Megan's Head

A place where Megan gets off her head.

Tag: Still Life


undonemainA lovely thing about the Artscape Season of New Writing is the energy, time, money and commitment given to brand new work. Thank you Artscape for these many years of actively growing local theatre.

Last night was my turn to see Wessel Pretorius’ Undone (previously ONT in Afrikaans). And it was very, very, very good. Here is a tiny rambling, stream of conscious ream in praise of this masterful solo performance.

That tub, that case, a musing face a naked form, emotion storm, both tense intense, can we un-sense, a mother father jacket un-packet. You learned to drive, a muscle taut, un-dead alive.

Alfred Rietmann has also made total magic with lighting.

Although this work is entirely different from Sue MacLaine’s Still Life, there are many similarities; even just the obvious ones. Solo performance, nudity, poetry, form. If you can, go see it. The only challenge is the mystery of when it is on. The scheduling is a huge, jumbled Artscape secret.

Still Life Moving Life

Sue MacLaine was totally fabulous last night in her piece Still Life, where we the audience were expected to draw her as she spoke and posed and kept silent and whispered wonderful things and explored an emotional range of being totally present that was huge and special and, most importantly, unusual. It is really exciting to have these original experiences available in Cape Town, South Africa. If you don’t have a ticket for tonight’s performance you should totally see if you can still get one here

I am suddenly less busy, with time on my hands and a whole bunch of stuff to do. One of them is a chance to improvise again, and I’ll be doing that tonight, at The Galloway at 8pm. I am properly excited to jump in. I love making stuff up, and it helps my brain be creative.

Another thing I am toying with is serialising my (yet unpublished) novel, Green Margie and the Starlight, and putting it up here, on meganshead. I am keen(ish) to try and do NaNoWriMo again this year, but I have this nagging feeling that I should do something with my already written novel first. Do you think it is a good idea? Let me know. Leave a comment.


Sue Maclaine in conversation

Last night a few of us (mostly white women theatre makers) hung out with visiting UK performer Sue Maclaine at the Theatre Arts Admin Collective, and she chatted to us about her work and inspiration and methodology. It was lovely and interesting and inspiring, and also hilarious. I am always struck by the things we all have in common, as well as our differences, and it’s always lovely to hear the confidence and sureness that maturity brings to the world of theatre work.

Part confession (I rehearse while lying in the bath), part declaration (I do not collaborate), part discovery (I don’t know, but I think it may be me ringing a bell), Sue brought a lightness to the heavy conversation of making meaningful theatre, and she completely sold me her work. I can’t wait to see Still Life, the show she will be performing here next weekend at the Theatre Arts Admin Collective.

I love solo work, but I also love working in a team. I love being completely in charge though and, like Sue, I don’t think I am a great theatrical collaborator (I tell actors exactly what to do to achieve my vision). But, I revel in the co-creative¬† space of improv. I love the completely solo space of writing, and I am in parts addicted to and terrified of solo performance.

So it was lovely to have a listen to Sue, and to hear her go boldly into this discussion (she saw, and hated, a piece of local theatre the night before), she spoke of having to take out her metaphorical man part at meetings, and she put forward ideas that challenge the narrow narrative between South African performers and our audiences.

Mostly though, she was deliciously funny, in a room full of very earnest female theatre people. I was reminded of how important being funny is (even though Sue told us that her hardest deaths in front of an audience were when she tried stand-up comedy).

I love my theatre life, I love serious solo work, I love directing, and performing and improvising. Thanks Sue, for pinging that stuff for me. (And thanks to Bella for the outrageous and delicious private cooking demo).

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