Archive for the ‘Just For Fun’ Category

It’s the little things that count. These are the things that make us family, and in the words of Tink, “If we don’t laugh at ourselves, someone else will.”

10. Our resident Rocky.

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Christo ran all the way up these stairs of the Lincoln Memorial doing the Rocky. How could you resist?

9. A Muslim falls off a chair.

kneeling chair

Do not, at any point try to sit on the bottom part of this chair and then attempt to make yourself more comfortable: You will slip and fall on your arse, as our online manager found out one day.

8.  A Cold Shower at Midnight

Trailer

Just before leaving Grahamstown, Tanya, Angela and Ana got a nasty wake-up call. They were pulling the trailer towards the back of the van and as they put it down to fix it onto the ball hitch, the rain water which had been sitting on the top of the trailer after a very wet season at the festival came rushing forward and splashing down on them!

7. Channelling Napolean

Rob Napolean

Having broken his collar-bone Ugli was to direct Benchmarks with just one arm, and in so doing, became a very tall version of Napolean. Needless to say, the cast wasted no time in outvoting him at every chance by calling: “All in favour raise your right hand.” (See the picture with Ugli on the far right, just..trying..to..play..with!)

6. Finding the perfect nickname for Gali

GaliBarbie

Nuff said.

5. That time ‘Sober-Dan’ nicked the mirror on the hired car.

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So we’re leaving the Naledi’s, pretty smashed after going through the whole ceremony thinking that we were nominated for all these awards and travelled all the way to JHB, to win nothing, when right at the very end, they announce a brand new category for Best Emerging Company, which we win. At this point the highs and lows are swallowed with a lot of spirit-s, making most of us incapable of driving. When we finally left, our designated driver, our sober Dan, our most capable and responsible member of our team at the time, got behind the wheel and slowly reversed the hired-car’s side mirror straight into a pole.

4. One breezy night, a 6-foot tall man changed a tyre in a kilt.

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To add to the car woes of the Naledi night, the car also had a slow puncture and needed a tyre change. Who better than a 6-foot tall, strong man, in a kilt?

3. “Does André have an accent?”

andre

Tink: Angela, does Andre have an accent?

Angela: Well, he is Afrikaans.

2. “It’s a Blowjob Tart”

Tanya brought milk tart to the Pot Luck in DC. When asked what it was, she signed “Milk Tart”. The South African sign for “milk” is the same as the American sign for “blowjob”. Blowjob Tart – a traditional South African dessert.

1. When Rodney from Benchmarks spent a little too much time in the park.

For the opening of Out the Box Festival, a puppet procession was organised to walk through Obz and finish on the Village Green, i.e. the park opposite Spar where the bergies take lunch. That was where Rodney ran into the Queen of Obz who fell head over heels for him and tried to bag her prince. The video is priceless and so worth the bandwidth. Watch how Daniel who plays Rodney goes to find his real wife for safety!

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What would theatre be if we didn’t have to constantly remind ourselves that the show must go on, battered, bruised or blind. Here are some of the things which kept us very much on our toes.

1. The Fire Extinguisher Which Wouldn’t

During a performance of Benchmarks at the National Arts Festival, the policeman came out with a fire extinguisher to put out flames, only the pin had not been released, and seconds before the cue, the problem could not be understood, leaving the masked-performer to enter onto stage wildly mimicking a working fire extinguisher.

2. “Turn your flipping phone off! What? Oh…”

During Pictures of You an obtrusive cellphone went off and before the director could evil-eye the alleged perpetrator in the audience, he recognised the ringtone and realised the sound was coming from backstage…

3. Flip Fail

Christo normally completes an impressive back-flip in Shortcuts, except for that one time in America, where he fell on his head, before dusting himself off and carrying on.  Fortunately, his ego was more bruised than anything else.

4. “That bandage was not just part of the show”

Thumeka performed in Benchmarks with an incredibly sprained wrist but  soldiered on through the cold weather in Grahamstown.

5. Tanya Heywood: The Super Sub.

It was just not Thumeka’s year; just before the run of Benchmarks at Out the Box, she was in a car accident which left her on crutches. Instead of pulling the show, Tanya Heywood was called in to replace Thumeka and learned the piece in less than a week. The show went on to win the Handspring Puppetry Award for Best Puppet Manipulation.

Try that for awesome.

