Megan's Head

A place where Megan gets off her head.

Tag: Tandi Buchan (Page 1 of 3)

Going Live

So, while I have been meeting with the fierce and magnificent Louise Westerhout as we dream up our new piece of what so far is anti-theatre, I have not been in a rehearsal space with more than one person at a time until last night. Last night I went to my church of improv and co-facilitated my first live session with Tandi Buchan since COVID and lockdown. ImproGuise’s Improv 4 Life is literally that. Improv for life.

Yes we all wore masks. Yes there were 11 of us in a huge, huge room. Yes we spoke about our fears and discomforts. And then we entered into the magical play space of improv and we were blessed with cooperation, creativity and inspiration, in spades, buckets and loads.

I left the room energised and I woke up this morning bouncing. And now I am entering the space of how to have an audience. Slowly sending tentacles out. Slowly emerging into theatre.

The Deep Red Sea, part 14 – making it to shore

Last night was the final performance of our 5 night run of The Deep Red Sea at the Alexander Bar. I loved getting the piece onto stage, and am absolutely convinced it has a life beyond, and now I need to start thinking about what that looks like.

A 5 show run is literally a chance to test the water. And because the Alexander Bar space is in flux, it wasn’t the smoothest time for the show technically, so after those five performances it feels like we are now ready for a full run.

Tandi Buchan, my most generous, innovative and clever director could feel it too. A longer rehearsal process would have given us a chance to fine tune the piece that is already so fiercely determined by the poetry of the words.

But, Jane Rademeyer definitely raised the bar with her original compositions for the soundscape. She also came to the rescue and operated sound for the show, in a space that needed more hands on deck.

I was touched by how touched people were by the show, particularly the writing, and it has given me licence to think about how to take it further. Festivals? Overseas? All of this needs to be thought about. And I am excited.

I would love this post to be an interactive space to talk about the show, if you saw it. What did you think? What would you like to see it become?

2 Parrots and a Sandcastle

IMG_6968So, my way of starting the new year is with three improv shows at my fave Alexander Bar, this coming Thursday, Friday and Saturday night. I will be performing with a different improviser each night, for an hour of made up stuff, with no pre-plan or any idea at all about what we will be doing. I cannot wait.

The line up of performers joining me is unbelievable and I am so lucky to have these people to come and play, and fulfil my dream and first love, improv.

Tandi Buchan, AD of Improguise, our improv troupe, joins me on Thursday night. We have been improvising together for over twenty years now. In fact, Tandi is like my improv wife. We are so safe with each other, but still continue to surprise each other. Tandi is imagination. Tandi is a storytelling machine and brilliant characters. Tandi is Noel Coward and South African Soap. I love being on stage with her.

Friday night is Brett Anderson night. It is also the night of his birthday, so double celebration. Brett ‘take it and run with’ it Anderson is a different kind of partner in crime. Wordsmith, rhyme guy and creative punster, Brett gives me a run for my money with quick thinking and wittiness. I so enjoy being on stage with him.

On Saturday it’s Leon Clingman’s chance to join me. I have been waiting for a chance to share a stage for an hour with Leon. We really get each other as improvisers. With Leon I can take risks. With Leon there is conflict and drama and relationships. Leon is my improv husband. I know it is going to be interesting, and amazing.

I don’t want you to have to choose which night to join us. Come to all three. It’s cheap as bad gossip. R80 if you book online.

Improv Inspiration

Not that I need it, but yesterday is living proof that improv is the most extraordinary tool and philosophy in the corporate environment.

A few weeks ago I was approached by an international company who wanted to find out about the possibility of doing some industrial theatre at a conference. They had a product (a data system) that needed to be launched, and they wanted us to spice up the launch and make it fun and exciting. After a lovely chat, they were broad minded enough to consider my suggestion that we run an improv workshop/show shop with the delegates (instead of doing rehearsed sketches), and then pepper the presentation with some improvised interventions. (I must add here that the terrifying idea of trying to understand the product and then deliver accurate content around it was the main reason why I wanted to avoid writing a script and then rehearsing the stuff).

Only after I had sold the idea to them did I hear that there were going to be 200 delegates. 200! That is 200 people in a room, 10 at a table, 20 tables.

So when we (three veteran improvisers) arrived at the venue yesterday and started setting up while everyone was at lunch I felt like an imposter. How were we going to pull this off? I shouldn’t have worried. It was magnificent, and energising, and hilarious and potent and unbelievably barrier breaking. It worked. It was amazing. My fellow improvisers Tandi Buchan and Brett Anderson were superb, and we managed to change and charge the room.

