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Monday, January 20, 2014


Show full of insight offering much food for thought. (Review by Keith Millar)

Dette in Africa was one of two productions from the Netherlands which lent an international flavour to the Musho! Festival at the Catalina Theatre this year.

Created and performed by award winning Dutch theatre veteran, Dette Glashouwer, Dette in Africa is an unusual and rather eccentric production. Billed by Glashouwer as “stand-up economy”, essentially what she is presenting is an entertaining and elucidating crash course in economy.

Her interest in the subject of money started when, after many years of been adequately funded, her once very successful theatre company was forced to close down by severe budget cuts. This caused her to investigate the relationship one has with money and to enquire if things could be done differently. Trade or bartering, for example, or a money system that does not use the interest rates charged by banks.

Glashouwer has travelled widely presenting her shows and expounding her theories about money. Most recently, she was in Kenya where she spoke to slum dwellers, visionaries and dealers in phone credit. All these experiences form part of her presentation.

The format of the production was unusual. The initial part was presented in the foyer area of the Catalina Theatre, with Glashouwer dressed in the rather quaint outfit of a 17th century clerk from the Dutch East India Company.

The audience was then asked to move into the theatre where she continued, this time more conventionally dressed. The reason for this move was not clear to me.

Glashouwer is obviously a very experienced and skilled performer. She has great charisma and interacts agreeably with her audience. Throughout, she illustrates her presentation with background music and effects played off a laptop via remote control.

The show itself is full of insight and obviously due to the subject matter offers much food for thought.

However, I was a bit concerned at the end when she offered shares in her production or herself or her concept (I am not sure which) to the audience. What I felt was not clear was whether she was looking for funding to change the world order of things as far as finances and the economy are concerned, or just to fund her own further travels.

Dette in Africa was sponsored by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands through Twist Productions.

The Musho! Festival was presented by PANSA with support from Twist Theatre Development Projects, The KZN Department of Arts and Culture, The Daily News, BASA and the Arts and Culture Trust (ACT). For more details visit – Keith Millar