Interviews

South African Interviews

Tamika Interviews The Cast of ‘February 14th’


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Here’s something that’s on the circuit right now at “The Artscape” in Cape Town and promises to give you a great night of entertainment.  Jeremeo Le Cordeur brings together a group of actors who present on stage a  tale of what is:

“A love story, more or less”…

Gebruary 14th The Artscape

I go behind-the-scenes with some of the cast of “February 14th” and ask ten simple questions:

1. Why did you choose to do February 14th?

2. What is your role in the play?

3. How far from your character in reality is your character in the show?

4. What has been the biggest challenge for you in this role?

5. What would you say is the overriding message of the show?

6. How long did it take you to rehearse?

7. Do you believe in true love?

8. What was your last theatre role?

9. What’s in the pipeline for you?

10. Where can we find you if we fall in love?

Here’s what they had to say:

De Wet Nagel

De-Wet Nagel as “Andrew”

February 14th is a great story that fuses two things I love in the character I portray – acting and music. My character is the music teacher and I get to play on my guitar. I was approached to do this play because I am a musician as well as an actor. Incidentally, I’m actually also a music teacher and I’ve been teaching drum-kit and electric guitar for nearly ten years now. I currently teach at La Rochelle High School in Paarl. The biggest challenge about this role is to make this character as real as possible and to deal with the situation I’m placed in as someone from my position would. As a method actor one could always see it this way; that I’ve been researching this role for ten years. I know that love is not a word or a specific action but the decisions you make and the actions that follow. Love is a choice. We’ve been rehearsing virtually every day for the last two weeks with a few five to eight-hour run through sessions. It’s quite a process to get the right feel and energy among all of the characters that are being sculpted and to fuse their different stories into one cohesive telling of the same concept and the different forms thereof. Yes, undeniably, unequivocally, yes I believe in love! I believe I’ve found my true love. Recently I cast for the roll of “Fernando” in Cardenio currently showing… other than that I do mainly films and a lot of performing with bands and in pubs as a drummer or guitarist.

Find me on Facebook HERE.

Catch me on Twitter at: @MyDarkestDiary

Luke Tyler

Luke Tyler as “Daniel”

I’d been looking to do some theatre for a while, so when Jeremeo approached me I jumped at the opportunity – I’d heard a lot of great things about his previous shows. There are also a lot of really talented actors in the show so it is a privilege to be able to share the stage with them. I play “Daniel” who is an executive assistant trying hard to make his way up the corporate ladder. In terms of how far the character is from me in reality… well, we’re pretty different, but I can relate to his passion. I’d like to think that I’m as smart as he is, but I think he’d win at chess if we every had to play! Haha! The biggest challenge for me has been understanding the duality of Daniel’s mind… he tends to be a very analytic – ‘black and white’ sort of guy – but struggles with a part of him that is impulsive and tends to land him in a lot of grey areas. To me, the overriding message of the show is to appreciate the love you have and to make every day Valentines Day. Because yesterday is gone and tomorrow is never guaranteed. This being a series of vignettes, every group’s rehearsal times varied but for me it was probably about two months that I took to rehearse.

I absolutely believe in finding true love, but often it comes when you least expect it! My last theatre role was when I played “Barry Balding” in my tenth grade One Act Plays! So its been a while! Haha! It’s been a pretty busy ‘silly season’ for me so I may take a small break after this and then who knows? Maybe some more theatre!

Find me on Facebook HERE.

You can get in touch with me on Twitter at: @luketyler_

Clayton Evertson

Clayton Evertson as “Wayne”

I chose to do this play because I saw it as an opportunity to showcase love in a non-stereotypical way. I play an amateur boxer, called “Wayne”. Wayne is my extreme. My biggest challenge has been understanding Wayne’s thought processes with regards to him overcoming his obstacles and his psychological state of mind. For me the overriding message of this show is that love can be good, bad and unfortunate. I’ve been rehearsing since November 2012. Do I believe in finding true love? Definitely. Theatre saw me last when I played “Judas” in a play written by Peter Krummeck called Judas, betrayer or betrayed? In the pipeline for me right now is my one man play, Forgive the Devil, written by myself and directed by Abduragmaan Adams. It will premiere at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown later this year. 

