Some people have called it a red carpet parade of icons and aikonas.
Some have said it was a history lesson combined with an episode of ‘Idols’.
And an elderly kugel again nasally complained that she didn’t know why Uys still did his character of Nowell Fine, “because I don’t know anyone who talks like that. I swear to God.”
‘An Audience with Pieter-Dirk EISH!’ will usher in the Cape Town-born playwright, satirist, actorvist and, in this case, stage-manager’s 70th year. He’s been doing this ‘thing’ for so long, some people even call it a career. And for the first time his focus is not just on the glitter and glamour of the stage, but the laughter and excitement of the audience. Members of every night’s celebration of South African humour will have a chance to choose a numbered box. PDU will then share the character, the story and the uniqueness of this presentation which will be different at every performance.
On the red carpet of fame and infamy Theatre on the Bay will host familiar legendary Uys characters like Tannie Evita Bezuidenhout, Nowell Fine, bergies and Bothas. A white racist voter from 1985 morphs into a white conservative voter in 2015, still thinking the same politically-incorrect thoughts, but grateful for the job his BEE bosses have given him. ‘Cyril for President’ is what the Big Issue vendor suggests, while an tired member of the Cape Minstrels shares a bitter-sweet ode to the Mother City. Mrs Petersen from the Cape Flats, already beloved by many in the Cape, is having to fill in the complicated UK tourist visa form to go and see her family in Manchester, while Nelson’s warder at the old Vic Verster Prison waits for buses of tourists to arrive as the Robben Island boats are still broken. A sinister Grace Mugabe shares her ambitions to be Zimbabwe’s Numgber One in song, while Winnie, the mother of the nation, demands an audition before she allows a white satirist to make fun of a black majority. Evita’s sister Bambi Kellermann isn’t shy about talking more than birds and bees, and Madiba recalls the once-revered total transparency of ANC policy.
While Uys was heavily censored during the apartheid era, he ironically refers to the Publications Control Board as his PR Department who corrected the way he misspelt certain Afrikaans four letter words.
President Zuma showers everyone with smiles and good stories that few will believe, while some memorable reminders of what horrors the past got away with, will make one wonder if history is in fact repeating itself in South Africa behind our backs.
‘An Audience with Pieter-Dirk EISH’ is a unique way to remember where we come from and to celebrate where we are going. There will be twenty boxes to choose from, so a few visits to the Theatre on the Bay between Wednesday, February 18 and Saturday, March 14, might allow you a grand slam of Uys’s complete satirical cluster.
Performances will take place from Mondays to Saturdays, at 8pm; and Saturdays, March 7 and 14, at 5.30pm and 8pm.
Bookings are open at Computicket.