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Wednesday, November 20, 2019


(Evita Bezuidenhout & Pieter-Dirk Uys)

 Throughout the thoroughly entertaining hour and forty minutes of #HeTwo (with no interval), Uys interacts with the on-screen Evita, so that both characters are - very believably - on stage at the same time. (Review by Barry Meehan)

What can one say about the comedic genius of Pieter-Dirk Uys that has not been said previously in countless reviews of his shows over the years? Well, for me it would be the way he – seemingly effortlessly – comes up with a different angle or “hook” for his latest show offering.

#HeTwo (loosely inspired by the #MeToo phenomenon that took the social media world by storm recently) certainly “hooks” his audience as he opens with a David Attenborough impersonation, announcing the death of Uys’s alter-ego, Evita Bezuidenhout. Can this be real, wonders the audience? But then, is Tannie Evita herself real? To so many South Africans, she might well have been, as she played a hugely important role in the development of our fledgling democracy, taking swipe after swipe at politicians and especially bad politics.

The show is actually a tribute to Evita and her long career, and is told by a variety of characters – Uys himself, PW Botha, Pik Botha, Piet Koornhof, kugel Noelle Fine (his first drag character) Evita’s coloured char and many others, all interspersed with some wonderful clips from shows and TV throughout the years.

Wonderful memories are brought back to us with some of these clips, including:

           Excerpts from Adapt or Dye, in which Evita made her first appearance at the Market Theatre in Johannesburg
           Evita’s Artes Awards speech (she thought it was the Saries!)
           Her famous speech at the Teddy Awards in Berlin (“Ich bien ein Afrikaner”)
           Her privileged interview at Tuinhuis with Nelson Mandela – obviously a great fan of Evita’s – while the French President and the head of the IOC were waiting to meet with him
           The launch of her perfume – “Jou Moer”, along with the version for men “Jou Moer Hom” and the variant for older ladies “Jou Ma se Moer”

To me, the most entertaining of the clips were the title sequences from her TV series Funigalore and Funigalore II, the first series featuring her and Pik Botha smiling coyly and enticingly at each other across a scrabble board, on which they spelled out the name of her guest for the evening’s interview, along with her and Pik’s names, featuring a hysterical moment as Pik’s name is corrected. The second series featured Piet Koornhof and Evita in a scene reminiscent of Dangerous Liaisons in powdered wigs and French court dress, casting lascivious looks at each other across a period ballroom. How Uys/Evita talked these political figures into their roles on Funigalore is not explained, but it was pure genius.

Throughout the thoroughly entertaining hour and forty minutes of #HeTwo (with no interval), Uys interacts with the on-screen Evita, so that both characters are - very believably - on stage at the same time. There is even a sequence towards the end where Uys, in full drag as Evita, carries on a conversation with the on-screen Evita as to who or what is real. That’s for you to figure out, folks.

While we can sit and laugh at Uys’s antics on-stage, there is a genuine message to be gleaned from this production – free speech and freedom of expression is paramount in any democracy, and while South Africa has come a long way, there is still so much to be done, and every one of us has to play his/her part in creating true social cohesion in our beautiful country. Will there be more in the future from Tannie Evita? We can but hope so. Amandla! Vrystaat!

#HeTwo has four more performances at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre: Thursday and Friday (November 21 and 22) at 19h30 and on Saturday and Sunday (November 23 and 24) at 15h00. If available on the night, tickets can be bought at the door for cash but booking is advised through Computicket. – Barry Meehan