Twofold Folds

Today Yawazzi was in the Argus – the subject of a large, generous article on our upcoming project, Twofold. So it is very bitter to have to announce the cancellation of this project on the very same day.

Events overtook us and we came to a point where we could either go ahead with the show and have it be less than it should be, less than we are capable of, or we could cancel it. We feel passionately about the production, it’s a dream and a goal to do it. Which is precisely why we could not go forward with it as a substandard piece. We refuse to compromise on the grail.

Fortunately the cancellation of the project does not mean that we’ve wasted all our time. In fact the process so far has been invigorating for me. The flat is cluttered right now with salvaged electronics and pieces of machinery. I’ve been self-studying to bring myself up to speed on all the wonderful and crazy possibilities of the junk we throw out everyday.

It was a hard decision to make, especially for Sanjin whose passion and drive to get work out there is incredible. All the people in this production are involved in multiple other projects. For myself, I’m going to be using the time to work on Stories of Crime and Passion, which opens in 2 weeks.

We made a hard choice about this project, but I know that we made the right one.

The Fugard Theatre

From the outside the Fugard looks like a church that the city has grown up around. The other buildings are tightly packed around it and loom a little over it, giving its stone façade an out of place feeling that captures the magic of the whole place. It feels like a old and trusted place, rather than the new kid on the block in the little theatre world of Cape Town.

On these grey winter days that feeling is even more powerful as you walk into the foyer. The yellow wood warms up the interior and sets off the exposed old brick and concrete. The designer perfectly balanced hard and soft, cold and warm to create a welcoming and stylish space.

But what really make this place special is that this quality, this style and care is everywhere. From the dressing rooms to the operating booth, the rehearsal room to the bath rooms. This is a theatre as much for the people who make theatre as the patrons. Mark and Manny have built a home. Everyone of the staff who I’ve met there is amazing, welcoming and energised. They have a family feeling about them.

Bringing London Road into such a space is such a pleasure. The play itself is so centred on connection and bonding that it feels like it just wouldn’t work in one of the dinosaur theatres squatting around Cape Town.

Technically the theatre is also top notch with an extensive rig and an advanced lighting board. All the conveniences and technological essentials have been built into the auditorium. Although I must confess that as an operator I love being out in the auditorium and working analogue sliders. That’s my style, hearing and seeing from the audience’s perspective and adjusting levels and timing to the little changes in performance.

I’m sorry that I’m only going to be here for the week, Tara Notcutt will take over from next week. But on the upside Lara Bye has been very understanding about my commitments. Next week Yawazzi opens Twofold at Tabula Rasa. This is a very exciting project for the team and everyone is nervous – it’s a big project with a lot of elements. But we’re ready to pull it out of the hat. Magically speaking, of course.

At least I can rest on Sundays

It’s a busy time for me as the Yawazzi team embark on several projects  overlapping in a cascade of theatre, effectively keeping me busy every Thursday through Saturday from the launch of Tabula Rasa’s Jam Sessions on the 15th of April. Tape Hiss and Sparkle will kick off on Thursday night, Friday night is Jazz lead by young talent Mr Jephta, Saturday night is opened by solo songster Gabriel Marchand playing a mix of compositions.

Busy, busy, busy.

The following week Godfrey Johnson returns for a 3 night run with his very popular show, Shadow of Brel, on a warm-up for his tour to Durban’s Rhumbelow Theatre.

Which brings us to an experiment of quite epic proportions – Two Fold. A collaboration between myself, Sanjin Muftic and Jason Potgieter, Two Fold is a visual theatre feast flirting with the theories of Antonin Artaud. Late at night a single employee is at work in the laundry, unpacking a very strange load. I’ll be cooking up many special effects and making improvised projectors, I’m looking forward to the hands on work. It’ll be running for 2 weeks, Thursday to Saturday.

And then Godfrey Johnson: Stories of Crime and Passion. This project has been a dream of mine for quite some time, Godfrey will be performing songs from diverse musicians, rearranging them to his signature piano style and passionate voice. The line up feature tales of love, murder, starcrossed criminals, passion and revenge from artists like Johnny Cash, Cole Porter, Aerosmith, Kenny Rogers, the Decemberists, Nick Cave, Fiona Apple, Tori Amos and many others. This will also be my first time directing a performance in almost 2 years. Scary.

That’ll bring us to the end of Tabula Rasa’s season, it’ll be focusing on laundry related matters until after the World Cup.  We’ve got some very cool projects being lined up for the second half of the year. more on these later.

Dates:

Tape Hiss and Sparkle at Tabula Rasa… 15th April

Mr Jephta at Tabula Rasa… 16th April

Gabriel Marchand at Tabula Rasa… 17th April

Shadow of Brel at Tabula Rasa… 22nd, 23rd, 24th April, 8.30 pm

Two Fold at Tablua Rasa… 29th, 30th April, 1st, 6th, 7th, 8th May 8.30pm

Stories of Crime and Passion at Tabula Rasa… 13th, 14th, 15th and 20th, 21st, 22nd May, 7.30pm