Nine stages, 250 TV sets, 60 acts

 

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Jacobus van Heerden sneaks up on Karen van Pletzen and Hlengiwe Angel in a scene from Over Exposed. Picture by Sean Laurenz

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BY BILLY SUTER

Twenty questions for Durban’s JACOBUS VAN HEERDEN, who forms part of Over Exposed, a site-specific, interactive performance art experience from David Gouldie, to be held at Durban’s Rivertown Shed – 130 Stalwart Simelane (Stanger) Street – at 7.30 nightly from January 26 to 29. It’s a collaboration of art, dance, video, fashion, music, poetry, lighting and sound by the city’s brightest, craziest and most daring artists. Iconic Springbok Radio show, Squad Cars, will set the stage for an interactive Murder Mystery Whodunnit.

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Jacobus van Heerden, third from right, in the recent Wickedly Odd at Durban’s Botanic Gardens.

Sixty artists will appear in the multi-media journey of discovery incorporating nine stages, 12 projector screens, 250 television sets and a cast of Durban’s best and the hottest DJs. Durban artists involved include Veranda Panda, Caroline Smart, Karen van Pletzen, The Durban Gospel Choir, DJs Rooineck and Dumi, South Jersey PomPoms, Flatfoot Dance Company, Sean Laurenz and Michael Broderick. Tickets (R150) are available from TicketWeb. No under-18s. A VIP after-party at S43 is included in the price.Parking is available at the Durban ICC. For more information go to: www.davidgouldiepresents.co.za

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Jacobus van Heerden in his hit solo show, Superchop.

PUTTING JACOBUS VAN HEERDEN ON THE SPOT

WHAT IS YOUR ROLE IN OVER EXPOSED – AND WHY IS IT A MUST-DO EVENT?

I am handling the audio-visual component for the show as well as performing. It’s a must-see because it will be unlike any other show in the way it engages the audience.

IS THIS A ONE-OFF OR LIKELY TO BE A REGULAR EVENT, AND HOW DID IT COME ABOUT?

I’m sure Over Exposed will be back after this short run, but there are no definite plans yet. The show has come about as a result of creative director David Gouldie passionately wanting to do something  brave, daring, bold and different

WHAT ARE SOME HIGHLIGHTS OF THE EVENT THAT YOU CAN SHARE WITH THE PUBLIC?

The venue and the way the various segments are staged will be unlike anything I’ve been involved in, and audiences will interact with the performance in a way that will be unforgettable.

WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN UP TO, SHOWBIZ WISE, IN RECENT MONTHS?

I was MC at the Wickedly Odd event at Durban’s Botanic Gardens over the Christmas period and I really enjoyed being a part of that. I hope Wickedly Odd can remain an annual event for many years.

WHAT ARE FIVE THINGS ABOUT YOURSELF (HOWEVER TRIVIAL) THAT PEOPLE ARE UNLIKELY TO KNOW?

I’m going to be a dad in May (if all goes well); I had truffle-flavoured chips with my lunch the other day; when I was 14, I made 100-not-out in a DHS vs Kearsney cricket match; I love Pink Floyd; and I taught Veranda Panda’s Liam Magner everything (worthwhile) he knows about music.

YOUR MOST EMBARRASSING MOMENT ON STAGE?

I once pulled what I thought was a boy up on stage only to be corrected by the girl after repeatedly addressing her as a boy.

WHAT HAS BEEN THE HIGHLIGHT OF YOUR YEAR?

Finding out that I am going to be a dad.

WHERE WERE YOU BORN – AND WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR MOST MEMORABLE BIRTHDAY?

I was born in Durban and my most memorable birthday was when I turned 10 and got a Lazer cricket bat.

WHAT ARE YOUR VIEWS ON CALLS TO REINTRODUCE THE DEATH PENALTY IN SOUTH AFRICA?

I’m dismayed by the rampant violent crime in South Africa, but I don’t think the death penalty would help. Although there are cases where it might seem justified it still seems like a barbaric form of justice. An eye for an eye? Makes the world blind…

WHAT TRAITS DO YOU MOST DISLIKE IN OTHERS?

Greed and a lack of empathy.

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Liesl Coppin in Over Exposed. Picture by Sean Laurenz.

TWO HIGHLIGHTS OF YOUR CAREER?

One was playing Hamlet. It’s a role which gives you so much to work with, and I enjoyed it more than I thought I would as I’d never been a huge Shakespeare fan. Another highlight was being in the TV series, Fallen. At the time I had done so much stage work that screen acting came as a fresh challenge… and I learnt a lot from the experience.

IF YOU COULD HAVE ANY FIVE FROM FIVE DIFFERENT PEOPLE, WHAT AND WHO WOULD THEY BE?

I’d like to sing like Freddie Mercury, run like Wade van Niekerk, be strong like Arnold Schwarzenegger (so that my girlfriend wouldn’t beat me all the time), play guitar like Jimi Hendrix and have Bill Gates’s money.

WHAT IS THE WORST TROUBLE YOU HAVE EVER BEEN IN? PLEASE ELABORATE.

When I was 10 and living in Knysna, my friend and I snuck out of his house at midnight to go fishing. His dad eventually caught up to us and found us, in the early hours of the morning, fishing off the train bridge that cuts across the lagoon. He was not impressed, even though we had by that time caught three stumpnose, and an undersized spotted grunted.

WHAT THOUGHTS ON REINCARNATION? AND IF YOU COULD CHOOSE, WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO COME BACK AS IN YOUR NEXT LIFE?

I am interested in Buddhism but I think the concept of reincarnation is problematic. Having said that, I would like to come back as an osprey… fish-eating bird of prey that migrates every thousands of miles.

WHAT FIVE THINGS WOULD YOU LIST UNDER ‘SIMPLY IRRESISTIBLE’?

Lindt chocolate balls; peanut butter bomb milkshake from Kauai; the David Lynch film Blue Velvet; the Sam Mendes film American Beauty; and invitations to parties at David Gouldie’s house.

THE BEST COMPLIMENT YOU EVER HAD? AND THE WORST?

The best compliment” “You stole the show!” The worst: “I don’t think you were really pushing yourself”

WHAT ALTERNATIVE CAREER PATHS MIGHT YOU HAVE CONSIDERED?

I would have liked to be a painter or a professional cricketer because I like art and cricket.

HOW MUCH DO YOU READ – AND WHAT DO YOU ENJOY READING

I read a fair amount. I like reading non-fiction books about philosophy and art. I also read a fair amount of biographies, especially about rock bands from years gone by. I read fiction too and recently read Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates by Tom Robins.  It was exceptional.

WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER TO BE THE ULTIMATE IN KITSCH?

Paintings by Tretchikoff.


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