Get Kraken!

Kraken Teaser webGet Kraken is a tale of high adventure; there are poachers, plucky heroes, ice-cold villains, breath-taking battles and a sea monster bigger than your imagination. All brought to larger-than-life by four actors. No fancy props or cd players making sound effects. Four sweaty actors take the audience under the ocean on the hunt for the greatest catch of all… the KRAKEN!

Get Kraken is next performing at: the Cape Town Fringe 27 September to 5 of October

27 September 2014 15:00
28 September 2014 13:05
29 September 2014 18:00
01 October 2014 13:05
02 October 2014 9:00
03 October 2014 11:00
05 October 2014 11:00

I wrote Get Kraken as part of ASSITEJ SA and The Theatre Arts Admin Collective’s Inspiring a Generation programme, a combination of a mentorship and cultural exchange which I have posted about a couple of times before (Inspiring a Generation, No Really). It’s being performed at various schools around the Cape even gone as far a field as the Garden Route Family Festival in Plett and Knysna. Right now we have one week left at the Intimate Theatre (16th April – 4th May), and it’ll be heading to the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown in June / July as part of the ASSITEJ family venue.

What sets the play apart from most other family fare is the way Kim Kerfoot and the performers create the world of the story. It’s done in the style of a theatrical comic book without props, set, or costume – the actors, dressed in black t-shirts and pants, use their bodies and voices to zoom in and out, to create special effects and locations from a busy road, the ocean by night, to a submarine or the inside of a whale. Part of going to schools has been giving workshops on this energetic style of performance. The script is also going to form part Shuter & Shooter’s grade 9 English reader next year, an added bonus for schools.

Get Kraken Performance

Reviews So Far:

“Director Kim Kerfoot brings Jon Keevy’s text to life in ways that keep the audience guessing and in stitches. As something of an environmentalist, for me it’s the reasoning behind hunting the Kraken that make this wildly entertaining play stand out among the current theatre on offer in Cape Town.”

– Clifford Graham, the Monday Missile

“Jon Keevy has written a fun and funny script and Kim Kerfoot has directed the cast with vigour and cleverness. I loved it.”

– Megan Furniss, Meganshead.co.za

“Under Kim Kerfoot’s direction this cast bravely goes into a totally different direction to most of what passes for children’s theatre in Cape Town. Instead of sticking to staid, safe fairy tales with bright primary colours and seriously old ways of looking at the world, Get Kraken is a comic-book adventure with references from the now and speech patterns borrowed from TV and film.”

– Theresa Smith, Cape Argus

“I couldn’t stop laughing. All you need is your imagination and you’ll be set for one seriously funny night!”

– Eugene Yiga, Bizcommunity

“The comedic appeal and brilliance of the artists is apparent from the moment they set foot on stage, but it is their imagination that particularly shines in this production. The cast merges vivid miming and idiosyncratic sound effects to create a theatrical tale for the hunt of “Kraken”.  This show without a doubt raises the bar for experimental stage comedy.”

– Benn van der Westhuizen, Whats on in Cape Town

“Keevy has managed to write a script for children which is as entertaining for adults and it is presented in an innovative way – light on embellishment and laden with energy.”

– Tracey Saunders, Cape Times

“Binne ’n driekwartier het jy egter ’n avontuur van epiese proporsies beleef.”

– Marina Griebenow, Die Burger

Get Kraken was first performed at the Intimate Theatre on the 16 April to 4 May

The Get Kraken team:

In which some folk had a sneak peek at my new play and I write a press release about it.

On Monday night a full house at Alexander Upstairs got to see a preview of my new play, Get Kraken, as part of Play Things, a monthly platform for artists to showcase new writing, experiments and short performances.

Play Things was started so that artists from different fields could have a space to try out stuff. There always seemed to be events where musician of a specific genre, or comedians, or poets could get together… with Play Things we wanted to stimulate collaboration across art forms. People come and are surprised, whether they’re in the audience or on stage they discover things they wouldn’t ordinarily go looking for. This is the first time I’ve put any of my own work on and I was pretty nervous. But it was also my birthday so by 9pm I was also tipsy (just a little, I swear).

Get Kraken is a tale of high adventure; there are poachers, plucky heroes, ice-cold villains, breath-taking battles and a sea monster bigger than your imagination. All brought to larger-than-life by four actors. No fancy props or cd players making sound effects. Four sweaty actors take the audience under the ocean on the hunt for the greatest catch of all… the KRAKEN!

The response from the audience was fantastic. We shared the night with Tape Hiss and Sparkle, a scene from Oskar Brown’s work-in-progress Berlin was Yesterday, poetry by James Honibal and Black Lung.

Get Kraken will be at the Intimate Theatre, 37 Orange Street, Gardens, Cape Town

16 April to 4 May Tuesdays to Saturdays 8pm

R70 Adults, R50 concessions, R50 parents accompanied by a kid (most suitable for 8 and up)

For bookings and enquiries please email kraken@jonkeevy.com, for more information visit jonkeevy.com

Reviews for Owl

Owl was invited to the Brighton Fringe Festival (UK) where it was one of three shows nominated for Latest’s Best International Performance.

