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Sunday, July 30, 2017


This wonderful trip down memory lane is a treasure and definitely a show not to be missed. (Review by Dawn Haynes)

Sitting on a stool and talking for almost two hours may seem an unusual way to entertain, but not if the person on the stool is Pieter Dirk Uys!

In his new show, The Echo of a Noise, Uys talks openly and honestly about his own life, his family, his formative years. This is an amazing glimpse into what created one of the most influential performers in South Africa.

Starting with his experiences as a boy of six years singing in church, the complexities of his family are revealed. With a strict Afrikaans father whose only desire was to play his piano but instead had to work daily in an office, and his mother, also a talented pianist, who was a German Jew who had to flee Berlin at the start of World War 1, his sister Tessa, a concert pianist and the lovable Malay housekeeper, Sannie, we become part of his family as his life story unfolds.

He speaks honestly and openly about his difficulties coping with a lack of understanding from his father, the unexpected suicide of his mother and his decision to follow a career in drama instead of getting a “job with a steady salary”. His devotion to Sophia Loren is refreshing and his sincere friendship with her was often his lifebelt. His clashes with the Publications Board and his journey from acting, to playwright, to satirist and finally to Evita, allow us an insight into this remarkable man who has definitely left his imprint on millions.

The people who influenced him are all there and they come to life as his subtle changes create each character during the narrative. For those of us who grew up in Apartheid South Africa with Springbok Radio as our main form of entertainment, the memories of this era flooded back. We laughed with him as we recalled similar moments in our own lives.

This reflective style of theatre is demanding on the performer, but Uys is a master story teller whose characters are always entertaining and at the same time often poignant. This wonderful trip down memory lane is a treasure and definitely a show not to be missed. - Dawn Haynes

The Echo of a Noise runs at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre until August 6. Booking is at Computicket.