national Arts Festival Banner

Saturday, June 26, 2010


Barbie Meyer presents entertaining programme of Herman Charles Bosman stories. (Review by Caroline Smart)

With a veldhoed atop her blonde bob, a shapeless sleeveless white T-shirt and baggy khaki bush pants as well as couple of ironic snorts to establish the character, Barbie Meyer sets about entertaining her audiences with some of Herman Charles Bosman stories on the fringe programme of the current National Arts Festival in Grahamstown.

Oom Schalk Lourens, for a start. Why slave away on the fields during the ploughing season? Far better to sit on the riempie stool on the stoep drinking coffee (perhaps laced with something a little stronger) and gaze with benevolence on those who are being paid to do the work for you – and wait until the ploughing season is over!

The story goes on to involve John de Swart, a laid-back painter who pitched his tent nearby, and only wants to paint the veld – with no concrete in sight. Then there’s Oom’s arch enemy Frantz Veldman who had the nerve to vote against him at committee level!

In between the stories, Barbie Meyer becomes herself to tell us about Bosman and his writing – in which she raises the interesting point that Bosman loved Latin and hated the disappearance of it in the school curriculum.

Then came the story of the inmates of a mental asylum, who overpowered the management and usurped the running of the institution. This was followed – with much thigh slapping and male bonhomie - by the tale of one Manie Kruger, master of the concertina, and his biggest fan Letta Steyn.

Under Bets Basson’s direction, the stories are told with respect to Herman Charles Bosman’s writing, while extracting all the humour that it contains. Barbie Meyer will present Durban’s own Bosman Festival, which aims to be an annual event, at Rhumbelow Theatre from July 23 to 25 and again from July 30 to August1. More information on email: – Caroline Smart