Reviews are arranged from the most recent backward.

“Some shows are easy to fall in love with; this is one of them. A Girl Called Owl is a sweet, poignant coming-of-age story.”

5 stars – Darren Taffinder, Fringe Guru

“In this powerful one-woman play, Briony Horwitz portrays Olivia, the new girl in town, who we meet firstly aged ten and later aged 16. With just an armchair for a prop, Horwitz athletically climbs and stretches with all the agility of the child she is playing.”

– Tania Deaville, The Argus (Brighton, UK)

“Here is a lovely, rich sense of the physical environment conveyed through the writing and the telling. Briony Horowitz’s portrayals are vivid and her edits clean. She has great skill and obviously feels a real affinity with Jon Keevy’s material”

– R. Blackman, Fringe Review

“This is an absolutely charming monologue, performed by a brilliant actress with well-honed skills in multiple characterisation and in leading her audience on a beautifully-crafted narrative arc. The utter simplicity in set and costume design focus our attention in on the essential element of the theatrical experience – the pure art of storytelling.”

 5 starsLove Fringe

“A Girl Called Owl makes skilful use of the power of storytelling… It is simply a pleasure to watch.”
– Ellen Carr, A Younger Theatre
.
“This powerful one-woman play, was performed wonderfully as Briony Horwitz delivered a vivid storytelling experience. As she slipped from one character into another, bringing each one alive through accents, gestures and mannerisms, she recounted the story of a 10 year old girl, Olivia aka Owl.”
– Dade Freeman, Krysalis
.

“Horwitz delivers an enchanting performance. Her versatility as an actress is astonishing and her effortless handling of so many characters is to be applauded…. moving and evocative”

 – Tracey Saunders, Cape Times

“Owl doesn’t let you escape. Instead it draws you in and hypnotizes you with its apparent simplicity. Briony plays a slew of characters with a seamless breathless ease that had our eyes transfixed to her every movement. The stage is bare apart from a battered sofa which she uses and abuses as she lives through her characters. Fiona Du Plooy’ choreography is uncanny, a little distressing, but mostly mesmerizing as she directs Briony’s slender body through her agonizing and exhilarating moments.”

 – Astrid Stark

“Sy is ewe tuis in kinderlike onskuld en uitdagende tienergedrag. En alles word met empatie gedoen…..Die vertolkings en teks is selfloos.”

 – Mariana Malan, Die Burger

“Briony handles numerous characters with clarity and depth. Her vibrant imagination and deft handling of the image-laden text is enchanting.

“Keevy’s writing is delightful. It is full of punch and flow and sparkle. It is insightful and universal and touching and smart.”

 – 3Way Stop, The PonyRoach Review

“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.”

 – Megan’s Head

“For all its beauty, Owl is a play that pulls no punches. Its themes are both innocent and brutal simultaneously. Coming of age is never easy, never idealistic. Keevy explores this without fear or prejudice, and with a great deal of honesty.”

 – Clifford Graham, the Monday Missile

“The skill and talent partnership of writer/director Keevy and actress Horwitz elevates Owl to more than just a mere coming of age story. It invites you in, to such an extent that you unknowingly laugh and cry along with Owl and Kay as they grow both closer and apart. You find yourself holding your breath as Owl utters the powerful final words … that you must go hear/feel for yourself.”

Theatre Scene Cape Town

“Owl a feather in Horwitz’s cap….4 stars”

 – Theresa Smith, The Cape Argus

And Some interviews with Briony and/or I: Daniel Derckson for Bizcommunity,

Owl

Olivia arrived in the town with her Dad; she was the new girl, the quiet girl, the weird girl. Then she met Kay, the girl with the scar.

Told in two parts, Owl begins with a new friendship in the heat of the Overberg summer between two ten-year-old girls, and finds them again six years later. It’s an honest picture of growing up different in the middle of nowhere; a story about climbing trees, punching boys and kissing girls. A story about growing up where nothing grows.

Briony Horwitz performs Jon Keevy’s script under his direction with choreography by Fiona Du Plooy and music by Brydon Bolton.

The début run of Owl was from the 21st February to the 2nd March at the Intimate Theatre. It then ran from the 30th April to 5th May at the Kalk Bay Theatre. At the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown it ran from the 28th June to the 7th July as part of the Cape Town Edge. Immediately following this it was part of the Schools Festival from the 10th to the 13th July.

Owl will next be performed as part of the Arts Alive Festival in Joburg from the 6th to the 8th of September and then at the Nieu Bethesda Fest from the 21st to the 23rd September.

For more information call 084 24 98 532 or email owl@jonkeevy.com

Jon Keevy has trouble remembering what sort of bio he should be writing – a writer? A designer? A director? A production manager? Like many people hustling in the theatre industry he has to be more than one of these at any given time and especially for this, his most personal play so far.

