Ace satirist back in a frock

Pieter-Dirk Uys as Evita Bezuidenhout.

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BY BILLY SUTER

AFTER appearing in simple black shirt and black trousers in one of the best shows of this year – his captivating memoir, The Echo of a Noise – Pieter-Dirk Uys returns to Durban later this month in make-up, a frock and wig.

Evita Bezuidenhout & the Kaktus of Separate Development, scheduled for a season at the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s hillside Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre, from October 31 to November 19, offers a revised history lesson from South Africa’s most famous white woman, Evita Bezuidenhout.

Tannie Evita takes her audience on a unique great trek as she follows the journey of the Kaktus of Separate Development (Kaktaceae Apartica) from its arrival in 1652 to its reinvention in 1994 – right up to the headlines of today, says a show spokesman.

Assisted by visual aids, she will reflect a familiar terrain of history, from the arrival of a small Dutch ship called the Drommedaris to the coronation of a former political prisoner called Madiba.

“She will have you in stiches while tackling one of the most controversial issues in our democracy: the real history of South Africa and the right to laugh at the lies,” says the spokesman.

For more than 20 years, author, actor and activist Uys has been enduring high-heels and extra-long lashes to bring his most famous character to life.

A matron of political incorrectness, an honorary member of the ANC and a self-declared former ambassadress of a fictitious Bantustan called Bapetikosweti, Bezuidenhout made her debut in 1982, and has since gained international acclaim for performances that poked fun, first, at the ridiculous laws under apartheid, and then, at the leaders of the new, democratic South Africa.

“She has dined with Nelson Mandela, been kissed on the cheek by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and even received the Women’s International Centre’s 2000 Living Legacy Award in San Diego – an honour received by the likes of Hillary Clinton and Mother Theresa. She is, indeed, a national treasure, giving us reason to laugh at our typically sobering politics and history,” adds the spokesman.

Evita last appeared at the Sneddon in 2013. Performances of the new show will be at 7.30pm Tuesdays to Fridays, and 3pm on Saturdays and Sundays. Tickets are available at Computicket outlets.


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