I joined a theatre group, the Milnerton Players, a few weeks ago. Before I even met the group I was signed up to do sound for their upcoming production, “Enter a Free Man”, by Tom Stoppard.

Nothing particularly difficult, but I can recommend their technique, which is to lay out the cues and burn them as tracks on a CD. End all sound cues with 15 seconds of silence, and running sound becomes a matter of pressing the track selector and pause button.

During the rehearsal process I just played cues from my laptop - more flexible but not as quick as a CD.

The Milnerton Players have their own theatre - they were given four walls and no roof 16 years ago, and within they built a theatre. It seats just over 100, has a large stage that runs into their storage area, a dressing room, and their own bar, heavily used on show nights ..

Alchohol licences are easy to get / non-existent here. There are official licences, but you can get a ‘shabeen’ licence - the standard front room in someones home that exists all over black South Africa. Now the laws are color-blind ..

Economics are different - royalties are the same, which amount to half the house revenue. But there is always the bar ..

They run about 5 shows a year, 2 weekends apiece, and sell all their tickets through Computicket, which takes about 15%. Advertising is mostly Radio and word-of-mouth.

They have good lighting facilities, but again bulbs are world-price. The director was excellent - Brenda Grey has directing credits for decades around Cape Town. Auditions are open. They have a strong, though older, backstage crew.

They party at the bar after all rehearsals and shows ..

They got uniformly excellent, and well-deserved, reviews for the show. However, running two weekends meant that they have little opportunity to capitalise on them.

Work is crazy as always in the software business - I am about to roll out suite of services based around SMS messaging - text messages to your phone. An important part of it is allowing access to third-party service providers, for things like halftime football scores (to your phone) and horoscopes (to your phone) and share swings of important stocks (to your phone).

We are (now) based on Linux as the operating system, and are opening offices in Australia.

Weather is warming up, and is gorgeous (so far ..). My apartment has a great view over Cape Town and the harbour. Must scan you some pics one of these days - the owner keeps trying to sell the place.

The world watches in bemusement over the Lewinsky saga - somewhat incomprehensible from this side of the pond. How does he get any work done ?

Mandela has just been visiting North America - he pulled the Rand back by 5%.

Been burning candles at both ends for the last couple of weeks - have to catch up on sleep.

Cheers, Andy!