You can find me on Facebook HERE.

Richard Lothian

Richard Lothian as “Owen”

Being a romantic at heart I was intrigued by the idea of exploring the theme of love. I feel we all have our own version of what love is and I’m excited by the challenge of putting such an individual and universal theme onto stage. Also, I wanted the opportunity to share the stage with so many talented actors. I play “Owen”, an IT guy who is the definition of a hopeless romantic; naïve, innocent and ideological! My character and I share certain traits. If anything, I would say Owen is a younger, more naïve version of me. I am slightly more cynical whereas Owen is hopeful to a fault. Because we have such a big cast, the biggest challenge has been to get all of us into a room together to rehearse. For me the overriding message of the show is that love, whether fleeting or eternal, will shape you as a person. I’ve been rehearsing for about a month. I absolutely agree in finding true love in today’s world, but I think your chances of finding true love are directly affected by how much love you are willing to give. Before February 14th I was involved in a two-hander comedy called Cooked which debut at The Grahamstown National Arts Festival in 2012. After Febuary 14th, I’m involved in a production called An Absolute Turkey at Theatre On The Bay directed by Chris Weare, which also tackles the idea of love. 

Find me on Facebook HERE.

And On Twitter at: @RichardLothian

Jeremeo Le Cordeur

Director Jeremeo Le Cordeur as “Kyle”

Why not do a show focusing on love and all it’s tribulations? It’s never been done on stage. I’m writing, directing, producing and acting. I’m very much like the character “Kyle”  in the show. He represents that naive optimism that all young people have. The biggest challenge for me has been the vulnerability. I’m so used to playing strong characters. This is a first for me. For me, the overriding message of the show is to appreciate the love you have and make sure it’s the love you want and deserve. I’ve been rehearsing since November. I do believe in love in today’s world, and that it hits you when you least expect. My last theatre role was when I played “Neil” in Risk. In the pipeline for me at the moment is still juggling doing ZAnews and then prepping for the Grahamstown Festival. Also, I may have another show up my sleeve! 

Find the show on our Facebook page HERE.

Find us on Twitter at: @February_14th

Ambrose Uren

Ambrose Uren as “Justin”

I chose to do February 14th because I love the theme of the play and the character is fun to play as well. I play “Justin” – a delivery boy who is single and looking to hook up with someone on Valentines Day. The difference between myself and Justin is that he is way more assertive and confident with ladies! He’s cheeky, has no inhibitions and he’s a smooth talker. The biggest challenge for me in this role was getting that confidence to just walk up to a lady and say what’s on your mind. Justin does that with ease. For me, the message of the show is that love is not just for Valentines Day but for every other day as well. I’ve been rehearsing for three months. YES I do believe in true love 🙂 My last theatre role was in a dance production called This Little Light Of MineIn the pipeline for me are some stand-up comedy gigs and I’m writing a show as well. 

You can get me on Facebook HERE.

And on Twitter at: @AmbroseUren.

Justin & Nadia

Be sure to catch it at The Artscape until 16 February.

Booking is at The Artscape Box Office and Computicket outlets.

“February 14th” Proudly brought to you by Vulture Productions. 

Vulture Productions

South African Interviews

Tamika Interviews Benita Allen


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Sitting down to do an interview with Benita Allen of “Chica-Loca!” , I’m  overwhelmed with her energy, charisma and creativity. This stylish young designer has a string of awards behind her name, as well as a flourishing boutique in Cavendish Square, Cape Town. She also has outlets in Johannesburg and – lucky for us- sells her clothes online! It’s hard to imagine this mom-of-one finds the time to run a successful label, manage a shop, spit out new designs every month, dress celebrities, attend swanky events and spearhead the marketing and promotions of her brand! We order our lattes from Vida E and get to work on the interview. If you would like to check the “Chica-Loca!” Facebook Page, click HERE.

