Megan's Head

A place where Megan gets off her head.

Tag: The Kalk Bay Theatre (Page 1 of 5)

Natalie’s Circle of Love FUNdraiser 2

Dear friends, and readers of meganshead, on Tues 11 December we perform our final TheatreSports show of the year at The Kalk Bay Theatre. It’s a very special show because we are going to laugh you into the festive season AND raise money for Natalie’s Circle of Love. I am sure many of you remember Natalie’s story, and the brilliant Baxter FUNdraiser we did for her in April last year. Natalie is one of the bravest young people I know and I am delighted that we are able to dedicate this performance to her and raise much needed funds for her medical costs. Tickets to this show are R100 for adults and R50 for kids (all funds go to Natalie’s Circle of Love Trust) and I know they are going to fly, so book soon on 072 9393351. Then, on the night, we will be collecting soft toys and gentle toiletries for the Sarah Fox Convalescent Hospital for Children in Athlone. There are dedicated beds there for terminally ill children and they really have absolutely nothing. Book your ticket, bring a prezzie and come and laugh with us. What do you say?

Bladdy Funny Bench

It is only fair to say that I felt like going out last night as little as I wished I was a frozen fish finger. Not. But it was to The Kalk Bay Theatre (good place to go) and when I arrived I sat down and spoke about puppynesses to a table of animal adorers until the show began (good thing to do).

Bench; a two hander written by Brent Palmer and performed by Brent Palmer and Adrian Collins and directed by Michael kirch. This was its “global premier” as Simon Cooper put it. Bench is the story of two skollies, Henry (Palmer) and Dwain (Collins) who are waiting on a bench outside the National Gallery. They are waiting to put into action a rather shoddy plan to steal a painting. And they talk a whole lot of very very funny kak.

I loved both characters. Henry is a pompous, creepy, used car salesman type, grease ball, long moustached creepazoid. Dwain is the put upon, gatvol ex-con who really doesn’t want to be there. The characters are absolutely classic and work really brilliantly together.

Sometimes the getting out of the story is a bit challenging – there might be a little too much of it; too much justification, too much convolution, situation, historification (a word I am sure Henry would manage) and that can overwhelm the journey a bit, but the characters are the delight and the redemption.

I love the Tarrantino turned duidelik vibe. I love the filthy and brightly coloured language. I love the status shifts between the two.  I love the subtle Company Gardens soundtrack. My opinion? Lose the distracting and stinky cigarette. Tighten up some of the beats. Rely on the characters more and the story less.

Bench will grow and shift for sure. Brent and Adrian will play around as their characters. They are well on the way to discovering what this is all about. I imagine that when they can they will lose some of the plot and will end up more and more being two skollies on a bench, talking kak. In the meantime, there are some, no, many proper laugh out loud moments that make this production absolutely kak funny.


Sunday Morning on Friday Night

All I needed to round off my first week of being back home was to go to The Kalk Bay Theatre, my other home, to see Sunday Morning last night. And I did. And it was great.

I haven’t eaten at the theatre for ages and last night I got stuck into some really delicious gnocci while hanging out with Simon and Helen and friends.

Then, James Cunningham performing Sunday Morning, written by Nick Warren and directed by Jenine Collocott. This is a show that made it’s way here directly after the Grahamstown fest, and I love catching up with the stuff that got the thumbs up from my friends and connections. And it was a great performance that got me back into the Cape Town theatre scene.

Sunday Morning is a small story with huge repercussions. It takes place during a “head clearing” run, while the guy, an everyday Jozi photographer, comes to terms with the news that his girlfriend is pregnant.

We’ve heard the story before, but never with quite this delicate treatment from a performer. James is pretty magnificent. His character is subtle, dof, ordinary and completely irritating and lovable. He manages to find the perfect balance. A sit-com laugh moment is just that, a moment, balanced out with a serious, realistic tone, and very genuine responses, even the heightened physical ones, which are brilliantly done. I was engrossed, charmed and touched.

One of the best things about Sunday Morning is how completely accessible it is. It’s instantly relatable to. It is the kind of one man play that will make people (who are normally risk averse when it comes to theeayter) love theatre. Accessible, warm, funny and delicious.

Oh, of course there were parts of the script that I didn’t like or buy into (hey, I need to salvage my reputation here and can’t be seen as a total pushover), but, who cares? I thought the reveal of the gorgeous boxes at the end was a little late, and they were underused in the actual piece (I really am looking for stuff, aren’t I?), but that’s just nitpicking.

Sunday Morning is on tonight and next week. It would be so unfortunate if you missed it.