So, general facts first: He graduated from UCT in 2007 for the 3rd time with an MA in theatre-making and started making theatre with Bosnian-born director Sanjin Muftic, a long time collaborator on many ill-advised schemes. Together they’ve produced four plays at the National Arts Festival, toured to Rwanda and Knysna, ran an underground theatre until the cops shut it down, created projections for operas directed by Lara Bye and generally kept themselves busy.

Jon fits his writing schedule and his crazy collaborations with people like Jason Potgieter, Kim Kerfoot and Sanjin around pretending to be a stage manager so he can watch firsthand how great directors and writers work. In this way he’s managed to steal ideas and techniques from Lara Bye, Chris Weare, Geoff Hyland, Alan Committie, Peter Krummeck, Mike van Graan and Lara Foot-Newton.

He possesses many strange skills like swordfighting, aikido, latex casting, puppet building and origami.

Briony Horwitz is an incredible and versatile actress. Her theatre experience includes extensive South African tours with children’s theatre productions Rapunzel, Princess and the Pea and Charlotte’s Web. In 2009 she played Lady Capulet in Romeo and Juliet Unplugged, directed by Anthea Thompson. As a theatre-maker, Briony’s offerings include Spice: Feast and Fable and the Rock Tribute Woman of Rock. She has also been involved in the creation of educational theatre pieces like The Marvelous Adventures of Lex and has facilitated teenagers in developing their own work, notably the Western Cape Department of Sports and Culture funded The Clock is Tikking.

Briony graduated from UCT with a BA in Theatre and Performance in 2006 and was nominated in the Fleur du Cap’s ‘Most Promising Student’ category. She and went straight into co-running the Cape Town collaborative theatre company, The Chameleon Collective for two years. They created imaginative and challenging children’s theatre as well as avant-garde physical pieces. Her film credits include leads in Karoo (Winner of the 2011 SAFTA for ‘Best Short Film’) and Wounded (due to be released in 2012) and plays Zoe Harris in the M-Net soap opera The Wild.

Briony has diverse interests and training in singing, dancing, puppetry and martial arts.

Brydon Bolton has magic. His music is visceral and intricate, driven by an open and giving passion for art. He is a musician, composer and educator, while regularly performing at local and international festivals. He started playing double bass in a small industrial coastal town called Port Elizabeth. He learnt classical technique at an academy from a Yugoslavian cellist and jazz improvisation from the jazz players in the black and coloured townships surrounding PE.

Brydon has performed and recorded with many renowned South African musicians, such as Alex van Heerden, Derek Gripper, Robbie Jansen, Tony Cox and Frank Mallows. He is a regular performer on the Cape Town music scene with various groups, notably Benguela.

Brydon is also a music educator, sound artist, curator of music and sound events, composer of contemporary classical music, and a sound designer for dance and theatre performances. Over the years, he has collaborated with various individuals, including poets, playwrights, dancers and artists.

His work focuses on developing music and sound forms that challenge idiomatic or conventional expressions. This is the third play that he and Jon have worked on together creatively.

Fiona Du Plooy is a choreographer whose evocative visual style, comprehensive movement vocabulary and extensive knowledge of ballet and contemporary dance has been seen in work created for both theatre and television. As well as conceptualising her own work, she has an intuitive ability to respond to the artistic vision of others in a range of disciplines and media; and has collaborated with experimental visual theatre makers as well as mainstream television producers.

Fiona has an incisive wit and an ability to express comic timing and irony in movement, delighting audiences with her choreography in Angels on Horseback, Not the Midnight Mass and I Am Here. This light touch is in sharp contrast to the intellectual rigour and gravitas of her more serious work. Fiona is a UCT Drama Gradate with an Advanced Ballet Diploma and a National Pilates Qualification: she has spent 2 years assisting renowned international choreographer professor Jay Pather, coordinated and taught Movement Studies for 4 years at CAP (Community Arts Project ) and worked as contemporary Dance Teacher in Zama Dance School, Gugulethu.

She now teaches Physical Theatre Movement Technique for performance students at the UCT Drama Department. Fiona operates as a freelance performer and choreographer within the local film, television and corporate theatre industry – a highlight was choreographing the 2010 Castle Lite Ice Ice Baby campaign with Plank Productions.

Currently Fiona is choreographing Viva la Mama , directed by Lara bye, and in March, will be working on BABBEL, the third in Nicola Hanekom ‘ s acclaimed trilogy of site specific Afrikaans works

Gabriella Pinto  is the mighty stage manager of the show. She graduated from UCT in 2011 with a theatre-making degree. This is her first year out in the real world and together with Iman Isaacs she has already put together a company. They’re off to Grahamstown festival with their first professional offering, Eden.

She describes herself in short statements: A Theatre-Maker. A Bibliophile. An Aesthetic Addict. A Chocoholic.