Megan's Head

A place where Megan gets off her head.

Tag: The Intimate (Page 1 of 4)

Chekhov makes me go back on my word (it is that good)

I know. I know what I said about writing ‘review’ style posts on meganshead. I know I made a declaration about how I wouldn’t, but I have to. I am compelled to write about last night because I don’t know how else to let you know how special Die Kersieboord, by The Mechanicals, is.

It was absolutely icy, and totally wet last night, the second night of the first Chekhov offering (The Cherry Orchard in Afrikaans) that The Mechanicals are doing, in rep with the double bill of The Bear and The Proposal. To be honest, the last thing I felt like was dragging my sorry arse outside, away from the fire and warm dogs. But I am so completely glad I did.

Sandra Temmingh directs this gorgeous translation, with an ensemble cast that are stunning. Every single one of them are so perfect and gorgeous that I feel bad selecting Oscar Petersen out, but he does have the most mind blowing moment of the show.

It runs for an hour and twenty minutes (short for Chekhov). I last saw the original, unabridged version over twenty years ago. My Afrikaans is nowhere near fluent so I am not sure how much is completely different from that version, but this is the new, improved one for sure, and it makes for the most riveting, moving, entertaining, satisfying and delightful theatre.

But there is more. Somehow, Sandra and her cast have turned this production into the most relevant piece of theatre for South Africa (white South Africans in particular) and the connections are direct and totally electrifying. It is a massive achievement. It is not commentary, or satire, or protest. It is a gentle, horrifying and hilarious story of loss and change and human ridiculousness. It is beautiful and I urge you to go and see it.

Die Kersieboord runs 6 – 17 Aug and 28 – 31 August Tuesday – Saturday at 20:00
The Proposal (20:00) and The Bear (21:15) run Tuesday to Sunday 22 – 27 August and 1 – 12 September.

As a side note, we will be performing a long form, Chekhov style improv show on Tuesday 27 August at The Kalk Bay Theatre called Chekhov’s Women, in honour of Women’s Month.

Get cracking Kraken

For just under an hour this evening I badly wanted to be a 10 year old boy. I just knew how much better, realer and more amazing Get Kraken would have been. It is Jon Keevy’s new script for young audiences, directed by Kim Kerfoot and performed by the energetic and dynamic Jason Potgieter, Shawn Acker, Stefan Erasmus and Dylan Esbach, on for a short run at The Intimate.

It is the fast-paced adventure of a young boy and his fisherman grandfather and how they end up in the sea, then on a submarine, then in a spaceship in a whale, and then back on the surface of the water, with tons of craziness in between.

Jon has written a fun and funny script and Kim has directed the cast with vigour and cleverness. I loved it. I loved voices and great team work, the jumping around of scale and location, the great ‘puppet-hands’ that were fish, boats being tossed on huge waves, periscopes, watery depths, drowning bodies. I loved the crazy, clever story and I loved the little inside jokes. I loved the style of ‘making’ the characters and locations by saying the things that were there, or dressing them.

Find a kid and take them to see the show.

Post Prague Improv excitement

It’s taken me longer than I thought it would to recover and get used to being back. Cape Town has been aggressively windy, my sinuses are screaming, and the cough and cold I brought back from the temperatures in the minuses have been resolutely unshakeable. But, there is no time to ponder all of this, because starting from nowish, well at least tonight, is the beginning of two solid weeks of improv, with a brief break for me on the weekend for my sister-in-law’s wedding. It feels totally crazy and exciting, and the best part is that it is all improv so I don’t have to feel unprepared, just open and jolly, really.

Tonight is our first show of the year back at The Intimate, and it will be the usual evening of short form TheatreSports mayhem that our town side locals have come to know and love. Tomorrow night is TheatreSports at Kalk Bay Theatre, again for the usual suspects. After that things get properly crazy. Wednesday 30 Jan and Wed the 6th Feb are Wednesday Westerns, and I must confess I am the most excited to perform this. An hour and a half of Western drama, with guns, stage coach scenes, posses, outlaws, prostitutes, ranchers and everything else. Thursdays are also going to be totally delicious. They are Thursday at Thornton Hall, period dramas in the Jane Austen milieu (100 years today since the release of Pride and Prejudice!), Fridays are Family Musicals and Saturday is a highly competitive format called Superscene. Same thing for the 2nd week. I am absolutely convinced there is something to tickle everyone’s fancy.