6. Blindman’s Bluff

Despite being amazing mask design, the masks for Benchmarks proved to be very difficult to see through, and when Rob’s lighting design was brought into play, the actors were sometimes walking blindly through the set.

And that, boys and girls, is why rehearsals are so important.

Because sometimes, songs go where Dear Abby and Dear Diary never could.

1. Cee Lo Green – “Fuck you”

2. The Cat Empire – “The Wine Song”

3. Hedwig and the Angry Inch (the musical) – “Wig in a Box”

4. Noah and the Whale – “5 Years Time”

5. Evelyn Evelyn – “A Campaign of Shock and Awe”

 

It’s that time of year where we reflect on what made our blood boil… in a good way. Outside of a regular overdose on Tom Waits, Grapetiser, coffee and whisky, here is a list of the shows that got us in that wide-and-crazy-eyed inspired mood.

Annnnnd…in alphabetical order, because any other order would have caused unnecessary upset…

Anubis

By Uta Gebert, performed at Out the Box Festival, Cape Town, September 2011.

This piece was nominated for Best Production at the Out the Box Festival. The puppet was amazingly agile and created from a real skull of a jackal! This puppet may represent the afterlife and mummification but he was a pretty groovy guy dancing with the scales of judgement, much like a DJ and his turntables.

It was a master-class in puppetry.

Burn Makwerekwere Burn

Written Blessing Hungwe, directed by Giles Ramsay, performed at the opening of the Harare International Festival of Arts, Harare, March 2011.

Burn Makwerekwere Burn

This piece was about two guys from Zim, one Shona, one Ndebele trying to make a life for themselves in South Africa. It proved quite inspirational in the run up to National Arts Festival and Benchmarks. Outside of the theme alone, Rob saw this at the opening of HIFA and ranked it one of the best he saw this year.

Jesus Christ Superstar

A Pieter Toerien Production, performed at Theatre on the Bay, Cape Town, May 2011.Jesuschrist

Just because.

Hol

By Nicola Hanekom, directed by Fred Abrahamse, performed at Artscape, Cape Town, October, 2011

Hol

Nicola Hanekom stayed on the treadmill for the whole 70 minutes, totalling a distance of 8km’s for every night’s performance. Outside of shaping pretty firm buttocks on the job, the piece itself, entirely in Afrikaans, was just so powerful and elegant. Hanekom’s piece demonstrated just how much could be done on a set as small as a treadmill.

Hotel Paradiso

By Familie Flöz, performed at the Harare International Festival of Arts, Harare March 2011

This was the reason our creative team travelled all the way to Harare: they heard that Familie Flöz would be performing. Hotel Paradiso is a full-mask comedy, which is a flippin’ awesome deal for our dark clowns. Being exposed to international mask-workers is what our clowns call research.

Memory of How it Feels

Written by Neo Muyanga, directed by Ina Wichterich, Baxter Theatre, Cape Town, February 2011.NEO MUYANGA'S 'MEMORY OF HOW IT FEELS' 2011!

Featuring Remix’s Andile Vellem, a Deaf dancer, it was always on our list of shows to see. Though, come now, we should stop seeing him as “that Deaf dancer,” because the guy is just an amazing dancer, however abled. Neo Muyanga’s story was the bringing to life of visual poetry in its movement: a sight that should have been seen by everyone.

Monkey Nuts

By Matthew Ribnick, directed by Geraldine Naidoo, performed at the Baxter Theatre, Cape Town, September 2011.Matthew_Ribnick_in_Monkey_Nuts_pic_1_by_Louis_Chetty_large

Photo by Louis Chetty

This one caused a slight uproar when we put this list together. Some said, “Hell no,”  while some said, “Hell yes, and if you’re naming JC Superstar, I’m calling Monkey Nuts”. And so order was restored in the kingdom. To defend Monkey Nuts, which is arguably a more commercial piece in the world of fringe theatre, credit was given to Mattew Ribnick’s incredible comic timing and his fine-tuned ability to swop between characters. All in all, he is a funny guy and that, has confirmed his place on our list.

Mr Cat and the Jackal

A band, not a production, but with a phenomenal performance quality that they were deemed worthy to credit as one of the best productions we have seen this year. 

As a piece of live performance, Mr Cat and The Jackal are a five-man band with couple a of guitars and bunch of weird and sometimes home-made instruments. They are folky-pirates from Stellenbosch with a great stage presence and unfaltering voices. We love them.

