake this morning when I should still be sleeping. I got home late (for me) last night and today is the final day of Directors and Directing. Yesterday was long, intense and crazy, with that heightened reality of Grahamstown festival about it. First was the panel discussion of directors about their ‘signature’. Then it was ‘From the Trenches’, a panel discussion by actors about directors. What was very interesting for me is that, in general, I’d rather see the work directors and actors make than listen to them talk about it. Directors are mostly convoluted and obscure when trying to explain what it is that they do, and actors are mostly inarticulate without a character and direction.

The rest of the day was dedicated to the watching of plays. Three of them. We watched The Mechanicals Lie of the Mind first. Then, we went on huge Jammie Shuttle busses to The Theatre Arts Admin Collective for Capturing Sanity, which is the emerging director’s bursary production directed by Pusetso Thibedi, and then it was back on the bus to The Fugard for Fred Abrahamse’s R & J.

The most interesting part of yesterday happened in the conversations I had in the corridors, foyers, parking lots and stairwells. I spoke to playwrights, critics, directors, actors, teachers and friends. Everybody had a passionate point of view. Everybody was excited or exploding about one thing or another. And that’s the whole point.

I am grateful that today has a bit of a later start. My head is crashingly full, and I need to walk the dog with Big Friendly. I need a moment of real life perspective before the world of theatre takes me in.

Jay Pather has managed to turn a monster three day theatre event into a delicious, well oiled learning machine.

Directors and Directing

It’s not comfortable trying to write a post on a Blackberry even though the fact that it is actually possible remains miraculous to me. That’s what I’m doing!
I am waiting for the first panel discussion of the day to start. It’s day 2 of the Directors and Directing ‘thing’ presented by GIPCA at Hiddingh Hall. I am sitting next to Bo Petersen and vaneshran Arumugam as everyone gathers.
The fact that an event like this can happen and is well attended is a reason to love Cape Town. Now let’s see what the content delivers.
This morning the panel is Clare Stopford, janice Honeyman, Geoff Hyland, Mandla Mbothwe, Carolyn Holden and James Ngcobo.

Cauliflower, potato and fish soup

Big Friendly has been nagging me to write down my soup recipes when I make them up, because many a brilliant inspiration is never repeated or remembered, but I never do. Today’s creation though deserves a write up, and I guess, since this is my blog, I can do it right here. So here goes. It was delicious, hearty and so moreish.


1 bunch leeks
2 shallots
2 cloves garlic
tablespoon unsalted butter
olive oil
4 to 5 smallish, yellowish potatoes
1 cauliflower
1 smoked kipper
1 sachet Ina Paarman’s veg stock
chilli flakes, salt, pepper, smoked paprika
creamy blue cheese

Clean and slice the leeks, chop the shallots and garlic. Peel and dice the potatoes and chop up the cauliflower. Heat butter and a splash of olive oil in a pot and throw in the leeks, shallots and garlic. Add salt, pepper, smoked paprika and chilli flakes. Cook for a few minutes before throwing in the potatoes. Give it a few good stirs and then cover potatoes with water. Add the sachet of stock, bring to the boil and cook for a bit before adding the cauliflower. Then let it cook away for about twenty minutes. When the potatoes are very soft liquidise until the soup is quite smooth. Put the pot back onto the heat and cut the kipper into small chunks and toss them into the soup. Let it cook on a low heat for another ten minutes. Season again if you need to, pour in cream, and crumble some creamy blue cheese in. Stir, serve, eat. Yum.

EmptyN and me

If it wasn’t so sad it would be hilarious. This is real. I also can’t believe that the EmptyN person has read my name and then mis-spelled it. Be still my shrieking tits! The good news is I learned to do a screen shot on Mac a Tiny!

Life imitating Art?

In a true case of proving the TheatreSports tagline, “Anything can happen”. Thanks Maurice Taylor for sending in the pic!

Emotional Creature

Lucky and great timing meant that I could attend the VIP opening of Eve Ensler‘s premier of her play Emotional Creature at The Market Theatre Lab last night. My gorgeous sister-in-law Gina Shmukler has been working on the production (which is how I wangled being there) in a production capacity.

It was very exciting to be at the new Lab, housed in a sexy, huge warehouse, a block or so away from the actual Market. It’s a fantastic space, and a fantastic theatre.

Emotional Creature is a collection of monologues, strung together with moments of dance, song, girl power and bonding. It’s a call to girls around the world to mobilise, be proud, speak out, share their stories and feelings and find an authentic voice of expression. The whole cast are teenagers, most of whom are still at school!

The simple but pretty set, effective lighting and gorgeous digital visual background support what these girls manage to do on stage, which is totally beautiful and mind blowing and, unbelievably emotional.

I have been doing my share of crying in the dark lately, but this one was the biggest, best and longest sob. It was ‘snot en trane’ that made me look like a mascara stained marshmallow afterwards. (I must say, in case there is any confusion, that this is a good thing; me being turned into an emotional weep machine by the power of theatre.)

It took me a little while to go down the path with these very young but extremely talented performers. But once the Bulgarian girl’s story started I was unstoppable. Both the woman sitting next to me and I were weeping, snorting, sniffing and wiping our tears, all the way through the rest of the show. My response was absolutely visceral. My emotional body tapped right in, like an electrical connection, and I was totally transported on the deepest emotional level.

It’s not all bleakly, unstoppably sad. It is in turns funny, cute, acerbic, powerful, liberating, quirky, silly and even wistful. I felt blessed to have been part of it, delighted to have heard Eve talk to us as we stood in ovation afterwards, and were moved by her passion, excitement and girl juice that drives her.

Every schoolgirl, student, mom, dad, friend, lover, teacher must, no, needs, to see Emotional Creature. Everyone in the whole wide world.

And, our own Charl-Johan Lingenfelder’s music, songs and soundscape are completely fabulous.

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