Megan's Head

A place where Megan gets off her head.

Tag: Noah of Cape Town (Page 1 of 3)

Noah of Cape Town, A prophecy of Drought

In 2003 Graham Weir and I sat down to turn an idea for a story into a fully fledged, futuristic accapella musical, set in Cape Town in the near future. It took us two years to finish the writing and get something of Noah of Cape Town onto stage. This took the form of a cantata version as part of Artscape’s New Writing Programme. In the cantata in 2005, Noah of Cape Town was set in 2012. It described Cape Town as an arid landscape where water was so scarce what little of it had to be guarded by the military. Politicians were involved in hideous water scandals and the city had ground to a halt. There was an illegal black market for water. When we started fleshing the thing out once Simon Cooper had agreed to produce the full version we shifted the timeline and set it in 2020 because 2012 was too close.

The full, amazing premier of Noah of Cape Town took place in August of 2009, almost 9 years ago. As I write this we are 3 months away from Day Zero. The day our taps will be switched off and we will have to queue for 25l of water. The Cape Town we warned about in a fantastic, futuristic, dystopian ‘what if?’ has arrived.

We didn’t pull the theme out of thin air. We were worried about Cape Town and water scarcity. We saw what was happening with the migration of people to the city, refugees from the North, the expansion of Cape Town, the corruption of politicians and officials. We knew there was going to be a water crisis. And we knew this in 2003.

We cannot have been the only ones.


Fleur du Cap, fun, feast, faux pas

I’m supposed to be asleep; it’s a public holiday after all, but the Distell red has woken me I think. And my feet are a bit swollen from those damn shoes.

Last night was the Fleur du Cap awards and this year I was a proper nominee, which basically meant preparing an outfit in advance. Big Friendly chose my shoes, which looked great, gave me the extra height, but were impossible to actually live in.

As usual it was a pretty glam affair, with lots of air kissing on arrival. All the nominees I spoke to beforehand gave away their insecurities by saying how much they hated these kinds of things, but I could see their eyes sparkling.

Off we went for the ceremony and show. This year’s offering was directed by Hennie van Greunen, the director of Die Naaimasjien (winner of best new SA script and Best Actress Sandra Prinsloo), and on the whole I think he did a really nice job; it was quite short with a great opening number. I have to say though, I felt like he didn’t really know his Cape Town audience. I got the feeling that the whole thing had been put together and rehearsed up country and then shipped down for the night. Luckily, most of the presenters of the awards (actors and others) made up for it. My favourites were kept for last; Soli Philander and Helen Zille! They were brilliant, hilarious and totally entertaining. I had no idea she had it in her! (The same can’t be said for old Fiona Coyne, who did not exactly embrace the generous spirit of handing over awards!)

There were two awards that I was absolutely delighted about. Tara Louise Nottcutt’s award for Best New Director, and Angels on Horseback’s award for Best Performance in a Cabaret. And Rob Murray for Best Lighting. Naturally, I was disappointed that none of the ones I was associated with won; especially for Dicky Longhurst and Alfred Rietmann, both nominated in the same category, Best Set Design, for Noah of Cape Town and The Tent.

The big mess of the evening for me was the damn voice over announcing Noah of Cape Town in the category of Best New South African Script. It was a hellova voice over, that went on for ever, pronounced my name wrong (twice!) and then announced Jacqui Singer as the director of the show. What a disgrace! Surely not! Surely every singe piece of material had the right Jaci de Villiers down as the director! Surely. I’m still a bit bitter actually.

Soli and Helen put me back in the mood though. They rocked. Then it was back into the fray to chow and drink. I was very well behaved and didn’t overdo it for once in my life. Big Friendly was so excited by the dessert tables he got stage fright! At a totally respectable 10.30pm we (I) hobbled up those endless stairs, thinking of everything I need to do this year to make sure I get to go to next year’s one!