Taxi Nights and the incredible Soli Philander

So somehow this extraordinary, amazing, confusing and totally magical city of ours, Cape Town, has scored itself a guardian, ambassador, spokesperson, critic, teacher, reflector, therapist and rabble rouser, and it is Soli Philander. I have been joining him on Mondays on his internet radio station The Taxi, because I love theatre, and I love talking about theatre, and Soli shares my passion (even though he has many, many others).

When a slot became available at The Kalk Bay Theatre, Soli and his Taxi team took two weeks of it to do Taxi Nights, and I went to witness this last night. Taxi Nights is really a showcase of the young talent that Soli has taken under his wing. These young, fresh people share their skills with the audience in the first half, and there is a guest performer (last night it was the hilarious and hysterical comedian Wayne Mckay, and the last three shows are Gift Gwe, Siv N and Shimmy Isaacs, in that order). In the second half Soli performs some of his favourite female characters from years (and productions) gone by.

Taxi Nights is not slick. It takes full advantage of the intimate space at the KBT and it feels like you are in Soli and Toni (his wife)’s lounge. It’s like being introduced to the voices and names of The Taxi in person. And the experience is warm, funny, touching and even surprisingly shocking and terrifying at times. Eugene Matthews introduced us to everybody, mostly by screaming for them to come on stage (very funny), Ronald Jones sang with a voice like an angel, Christian Bennet did a monologue that was totally extraordinary, Roshan Philander (Wonderbra) spoke a Maya Angelou poem. Toni and the ghaatjie did sound and lights. It was a family affair.

It was a weirdly satisfying night of non theatre at my favourite theatre. I know how much I enjoyed it when I said to my friend that I wished I could get my hands on those kids and work with them, especially Christian. His monologue deserves to be made into a full play.

Soli is a very special man, with special ideas and plans. We Capetonians need to take care of him. He is a most valuable resource.


Rose Red; a wicked treat

Going to the opening of Rose Red at The Kalk Bay Theatre with my delicious theatre friend who is visiting was the best fun. It was a shmooze fest before and after, and we loved, loved, loved it (and I did have more than one glass of red myself. Just saying.)

And I loved this strange and wonderful story with songs. Rose Red is a monologue, written and performed by Dianne Simpson, accompanied by live pianist and MD Dawid Boverhoff, and directed by Pieter Bosch Botha. It is the story of Snow White, told from the perspective of the evil step-mom, the queen.

Pieter has transformed the stage at KBT into a dark and gloomy little cottage, exposing the gorgeous stone wall at the back and filling the floor with dry leaves, teeny stools for the dwarves and other bits of furniture that looks dusty and untouched. This sets the scene for the ghost of the evil queen to come and speak to us, mirror and all. It’s a layered, modern and complicated tale.

Dianne Simpson is amazing. She comes on in wicked fairytale clothes and make-up and tight and crooked upper lip. She looks like wired-up wickedness. Then through story and song (weird, well known songs, turned on their heads to fit her style and mood, including Tori Amos, Lady Gaga and Annie Lennox) and simple, beautiful piano music we start to understand the complicated dynamics, the feminist yearnings and the misunderstood actions of this traditional villain.

I have always thought that Snow White was a bit of a wimp. I was quite comfortable going with this complicated woman’s version. Her crazy upbringing, her rags-to-riches, her insecurities and need to be seen and loved. I was caught up from beginning to end. It was so refreshing seeing performers I don’t know (everyone is from Jozi, but Pieter is going to be making Cape Town his new home) being directed by some fresh new director whose work I have never seen. New ideas, new theatrical solutions, new excitements. I love theatre. And this is a great example. I swayed to my feet for a rousing ovation at the end.

Check. It.

Up close but Living Remote

It was Living Remote’s opening night at The Kalk Bay Theatre last night and there was a crowd of press, Cracks, friends, family and even ordinary audience to celebrate one of Cape Town’s finest and funniest actresses, Anthea Thompson.

Living Remote is a “medical demonstration” presented by Anthea’s bizarre character Bertha Cummings. Bertha is a properly cooked, drug dispensing, varicose veined, sif dressed Capetonian old lady who dispenses medical advice to her audience, amongst other things. I first saw Bertha in Cracks and here she is in a full show.

Now, as far as I am concerned, Anthea Thompson could perform the phone book brilliantly. She is that good. And Bertha is a great vehicle for her funny bone; she has superb timing, wicked characterisation and a brilliant connection with the audience. There are moments of total comic genius here. Bertha’s eye test on an audience member is still one of the funniest things I have ever seen, and her phone call with her daughter is pure comic evil.

The whole show could be tighter and some things definitely work better than others. I found myself laughing out loud to things nobody else found funny, and the opposite too. People were falling off their chairs at the physical and sexual stuff that I don’t get so much. But, go see for yourself. Whatever tickles you, there’ll be something here to get you going.

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