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Tuesday, January 15, 2013


(Pieter-Dirk Uys)

The Barnyard Theatre at Gateway is bringing back South Africa’s king (or should that be queen) of satire, Pieter-Dirk Uys, for two shows only on January 26 and 27. This time he will be presenting his latest offering Adapt Or Fly, his one-man show that has taken South Africa by storm.

Tannie Evita, Juju, Pik Botha, Nowell Fine, Mrs Petersen, the old Krokodil, Madiba and our dancing Prez are coming to put the smile back on faces. In a time of depression, recession, fear and anger, what is better and more healing than a good laugh at the expense of those who depress, recess, frighten and annoy us?

Reflecting the past year of radical change in South Africa through political paralysis, from the R100 million rand ANC centenary celebration in January, right up that long winding road to end up in Mangaung, the ruling party was be too busy fighting each other for personal wealth and political power to bother themselves about running a country up, or down. Do we now face another year of non-action in preparation for the 2014 General Election? Do we adapt? Or do we fly?

Some 30 years ago, Uys started his total onslaught against careless, corrupt and unacceptable politics. Apartheid might officially be dead today, but the careless, corrupt and unacceptable political crooks and clowns are still dancing centre-stage.

Adapt Or Fly is a personal political comedy-trek along a familiar long tiptoe to freedom, through the minefields of racism and sexism that have always made up the tarmac of South Africa’s political freeway. Laughter at fear has always been Uys’s trademark, from the darkness of his first one-man show in 1982 Adapt Or Dye, to the dazzling kaleidoscope of rainbow colours in this 2013 show, Adapt Or Fly.

Uys is joining his chorus-line of characters that include a motley medley of past National Party leaders (DF Malan, JG Strydom, HF Verwoerd, BJ Vorster, PW Botha and FW de Klerk), balanced with the more familiar quartet of ANC Presidents from Nelson Mandela, via Thabo Mbeki, through Khalema Motlanthe to Jacob Zuma and beyond. The Malema nickname- Kidi Amin - does come to mind, but then also the question … “Julius who?”

Kugel Nowell Fine enjoys her 35 years as the ultimate Jewish African Princess with a look at her now in her 70’s, as well as a glance back at the 1985 Nowell, young, blonde and deep in a liberal white struggle with her maid Dora. And then there is, of course, Evita Bezuidenhout waiting to embrace her job as chairperson of the proposed Media Tribunal as a new member of the ANC.

It is said when history repeats itself, it can take tragedy and turn it into farce. So banish the blues. Come and enjoy the blacks, whites, browns, yellows and “others” that make up this unique country of our dreams. As long as we can laugh at our fear, we are still in charge of our future.

Adapt or Fly will have a performance on January 26 at 20h00 and on January 27 at 14h00. Tickets R140 pp and for bookings and enquiries, phone The Barnyard Theatre on 031 566 3045 or visit For further information e-mail or visit