#HETWO: EVITA EXPOSED! Evita Bezuidenhout and Pieter-Dirk Uys on stage together. At Theatre on the Bay, Camps Bay until 14 September 2019.

SHEILA CHISHOLM reviews

Chaotic is possibly the best word to describe current local and international politics.  Everywhere media headlines scream of conflicts and disasters, and leads one into thinking that nowhere in the world is there a peaceful corner or anything to laugh about. Even as spring flowers start showing, an atmosphere of gloom and doom prevails all around.

Yet, the only thing needed to dispel those dark clouds is to attend an evening with Pieter-Dirk Uys and the woman in his life – Mrs Evita Bezuidenhout … the past and present government’s Ambassadress to Bapetikosweti – a country as real as JM Barrie’s Never Never Land.

Uys is a rare human being. As a brilliant satirist, he single-handedly has taught us to laugh at ourselves, taught stiff nosed politicians to laugh at themselves, to believe our glass is half full never half empty, and his campaign amongst teenagers has changed many an attitude towards avoiding the HIV/Aids scourge and other STD’s by talking bluntly about sexual responsibility. What a man!

Out to catch a big one - Evita fishing with Cyril Ramaphosa
Out to catch a big one – Evita fishing with Cyril Ramaphosa

Koeksister adventures

In #HeTwo: Evita exposed! Uys reflects on his 38 year-long relationship with Evita, the amazing people she/he has met, and the adventures they’ve had along their journey together.

In his inimitable way Uys talked about how, from Evita’s first Market Theatre appearance in 1981 she hit the Golden Globe – it can’t be called a performance. Evita is not an actress. She is a white Afrikaans woman whose trademark is delicious koeksisters.

In carefully preserved video clips, dressed in exotic gowns, garden party ‘hoede’, jewels to die (or steal) for, in her posh South African accent, Evita led us through the previous dispensation’s Apartheid absurdities.

Oh, yes! We laughed at her impersonations of Die Ou Krokodil, PW Botha’s “let me tell you” wagging pointer finger and innuendoes of thin moustached Pik Botha’s relationship with Evita. Oh, yes! We laughed. But underneath lay a potent message, that Apartheid’s designers and those on whom those policies were implemented were cruel, totally unjust and inhumane.

She told us how Nelson Mandela, enjoyed her company, and through her we remembered Mandela’s magic – what a shame the British people declined to knock Admiral Nelson off his column and replace him with the admirable Nelson Mandela.

Madiba’s release after 27 years of imprisonment, followed by his election as South Africa’s first democratically elected president raised every single South African to believe we were going forward into a glowing time where all citizens were given the right to a bed, food, a home and a decent education.

Without much emphasis on the ANC’s most recent past president’s disastrous exploits, Evita/Uys called upon us to throw away our half empty glasses, keep our half full one close by. For thereby we will pick ourselves up and with grateful thanks to Evita Bezuidenhout smile, laugh and move forward again.

As I took home my half full glass I wondered how is it possible that this young democracy could, in my, and others lifetime produce four legends – Nelson Mandela, Emeritus Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Evita Bezuidenhout and Pieter-Dirk Uys. As the four have told us over and over, as a nation we are a great people. #HeTwo: Evita exposed! is memorable.

What: #HeTwo: Evita exposed! review
Where, when:
Theatre on the Bay, Camps Bay, until 14 September 2019
Book: Computicket
WS