The dark side of BEE explored on Artscape stage

The dark side of BEE explored on Artscape stage

Mike van Graan’s latest play, a dark comedy entitled ‘Just Business’, has come to Artscape after its world premiere at the National Arts Festival. It will show at the Artscape Arena for a limited season until July 28.

‘Just Business’, produced by Artscape, was awarded a Standard Bank Ovation Award for achieving excellence on the 2012 National Arts Fringe and playwright Van Graan was awarded the Standing Ovation Award for “a sustained and ongoing contribution to the National Arts Festival Fringe as both writer and activist”.

A play about Black Economic Empowerment (BEE), ‘Just Business’ received rave reviews in Grahamstown, especially for its off-the-wall humour. It takes a humorous, provocative and uncompromising look at the unscrupulous enrichment and greed in post-1994 South Africa.

Directed by Fred Abrahamse (‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’, ‘Assassins’) the play features Fleur du Cap award winning actor André Jacobs (‘Assassins’, ‘The Normal Heart’) as Hannes van Wyk; Kurt Egelhof (‘The Island’, ‘Brothers in Blood’) as the hit man Mr. September and Mbulelo Grootboom (‘Iago’s Last Dance’, Dame Janet Suzman’s ‘Hamlet’) as Mabuso. Fleur du Cap award winner Marcel Meyer designed both the costumes and the bold set.

First staged as ‘Hostile Takeover’ by the Market Theatre on the main programme of the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown in 2006, the production has been reworked, updated and renamed. The story revolves around Hannes van Wyk who used to work at Foreign Affairs when the “Nats” were in power. After being given a retrenchment package, he now runs a successful “girlie club” called African Delights that provokes the interest of a BEE company, Mabuso and Associates and their Chinese business partners. Van Wyk is not particularly interested in sharing African Delights with anyone, African, Chinese or otherwise. This makes him the target of a hostile takeover, which is where the “removals company” and hit man come in.

* ‘Just Business’ runs on Tuesdays at 7.30pm and from Wednesdays to Saturdays at 8.15pm. Tickets range from R50 to R85 via Computicket. Additional special ticket offers are available on specific show dates with details via Artscape’s box office on 021 421 7695.