Check out this awesome bit of puppetry done by Ysterfang Puppetry for the music video, “Bad Man He Comin’. ” Wearing their conspiracy of clowns caps, Rob, Jayne and Liezl got to collaborate with them at the opening of the Bijou Open Arts studios. Sweet dream come true!

Red Earth

A collaboration between Laway Theatre Company and Speeltheatre Holland, performed at Theatre Arts Admin Collective, December 2011.

It’s always difficult to do a popular story over but this was an incredibly powerful retelling of Nongqawuse’s story; the Xhosa prophetess who caused one of the greatest tragedies in Xhosa history. The directors of Speeltheatre have been running their company for 40 years and their impressive track record just shined through, not to mention the wealth of South African experience on stage with the likes of Tau Qwelane and  Macebo Mavuso. For this short run in Cape Town, the workshop trainees from UNIMA were worked into the piece, check the clip to see a bit of their awesome rehearsal.

Out the Box Festival : Reading out of the Funders

Jason Potgieter and Beren Belknap introducing the funders with puppets. 240357_10150193497352470_685772469_7280229_8130474_o

Right, so this photo (taken by Luke Younge) is actually from the production of ‘Ouroborous, another awesome production, but Jason (left) and Beren (right), outside of being talented puppeteers, are two funny guys with a great rapport that made the reading out of funders a highlight of the opening ceremony at Out The Box.  Using the puppets from ‘Inja ka Vuyo’, a dog and a big green monster, they may have pissed off a few of the funders when they ridiculed unlabelled logos, but for the rest which were labelled, the funders were actually remembered and not just a boring part of ‘what-had-to-be-mentioned.’

Bravo B ‘n J! More like this!

OfficeBLOCK closed on Saturday night and after a fantastic run, it was time for a celebration. Opening night catered for a South African and American mix of food that included corn DSCN6935dogs and mielies and mini hamburgers,and popcorn and also sorts of finger-food treats. If you hung around long enough, there were also cream tartlets and mini-pumpkin pies.

For closing night, what was going to be a braai that had both hotdogs and boerewors to again celebrate the Artsbridge journey that OfficeBLOCK would be taking, turned into a bunny chow night: home-made curries, fresh bread, salads and atchar. A solid, filling, tasty meal, that everyone of every diet could enjoy.  There was the option of vegetable curry and meat curry, and an amazing bean and banana salad, all home-made.

YUM!

Often cocktail tomatoes, sliced carrots, little samoosas, tiny chicken wings and meat balls are a safe choice but what can we do to offer our audiences something new and tempting each time?  Do we rather cut the food budget and up the amount of free booze? Or do we continue to fight for the balance between food and drink? What kinds of foods can we arrange that fit out trying budgets, people’s diets and also give our audiences a 5-star welcome? Or will we always be celebrating theatre productions with culinary delights in miniature?

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There have been great efforts made by theatre companies in Cape Town and they should get props. The Baxter Theatre had a huge make-over earlier this year and had an amazing variety of food, with various cold meats, breads, cheeses and jams, and biscuits that came with little tubes of chocolate or almond syrup you could flavour it with. Not to mention the cocktails that could be a little stronger with a wink and a smile to the barman – or so we heard.  The opening of KKNK was another hit: champagne that kept on coming and trays of quiches and skewered chicken being delivered by waiters  continuously. GIPCA gets a note in our books for a wonderful presentation of bread and cheese at the series of talks they held.

Theatre isn’t just about getting a bum on a seat. It’s about the entire experience being given to the patron. Considering that the audience has to drive all the way to your venue (petrol) possibly get someone to babysit the kids (cost), maybe have dinner or drinks with the people they’re with (another cost), purchase a ticket (minor cost), and then tip the car guard, it totals up to more than just the cost of a ticket. The full theatre experience will up the value of your production, ensure that your audiences will return and best of all, tell their friends about it.

To good food and even better theatre experiences: bon appétit!

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Everybody at FTH:K has to have a cellphone, it’s in their contract. With so much cellphone jargon out there, we’ve taken the liberty of reducing all the noise into something far more accessible and relevant to Deaf cellphone users.

The ideal phone for someone who is not hearing should have a strong visual component, a microphone and telecoil that does not interfere with a hearing aid and make a buzzing noise, have suitable vibrate functions, and great message services.

