Posts Tagged ‘Pictures of You’

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.

It is only a few days until March. Can you believe it?! Our last season of Pictures of You is now only 10 days passed but it feels like months! I guess that because we so enjoy looking towards to next big thing, the next exciting project, the next performance, the next tour….and dang, do we have a lot to look forward to

But before we get into all of that, it is important to take a moment to reflect on the run of Pictures of You, what some of our audience members thought of the show, and how how much our Opening Night rocked! We were thrilled to have a number of VIP’s there, from Premier Helen Zille, to MP Denise Robinson, to Mr & Mrs Nathan Holt of the USA Consulate General, to creative genius Lara Foot, to kick-ass theatre maestro Andrew Buckland, to controversial playwright Peter Septem…I mean, Mike van Graan, to FTH:K’s Executive Committee members, Advisory Board members, Development Committee members, to our wonderful media people, to…We’ll stop the list now lest we are accused of talking too much.  Heaven forbid!  Anyway, thanks to the outstanding photography of Sam Reinders, if you weren’t actually at the Opening Night, you can enjoy it here on our humble blog and by the time you’ve got through the pics, it’ll feel like you were there!

Of course, our Opening Nights are generally full of smiles and happy people, not only because we throw great Opening Nights, but also because they usually include FTH:K supporters.  those who have already drunk the FTH:K Cool Aid, so to speak.  So how about hearing from audience members who came to watch the show throughout the run, and were moved to leave comments on our wall. 

Many comments were short and to-the-point, like: C’est Magnifique!!, Mind – blowing, BRILLIANT, WOW!, Amazing, Poetic, Intriguing!!, Poignant!, Deeply moving, Awesome & ingenious, Beautiful, Haunting, Remarkable!!, Magical and inspirational!!, Beautiful visual storytelling, Pictures of awesomeness, and (an FTH:K favourite) Freaking sick!  But there were also comments that were longer and spoke of deeper responses to the performance:

  • I have no idea or words to explain what I just witnessed. Phenomenal!!
  • Riveting theatre, quite remarkable performers. Brilliant portrayal of theatre @ its best
  • Never saw better stuff (listened with my heart)
  • I loved every minute! You have taught me so much in that 1 hour, will never forget!
  • Mind boggling, captivating & enthralling!!! Brilliant stuff
  • Brilliant. Excellent performance. We had to use our heads and hearts
  • Oh, oh, oh! I wanted to come and see this show for such a longs time and now finally…WOW- Amazing!
  • Why not? Let’s never let your dream go away! I believe!
  • Pictures of You, Pictures of Me?
  • So close to home. Thank you for portraying something so real
  • You make us keep coming back again and again. Thank you!
  • A ride of anxiety, tension, laughter – brilliance and power without words
  • You guys rock my world!

And then the comments that wow us most – for obvious reasons:

  • Even better than the first time!
  • Second time around. Love It!!!
  • Excellent!!! For the second time
  • 2nd time – still compelling…hear a pin drop STUFF
  • Amazing! Seen it before and coming to see it again! Deeply moving! LOVELY!
  • Beautiful – this is my second time and my friends third!
  • 4th Viewing…and just as brilliant as before

So, to everyone who came to support us once, twice, three times a lady, know that FTH:K is giving you great waving hands of gratitude!  We know that without people who want to see what we do, we would amount to very little.  We look forward to seeing you again in the theatre…


Champagne glassesSo, you know us as a theatre company, right?  As a damn fine theatre company no less.  Right??  Right.  But that doesn’t mean that we don’t do other stuff as well that is linked with the awesome theatre that we make.  Enter Mingles Night.

Given that we believe that going to the theatre should be a social event (as well as mental, visual and emotional stimulation, of course) we devised an evening including theatre, champagne and speed dating.  And single people, of course!  You may remember that we held our first Mingles Night in February during our run of Pictures of You at the Baxter Theatre, in preparation for the impending Valentine’s Day.  Well, we’ve developed it, tweaked it, and made it even better, and on Friday 13th November, alongside our run of QUACK!, we will be holding our second Mingles Night – and it’s going to be a lot of fun!

The evening will include drinks, snacks and great theatre, and of course, Speed Dating – in a more formalised form to last time.  Thanks everyone who gave us feedback from the last event!

Now, you may not be single but we can bet you have friends who are, so tell them, spread the word, because the more people we have, the more chance there is of meeting someone you might want to see more of.

There are only 70 tickets in total up for sale, 35 male/female, and once they are sold, they are sold.  So if you know you want to be there, book soonest!  All tickets are priced at R70 and the event will run as below:

6:30 – 7:00 pm: Registration, drinks and snacks
7:00 – 7:30 pm: Meet & Greet
7:45 – 8:45 pm: QUACK!
9:00 – 10:00 pm: Speed Dating

To get an idea of who will be there (gender, age etc) please let us know if you are planning to come and how many people you will be bringing. All bookings to be made through the FTH:K office on 021 – 448 2838 or

This just in from FTH:K’s Artistic Director, straight from the National Arts Festival:

“Pictures of You was the highest grossing theatre production on the Fringe at Festival this year!  And not only that, but 12th highest on the Fringe across all categories, clocking in healthily behind the comics and other comedies that routinely dominate sales.”

This rocks!  Rocks!  Rocks!

Read what else he has to say about it here.  Me, I’m still focussing on how much this rocks…

Frank contemplates the show's 50th birthday Yip, can you believe it?!  Pictures of You had its 50th performance yesterday and according to Artistic Director, Rob Murray, it’s best ever!!  It is so great to have the Company achieving such success at the National Arts Festival, even if it is a little hard being so far away from everyone while it is all happening.  It makes me so so so proud of who we are and what we do, and I recognise once more how lucky we are to be in the position that we are.  So THANK YOU to all of you who gave us a hand up in our journey here.  Big love and respect.

To hear more about the 50th performance, straight from the horses’ mouths – although, with no disrespect to our performing horses – click here to go to the Conspiracy blog.

…is that FTH:K rocks!!  Ok, I may be a little biased there BUT the work we are making is obviously doing something right.  Pictures of You is playing to sold-out houses and now QUACK! is following suit.  It’s awesome!!Pictures of You - Frank and Janet in bed

On Pictures of You, CUE writes: “This is a powerfully intense drama…Sound and light are ingeniously exploited to create the atmosphere which kept the audience spellbound by a gripping display of incredible acting for more than an hour.  This team are experienced entertainers, and a must see for all festinos.” and calls the show “captivating…whimsical…a dainty delicacy, to be cradled, adored, and treasured”. Click here to see the additional plug in the Argus Tonight!

And if you didn’t get a chance to see it in Grahamstown, don’t panic!  You can catch it at the Witness Hilton Arts Festival in September.

Q official pic long QUACK! is making waves too, also playing to sold-out houses.  It might not be perfect but it is capturing imaginations and everyone seems to agree that it is heading for great things.

CUE says: “A new offering from Khulumakahle – and another success.  Join the talented performers in an afro-noir story which requires no words, and start to listen with your eyes as the physical vocabulary and soundscape capture your imagination.  This is fresh, exciting theatre – different from anything you’ve seen before.”

Click here to read the festival review on ARTSblog, and don’t forget to check the Conspiracy Blog for more Festival updates.

So, now, aren’t you glad you know us?!

Just a quick post to tell you to have a look at the Conspiracy blog to see how the FTH:K team is doing at the National Arts Festival.  Our best pre-show ticket sales ever!