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Thursday, February 28, 2013


(Pieter-Dirk Uys invites his audience to choose any box to reveal a character)

This much loved master satirist is undoubtedly a national treasure. (Review by Keith Millar)

Words such as icon, legend or idol are far too easy to use when describing popular sportsmen, musicians and performers. However in the case of Pieter-Dirk Uys, they seem almost inadequate to describe the enormous impact this author, actor and social activist has had on the entertainment industry in our country for the past 45 years.

This much loved master satirist is undoubtedly a national treasure.

An Audience with Pieter-Dirk Eish starts with 15 numbered boxes on stage. Random members of the audience are invited to select a number and out of each box appears one of the many characters made famous by Uys. The result is that the show is different every night, but rest assured it will always be topical, relevant and hilariously funny.

First on stage last night was Winnie Mandela. Dressed in her usual ethnic outfit and with small car tyres as bangles, she relates her role in the history of our country. She then morphs into Robert Mugabe’s wife Grace, who sings Old Mugabe Wants Your Farm, He Hi He Hi Ho to the tune of Old MacDonald.

Out of Box Number 1 came an angry Boeremag member who is struggling to survive in our modern democracy. He was followed by Nelson Mandela who was portrayed with not a little reverence and respect. He is accompanied by the other ANC State Presidents, Thabo Mbeki, Kgalema Motlanthe and finally Jacob Zuma in a shower cap.

Uys’ impersonation of Arch Bishop Desmond Tutu is one of his best. He depicts this great humanitarian with obvious affection and considerable humour. Not much affection was weighted, however, for the parade of National Party leaders which were next. All chanted their rhetoric and hate speech to the tune of the old national anthem. We also met white liberal Kugel Nowell Fine who was preparing to appear before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. She seemed confused by what is happening in her beloved ANC and country.

Finally Uys offered a tribute to the much-loved Helen Suzman as she faced and bettered the mighty National Party in Parliament.

All that and we didn’t even get to see Tanie Evita, Bambie Kellerman, Pik Botha or Julies Malema! It certainly seems as if another visit to this show is in the cards.

In a celebration of free speech Pieter-Dirk Uys, helps us laugh at our sacred cows, our uncertain future and to embrace our young democracy. At the same time he voices real concern for issues such as HIV AIDs, threats to freedom of expression and the Protection of State Information Bill.

An Audience with Pieter-Dirk Uys will always be hugely entertaining and very funny. However, you will also be educated in matters which are highly significant and thought-provoking. The show runs at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre at UKZN until March 10 with shows Tuesdays to Saturdays at 20h00 (Sundays at 15h00). Tickets R140 booked through Computicket on0861 915 8000 or – Keith Millar