Here, the three heavyweight contenders go head to head:

iPhone 4S

Blackberry 9900

Samsung Google Nexus S

Display Screen

8.9cm

7cm

10.16cm

Weight

140g

130g

129g

Loudspeaker?

Yes

Yes

Yes

Headset?

Yes

Yes

Yes

Alert types?

MP3,
Vibrations

MP3,
Vibrations

MP3,
WAV
Vibrations

Hearing Aid Compatibility?

Yes (M4/T4 in 3G; M3/T3 n 2G)

Yes (M3/T3)

Yes (M3 / T ?)

Closed Captions on Videos?

Yes

Yes

Yes

Camera

8 MP

5 MP

5 MP

Memory?

16/32/64 Gigs

8 Gigs

16 Gigs

Memory Card Slot?

No

Micro SD (Up to 32 Gigs)

No

RAM

512 MB

768 MB

512 MB

Processor

Dual Core 800 Mhz – 1 Ghz

1.2 Ghz

1 Ghz

Battery Life

8 – 14 hours talk time

5 – 6 hours talk time

5 – 14 hours talk time

The phones are neck and neck and upon further investigation this is what was found:

On their website, iPhone says

iPhone 4S and iPhone 4 feature FaceTime video calling via Wi-Fi. Thanks to its high-quality video and fast frame rate, FaceTime is ideal for those who communicate using sign language or by lip reading.

(Try signing with one hand while the other holds the phone…)

iPhone has cool features like a a visual voicemail screen which allows you to playback messages  in the order you would like to and allows you to replay parts that are difficult to hear. These features make it far simpler to handle your voicemail.  iPhone also allows you to route both left and right audio channels into one audio channel if the user only has hearing in one ear.

A flagship product of the iPhone is the voice activated “Siri” which allows the user to talk to the phone and tell it what to do. Given that it is voice operated, it generally does not benefit the Deaf.

Blackberry doesn’t offer much more than the various messaging services for people with hearing difficulties but it does promote its Sound-Isolating headset which makes voice calls easier to hear, and music clearer to listen to.

The bottom line?

According to Price Check:

iPhone 4S : From  R10 799

Blackberry 9900: From R 5999

Samsung Google Nexus S: From R 3920

Our winner: Samsung Google Nexus S

Blackberry is handy for sending messages but does not compete visually with the iPhone and Nexus. One of the key features of the iPhone is dependent on hearing and voice and would be money wasted.

The Samsung Nexus is going to release their next phone which plans to outshine the hype around the iPhone 4s pretty soon, but until then, the Nexus S seems to give the iPhone 4s a run for their money in our very simple but practical test: a bigger screen, availability of a memory card slot and a rather excellent value for money.

We’re bubbling with ideas as we conceptualise the first phase of the ArtsBridge piece.

ArtsBridge is a collaboration with ‘Wings Theatre Company’ in the States and is the creative wing of Quest Visual Theatre. In November we will present a short, 5-day run of the piece at the Intimate Theatre. This piece then goes to Washington D.C. early next year, where it will be developed further, in collaboration with ‘Wings’ for the Quest Fest in February before bringing back to the National Arts Festival at the end of June and beginning of July.

In honour of this very exciting conceptual phase, here are some of the crazy things we’ve come across.

What happens when you ask for tips on Facebook

Ugli Bob asked his Facebook friends for anecdotes from the workplace and here are some of the things they had to say:

  •  banter is the pre-lube, er, prelude to serious research: Research 101
  • I had a project manager go to italy with a company camera to record progress and got a porno back interspersed with pictures of the building. And he paid for the girlfriend to fly from the UK on his expense account, cheeky f@cker.  And I fired a guy unknowingly on his birthday, I’m on a roll. 
  •  oh, wibs you mean when you taught me to play the trombone? *fond mamaries*

When Google Alerts yields a Gem

Tanya keeps an eye out on all things relevant to Deaf and theatre on her Google account. The link between the Deaf and theatre and zombies is a rare but awesome find. These guys are raising funds for the Michigan School for the Deaf.

Zombies walk the sidewalks of downtown Flint for the third annual event

This is thriller?

Putting Mimes to Work

When people don’t want to adhere to traffic rules and regulations: make fun of them. Thanks to Carla Lever for this link!

Shhh! Mimes tackle traffic chaos in Venezuela

Using Mimes to Ridicule Traffic Violators

Yes, this is what we call work.