Tag Archives: Observatory

Between You & Me

19 Aug

Director: Tara Louise Notcutt

Relationships make good entertainment and art because they are a never-ending cause for reflection, disgust, comedy, interest and, of course, drama. Directed by Tara Louise Notcutt, Between You & Me takes the old formula of dissecting a stale relationship and modernises it, at times it seems for the M-TV generation, (well, those members with brains).

Tarn de Villiers and Jaco Notnagel are the couple and the play opens with them across from each other at a massive dining room table. The tension in the air is palpable as Henry (Notnagel) asks, “How was your day?” of a clearly distressed Cara (de Villiers). Literally, I could hear myself swallow. This tension is sustained throughout the play, something which I imagine is not easy to accomplish.

Rather than serving up the entire relationship, Notcutt gives movie montage-like scenes which create a short hand for the couple’s first meeting and other various parts of the relationship, interspersed with the deterioration of their conversation and thus their intimacy. These montages are largely movement pieces set to a range of contemporary alternative songs and this is where the play becomes part MTV. The use of movement between the actors is integral in showing their relationship, but each movement piece (which shows Tarn de Villiers to be a very flexy and talented dancer) was too long, too repetitive (though the repetition was not lost on me) and too much like a music video. The exception to this is the last one, which is perfect in showing the final climax of the couple’s relationship.

The dialogue was one of my favourite parts of the play. There is a tension between De Villier’s English and Notnagel’s Afrikaans, but what they say is down-to-earth and very, very real. Almost too real in fact, as I, scarily, realised I had had many similar conversations before. Part of the reason for this good dialogue is that the script was work shopped by the company, which produced a rounded script with clearly real experience. Jon Keevy provided two monologues for the script and these too have an ear for real conversation.

The set is also interesting and a different experience to watching a play in a traditional theatre. Between You & Me is in a church hall and places the audience in two rows on either side of the dining room table, facing each other. The actors share their attention equally with both side of the audience and the movement pieces were as beautiful no matter which side of the actors I could see. At times I was worried about the dining room table (a lot of action takes place on top of it) but I was assured afterwards of its sturdiness,

All in all, Between You & Me is a play well worth seeing, at only R20 and running at 1 hour, it is a good investment and will definitely provide you with reflection, disgust, comedy, interest and, of course, drama.

Directed by Louise Notcutt, Starring Jaco Notnagel and Tarn de Villiers,Methodist Church Hall, Cnr Milton and Wesley Rd, ObservatoryShowing 17th -21st  August, 8 pm.

The Old Biscuit Mill, continued

17 Aug

And now for the food, because everyone knows that you have to head to the Old Biscuit Mill on an empty stomach. Be prepared to find it difficult to choose between crepes, rostis, fresh fish, bagels, samoosas and all manner of foods just waiting to be discovered. Here are a few of my favourite food stalls:

 Ocean Jewels

Tuna and burgers have never really rung true for me, but what a mistake that was. Ocean Jewel makes succulent tuna steaks on a roll with a teeny bit of salad and mayonnaise. The tuna is perfect – just a little more cooked than seared and warm in the centre. Each bite is soft and tasty. Yum! And only R25.

If you don’t like the idea of tuna on bread, then there are tuna noodles to try: egg noodles with tuna steak cubes and soy sauce – equally lovely.

Fresh fish is also available from Ocean Jewels and you can order from them during the week too.

New York Bagel

The revamped New York Bagel in Sea Point is lacklustre compared to their old store. But at least their bagels remain the same. The best part about their stall at the Biscuit Mill is that you can choose your type of bagel, from plain or onion and then delicious sweet ones like honey and oat.

For me, I love the traditional lox (smoked salmon) and cream cheese bagel, with a squeeze of lemon, optional pickle (no, thank you!) and a twist of fresh black pepper –  R35, not too bad considering the price of smoked salmon in Pick’n’ Pay (a travesty).

Bagels also have the added bonus of being easy to eat while walking around the market, leaving your mind free to soak up the atmosphere, and one hand to try the testers at some of the stalls.

 Princess Pesto

 Garlic, basil, parmesan, pine nuts, olive oil – Pesto combines everything good in life. And when you add olives or rocket or walnuts, life can only get better!

Princess Pesto is available at most good grocery stores, but the large pots of tasters with little squares of brown bread are my first stop at the Biscuit Mill every time I visit. The prices are also much more reasonable than at shops. Dip, taste, and smile! My favourite pesto is rocket and walnut, but olive fans will probably fall in love the Greek pesto.

 Queen of Tarts

Cupcakes are something of an obsession for me. Especially ones decorated with panache. Queen of Tarts takes cupcakes and cakes to a whole new level. Her creations are beautiful. Meringue icing, sweetie pie topping, hearts, chocolate ganache and all things nice make up the table of the stall at the Biscuit Mill. The cupcakes are really decadent, but they will go so well with your coffee after wandering around and tasting all the savoury goodies on offer.

Queen of Tarts has a store in Observatory, a range of baking books and does catering for functions. And don’t be deceived by their name – the savoury tarts are just as good as the sweet!

 Queen of Tarts: Old Biscuit Mill on Saturdays, Shop: 213 Lower Main Road, Observatory, 021 448-2420 Monday to Saturday