Now this is all I want to do, for the rest of my life. So, if you need us, let me know. Send me a line on megan@improvision.co.za

 

Our 4th Improv Fest

ImprovFestI cannot believe that we ImproGuisers are about to perform our 4th Improv Fest, from 14-19 March, at The Galloway Theatre.

Inspired by an amazing improv travel experience to Oz in 2012, Candice D’Arcy (now living in Oz with Melbourne improviser Mark Gambino), Tandi Buchan (artistic director of ImproGuise), and I came back with inspiration, motivation and a lot of madness, and slapped together an improv festival that offered the best improv in short and long formats.

We were amazed at the amazement of our audiences. We listened to what they loved the most. We were inspired by their suggestions. And we did the festival three times in a row, for the last three years.

This year the biggest difference is the venue. Our last three week long festivals were in Kalk Bay, but now we will be performing at ImproGuise’s home base, The Galloway Theatre. This makes it much more accessible for most of our fans, (although there will be a few long faces because we are not on the other side).

Every single night of the week will present a different improv form; some tried and tested, and our audience favourites as well as one entirely new, very dangerous one, Naked Improv, where absolutely nothing is known beforehand.

I am not gonna lie. We have been performing improv in Cape Town for 23 years now, and the biggest challenge is getting, and keeping, an audience. It is tough, and we have to do a tightrope balance of reinventing ourselves and doing what our audiences love. If you have seen us before (or if you embarrassingly never have) please come and get a sample of this smorgasbord of improv delights.

Tickets are ridiculously cheap. R80, and R70 for students or for block bookings. They are available here on TIXSA and you can find out more if you call our own booking line 0729393351. Every night is different. Choose your best from the line-up in the poster, or take a risk.

 

 

Illness and Inspiration

I have been waiting for the flu to pass. I have that seasonal flu that keeps kind of threatening to get better and then gets kind of worse again. I don’t like being sick, and I think that my immune system is a bit weak from the stinking tick bite fever I had, but more that 4 lines of sick diary is unacceptable, so.

I am trying to focus on some upandcoming good stuff, and the first one coming is this.

impromp2all

 

What this is is 5 performances of an improv show called impromp2, running at the Alexander Bar theatre at 9pm from Tuesday 19 May to Saturday 23 May. How it’s going to work is, every night I will be joined on stage by a different improviser from ImproGuise and the two of us will perform duets for 55 minutes. Some of us have had brief conversations, or email chats about what we want to do. Others haven’t had even that. All I know is that, with the best improvisers in Cape Town, we are going to make each other look good.

Here is a bit about each improviser that will be joining me, and the night that they share the stage.

1. Tuesdsay 19 May is Brett Anderson night. Brett is a crazy lateral thinker, clever wordsmith, multi-hair-do, Terry Pratchett fan, powerful force of good improviser. I love playing with him. We are going to try out a completely new format. So new we don’t even know what it is called. #nobobisnotinvited

2. Wednesday 20 May is Anne Hirsch night. Anne doesn’t need any introduction. She is her own hilarious brand of kook. Anne and I haven’t spoken yet. I am not scared. She is so funny and crazy and unexpected on stage. And on youtube, and on Twitter. Do not miss this. #iheartAnneHirsch

3. Thursday 21 May is Ryan Jales night. I love playing with Ryan, and it just so happens that the two of us have done some of our finest improv with and on each other at the Alexander Bar. Ryan is a writer, copy writer, comic maker, PR guy, and I think he is the only improv guy in Cape Town who knows how to use his iPad properly. #justsaying

4. Friday 22 May is Carolyn Lewis night. Carolyn was in the first ever TheatreSports course I ever ran, ever, in Cape Town. She is my cougar of comedy, my delicious of naughty partner. She is also gearing up to launch her stand-up career again, and I have had a sneak preview and it is high-larious. #watchthisspace

5. Saturday 23 May is Tandi (Bucket) Buchan night. Oh joy. Oh fun. Oh love of improv. Tandi and I have inherited improv genes. We met, fell in love, and have been married to each other through improv for over 20 years. When Tandi knew we were going to be doing this she sent me an email with 16 ideas for formats. I have no idea how we are going to choose from the crazy thoughts in her brain.

So, there is a lot to choose from. I decided to keep the tickets as cheap as possible so you can come to more than one. But I warn you. They are going to be so good (and different and unique) you will want to see them all.

What about Leon Clingman I hear you say. Well, when I got confirmation to do this gig Leon was away, shooting in Jozi, and all 5 nights were snapped up by people who were actually there. Damn I want Leon all to myself to play with. Leon plays my husband, brother, assassin, mad professor, clown lover like nobody else. I will arrange another run just so I can play with him.

Ok, bookings are now open on the Alexander Bar website and you get R10 off your ticket if you book for it online. And go!

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