TheatreSports – my mojo

Yesterday was intense; for a number of reasons that included me getting a fdc nomination for Noah of Cape Town (yay for me), and being sad and disappointed that others didn’t (I’m not going into it here), it being so very hot and sticky while we rehearsed the industrial theatre project I work on every year, my damncar remaining unfixed after many days at two different garages, and lots of admin (my absolute worst)!

So driving to The Kalk bay Theatre yesterday evening, I had to muster up the energy for a TheatreSports performance; I was hot, tired and a teeny bit grumpy, to tell you the honest truth. But I was so cheered up when we were done! Firstly, we had a fabulous and enormous crowd, of mainly TheatreSports virgins, in the audience. Secondly, the show itself was most delightful, wacky, hilarious and entertaining. We were on top form I tell ya. It is like the best medicine.

I am one of the lucky ones. I have this thing; it cheers me up, it’s what I love to do, it makes people laugh, it isn’t rude, it’s with a team, it’s totally feel good, and it’s been in my life for 18 years now. TheatreSports is my mojo.

Fleur du Cap Theatre Awards

The nominations for the Fleur du Cap theatre awards are going to be public this morning; in about an hour, so the idea of speculating is ridiculous, and yet! I have butterflies. Will Noah of Cape Town be nominated, and if yes, for what? How do you choose performers from an ensemble cast like that? Obviously I believe that Jaci de Villiers was the best director of the year (if not the decade) and Dicky Longhurst’s design was beyond spectacular and Mannie Manim’s lighting took the production into the stratosphere, but hey, I am a bit biased.

We’ll know at 9 this morning!

Life after Noah

So Noah of Cape Town opened on Saturday night and so did the heavens, bucketing down and causing flash flooding and chaos in our city. A big, if dangerous, release I think.

I also need to release. Noah has been all consuming for me this year, and while I am totally proud, awestruck, dedicated and still determined that it have a long life, I need to get stuck in to a few other things that need my attention.

The first of these is TheatreSports, one of my first and oldest loves, which has been ticking over nicely in the background and now needs to fly. I want to find a long term sponsor for TheatreSports. TheatreSports needs to be played and learned at every school and every schools festival. We need full houses at our weekly performances and more shows during the school holidays. We need money for a proper marketing campaign if we do next year’s long and ambitious Grahamstown festival. We need to put our plans of hosting a TheatreSports world cup into action.

Then there is The Tent, the play I wrote which showcased at Artscape’s New Writing Programme last year, and has been given a full run this year. I am really blessed that this new work of mine is being supported by this programme and allowed to grow and develop. We go into rehearsals in October and have a two week run in November. I am so excited to get my teeth into that one again.

Up next though is another of my industrial theatre projects. For the last five years I have been working with a client, creating half hour plays that perform as part of a National road show, and this year there are two different plays. We did the first one quite recently in May and June and the next one starts rehearsing at the end of August. Although it’s challenging to come up with new and fresh ideas on a similar theme and concept, I love the characters that we have created and I love the team of actors that have become their own little family.

So there is lots to look forward to and I need to get very busy.

But before that I must remind you to go and check out Noah of Cape Town. Now. You might want to see it more than once.

Last word tonight

I have had one hell of a day. I was either screaming or crying, and every time I left the house I forgot something behind. Then we, Brett, Ryan and I did some improvised character based performance at the launch of the Alphen hotel’s new menu. It was quite fabulous actually; I was Dr James Barry. At events like these you hope you won’t know anyone and I was completely surprised by the sight of someone I didn’t really want to see. It was so weird playing with and to forty odd people and avoiding one.

So when I got to the Baxter too late for the first half of the first preview of Noah of Cape Town I had a glass of wine on an empty stomach, felt completely vulnerable and exhausted and went in to watch the second half, sitting next to the genius director Jaci de Villiers. And I wept. At times I actually struggled to control my sobs. I don’t care what anyone says; this show is mind blowing. I am humbled, awestruck, grateful and so proud. Thank you most beautiful and amazing cast and team of Noah of Cape Town 2009.

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