Chica Loca Benita Allen
Benita Allen in white
Chica Loca Benita Allen
Kia Johnson and Benita Allen

Tamika: Where are you from originally?

Benita: Cape Town.

Tamika: Where did you go to school?

Benita: Springfield.

Tamika: What kind of training did you do for design, if any?

Benita: I studied a Bachelor of Fine Arts at the University of Cape Town. I dropped out of that and attended the Kalk Bay School of Fine Arts. I also did a course in oil painting at that time. After my studies were competed, I travelled for five years and tried my hand at various things. I was an artist for a bit, a P.A., I worked in advertising, and so on. I then focused more on fashion specifically and completed a diploma in Fashion Design at the Cape Town College of Fashion. That was three years. After that I immediately started up Chica-Loca! around 2004.

Tamika: When did your label start and where can we find your clothes?

Benita: In 2004. So it’s been going for 9 years. You can find the clothes in Cavendish Square, Cape Town, and also at Egality at 25 4th Avenue, Parkhurst, Johannesburg. I also stock online at 36Boutiques.

Chica Loca Benita Allen

Tamika: Where did you find the money for your first collection or even outfit that you designed – parents, fundraising events?

Benita: I started off designing a range of tops for Crayon Shoes – they hosted private shoe parties. I sold at their invitation-only events until I was approached by Kim from India Jane at one of the parties. She took on my entire collection in all three of her boutiques and things took off from there! I got my name Chica-Loca! because it’s Spanish for “crazy girl”. I studied Spanish and I liked the phrase!

Tamika: What are your influences, mainly? What are you inspired by?

Benita: I have a fabric-first philosophy. I find fabric that I like first, and then I’m inspired to design my clothes.

Chica Loca Benita Allen

Tamika: What’s in the pipeline for you at the moment – what collection, fashion show, event etc.?

Benita: I’m very excited about stocking at Egality. Also with our newest input which has gone into 36Boutiques.

Tamika: Have you won any awards?

Benita: When Design Indaba started a few years ago, I was one of the featured young designers. We’ve been nominated for a lot of fashion awards over the years since then and have also received a lot of media.

Tamika: What designer do you look up to?

BenitaMary Katrantzou.

Chica Loca Benita Allen

Tamika: Are you planning on staying in South Africa?

Benita: I have no set plans on staying in South Africa.

Tamika: Where do you party, usually?

Benita: I don’t! Haha! I attend functions and special occasions.

Tamika: What’s in the boot of your car right now?

Benita: My five-year-old’s drawings!

Tamika: Do you have siblings?

Benita: Yes, one brother.

Tamika: What does your family do?

Benita: My dad has a car body shop and my mom works with me. She does the accounts.

Tamika: What’s a typical day for you?

Benita: I take Scarlett to school first, then I go to my studio above The Lot in Kloof Street. I source fabrics, do admin, plan, design and work! work! work!

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Tamika: Where do you see yourself in ten years from now?

Benita: I would like to continue establishing Chica-Loca! as a successful brand and achieve some real success nationwide and internationally.

Tamika: What’s one interesting thing about you that your followers don’t you?

Benita: I’m obsessed with mixed martial arts!

Tamika: Name a place you love.

Benita: I love walking my dog anywhere.

Tamika: Do you do any charity work?

Benita: I do contribute to a few charities regularly but I could do more! I am very involved in any events that empower women. I support animal anti cruelty – animals are very close to my heart.

Tamika: What do you tell yourself when you have finished your latest work/creation?

Benita: “What next!?”

Chica Loca Benita Allen

Chica-Loca Benita Allen