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Thursday, May 9, 2019


(Benny Bushwhacker (aka Ben Voss).)

The Republic of South Africa proudly welcomes home, Benny Bushwhacker, world renowned conservationist, environmental campaigner, and the only man to have thrice walked the length of Africa barefoot. The legend returns to share what it takes to survive the African bush … and for the African bush to survive.

The genial South African born, Benny Bushwhacker (aka Ben Voss), who recently made world headlines for banging heads with swashbuckling British survivalist, Bear Grylls, will be touring South Africa’s theatres and festivals with an hilarious yet sobering look at the collision between man and environment. For somebody who has spent more time away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life than a hibernating Arctic wood frog, Benny Bushwhacker brings untainted humanity and delicious humour to his performance that will have you laughing out loud and wondering why, when it comes to the bush, the most uncommon human trait, is common sense.

Whether it be his opinion on changing the Springbok emblem, how to spot a bullshitter in Kruger, or the relative chances of his estranged wife, Brenda, replacing the buffalo in the Big 5, Benny delivers time and again with his unique sense of humour and classic bush logic. 

While touring South Africa Benny Bushwhacker will be raising awareness and moola for the Lebombo Leopard - Human Conflict Survey. And while leopards are not known to change their spots, through this initiative, Benny will try to help humans to do so.

Benny Bushwhacker’s stories and experiences have been translated from bush to page by his unofficial biographer, John van de Ruit (of Spud fame), and from page to stage by the lioness of theatre, Janice Honeyman.

Ben Voss is an actor, comedian, writer and producer. He was schooled at South Africa’s first non-racial school and has a degree in mechanical engineering as well as a B-Com honours in Human Resources. He has written, produced and starred in the hit shows Green Mamba (2006), Black Mamba (2008) and Mamba Republic (2017). These shows toured in over 10 countries and scooped all South Africa’s major theatre awards. However, Ben is perhaps best known for his alter-ego Beauty Ramapeleple who has been a regular voice on Jacaranda FM, East Coast Radio as well as the Roger  Goode show on 5Fm. His two stage productions, Bend it like Beauty and Beauty and the BEE both toured the country and had acclaimed runs at London’s Oval House theatre. Ben’s most recent movie credits include Mr Lilly in the Spud series. He played the lead in Robert Fraser’s Game and the supporting lead in Craig Friemond’s Beyond the River –b oth released in 2017.He also produced the theatrical spectacular Wickedly Odd –The Night Garden in conjunction with the Durban Botanic Gardens and played Evil Queen Hildagona in Janice Honeyman’s 2018 Snow White Pantomime. In 2019 her eleases his new alter ego–Benny Bushwhacker

John van de Ruit is an actor, playwright and author who was been educated at Michaelhouse and received a Master’s degree in Drama and Performance studies from The University of KwaZulu-Natal. His highly successful stage shows of Green Mamba, Black Mamba and Mamba Republic (in collaboration with Ben Voss) performed to sell-out audiences around South Africa as well as receiving numerous awards.

His debut novel, Spud, has been a publishing phenomenon in South Africa, smashing all local publishing records and was awarded the Bookseller’s choice award in 2006. Following Spud’s release in September 2005, Spud - the Madness Continues (April 2007) has been hot on its heels, also receiving rave reviews and both books have since been published in The USA and UK as well as being translated into Italian (Patata) Russian (Manek) and Portuguese (Cotoco). The penultimate book in the side-splitting series, Spud - Learning to Fly was released in June 2009. This novel received the Bookseller’s choice award 2010. The last book in the series, Spud - Exit Pursued by a Bear was released in South Africa in August 2012. Spud has crept into the hearts of readers across the world and was recently placed 11th on Exclusive Book’s “101 books to read before you die”.

A feature film of John’s first novel, Spud, was released in Southern Africa in December 2010 starring John Cleese as the eccentric Guv and Troye Sivan in the title role. The movie debuted at number one at the South African box office and is now being distributed internationally. Also available in December 2010 was The Making of Spud the Movie and How a Wickedly Splendid Plan Came Together written in conjunction with the film’s producer, Ross Garland. A film based on Spud - The Madness Continues was on screens nationwide in June 2013. The film of Spud – Learning to Fly released in November 2014.

John has been working on his new novel which is due to hit the shelves in 2020. He is also in collaboration with Voss on their new comedy, Benny Bushwhacker, which will tour South Africa.

Book soon for this wonderful look at life on the wild side, because, like the rhinos of Africa, you never know if you will get the chance to see it again.

Benny Bushwhacker runs at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre Durban from July 29 to August 11, 2019, and then at the Hexagon Theatre in Pietermaritzburg from November 4 to 9, 2019. The duration is one hour 15 minutes, no interval

Tickets R150 (R100 child (3 to 18 years) and R120 block bookings of 8 or more). Booking is through Computicket.

Age Restriction - NO under 3s or babies on laps

Benny Bushwhacker starts off his national tour at the National Arts Festival in Makhanda (Grahamstown),