I’ll probably write about each one afterwards, but if you want to see how amazingly brilliant, diverse and creative we are, book for our fest on the Kalk Bay Theatre website, or call Lisa on 0729393351 for the Monday or Tuesday shows.

Creepy, darkly funny Murderer

It’s true I often heard the sound of just me laughing last night at The Mechanicals’ opening of Murderer at The Intimate. I do find weird things funny. Like a huge chainsaw being fetched from the back wall. And the sight of really skinny Norman (the amazing Carel Nel) having to move double his own body weight. But those things are just me.

Murderer by British playwright Anthony Shaffer, directed by Chris Weare, with Carel Nel, Nandi Horak, Dorian Burstein and Emily Child is a seriously odd and off-the-wall piece of ‘straight theatre’ that takes you to a dark place pretty quickly and leaves you there as things get worse.

I think it’s difficult to get a live theatre audience to have the kind of creeps they get in movies. It’s even harder when the characters are such a miserable bunch of unlikeables, but that is the success of Murderer. We might not like any of them but they can freak us out big time. Carel Nel as Norman, and Emily Child as his wife Elizabeth, are my favourites, taking the freaking to a whole new level.

I also loved the use of The Intimate (people are coming up with genius ways to interpret the space), the brilliant mix-n-match real and drawn set and very effective sound and lighting needed to create the atmosphere.

I think this play is going to get better and creepier as it goes along. If you love CSI this is better. If you’re a horror and thriller junkie with murder mystery in your blood, this live theatre version will do it for you. Otherwise you might just find it deeply, darkly funny in a revolting kind of way, which is also good.

An audience Challenge

It’s a good one. It’s not punishment or hard or horrible. It goes like this. On Monday night, at The Intimate, instead of us doing our usual (and I am not for one moment claiming it isn’t totally awesome) TheatreSports show, we will be trying out one of the brand new formats we saw in Oz at Improvention. It is still pure improvisation. It is still making it up in front of a live audience. It is just a bigger than usual cast, new exciting ideas, and a new approach to what we have been doing anyway.

It is guaranteed to be amazing (as with all improv) although I am sure it will have moments that will be great, and some less great. The usual. I am really excited to be playing this. We have been playing more or less the same (reliable) format for yonks and this feels like such a cool offering.

Now I know that there are lots of you who like reading what I say about theatre in CT (and sometimes beyond, like Jozi and G’town). Some of you like me seeing your shows and then writing about them. Some of you like me seeing other people’s shows, and then you go and see them (or not). Some of you just read what I say anyway, and never see anything. All of that is super cool.

My challenge is this. Come and see me perform on Monday night. In a new improv format. I will be doing what I love. I will be doing it for you. And for my team. Just like the Olympics, only in a theatre. The ticket prices are the usual R50 (and this might be one of your last chances to pay such a pissy little amount for magnificent live theatre and a cast of 9!) Come and see what I do on stage. It will be a little like you saying, “Let’s check out what she’s got, instead of asking her to come and see what we’ve got.”

Come along and buy tickets at the door. Or call Ryan on 072 9393351. Or call me. Or leave a message here that you’ll be coming. Or on facebum or twitter. I would love to hear your feedback.


I’m not even sure why I liked it so much. But OWL, written and directed by Jon Keevy, with Briony Horwitz is a strange, slightly addictive and creepily ‘growing on you’ piece of theatre.

A skinny wide eyed girl appears from the back of a small, falling-to-pieces couch. And she starts telling the story of herself, the girl Olivia, from when she was 10 and she moved with her dad to a small town in the Overberg. The story follows the meeting of and friendship with Kay, the strange, blonde girl next door. Did the falling-to-pieces couch just move?

Beautifully observed writing makes this piece totally delicious. I usually hate grown-up actors pretending to be children, but here, Briony is strong, and unusual, and has an innocent integrity that manages to pull it off.

The simple, swiveling couch is the only set and prop. The lights and sound are effective and unobtrusive. Same goes for Fiona du Plooy’s choreography. Thing is, none of that even matters, because OWL is a great story. And I love a good story.

On nightly at The Intimate. GO.


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