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Pieter-Dirk Uys presents his one man show Desperate First Ladies and two shows of Coenie & Evita at the Baxter in September

EvitaAfter a performance in Los Angeles recently, the reviewer simply stated: “Uys dons false eyelashes and presidents listen.”  In Desperate First Ladies, Evita Bezuidenhout graciously shares the stage with a chorus line of other outspoken and iconic women from all walks of life, including Cape Malay DA firebrand Mrs. Petersen; the first lady of Libya, Madame Gaddafi; Mother Teresa, who is manning the telephone exchange in heaven; the kugel Nowell Fine and Evita’s much-loathed sister and the black sheep of the family, Bambi Kellermann.

Pieter-Dirk Uys will bring his trademark satirical commentary into the mix, which remains as serrated as ever after almost four decades of sending up political ignorance and social stupidity.  He always thanks politicians black and white, right and wrong, for giving him a career for the last 38 years, as well as the government of the day for writing his material. From the era of PW Botha – his bread-and-botha – to the present Zumocracy with its three first ladies (or will it be four?), he is still inspired by the madness in our politics. Nothing has changed. On stage with many characters familiar and some once feared, Uys goes on a great comedy trek of South Africa, to remind us where we come from and encourage us to celebrate where we are going to, with laughter and optimism.

South Africa, now going into its seventeenth year of democracy, has a generation of young voters who were born after apartheid was officially terminated in 1994. Today’s icon is often the imprisoned and banned enemy of the past who is now the hero of yesterday, and those old white icons that were once on the stamps and the coins, are seen as the politically-incorrect has-beens of today. Put an icon like Mandela next to an aikona like Verwoerd. Once they were vice-versa. How could we so meekly have agreed when politicians told us that Mandela’s picture was not to be seen for 27 years? Are we going to allow government to again hide their corruptions behind the veils of secrecy and state security? Today there must be much laughter, sometimes bitter, often relieved, at the memories of those days of dictatorship. It took forty years for us to liberate ourselves and start again. Apartheid will never come back under the same name. But bad politics is clever enough to reinvent itself. And humour against fear is a great weapon of survival.

Pieter-Dirk Uys has won no less three awards this year – a Teddy Award at the Berlin International Film Festival, a Naledi lifetime achievement award for his creation Evita, and a Fleur du Cap award for a cabaret starring Bambi Kellermann – Uys still thanks politicians of all hues and persuasions for “giving me a career for the last 38 years, as well as the government of the day for writing my best material”.

On Heritage Day 24th September, there will be two performances of Coenie & Evita, at 3pm and 6pm, starring Coenie de Villiers and Evita Bezuidenhout, together exclusively on the Baxter stage! Coenie with his wonderful songs and Tannie with her commentary on the happenings of the day. The show will be in English and Afrikaans, to make audiences celebrate the beauty of their languages, their land and their laughter.

Desperate First Ladies runs at the Baxter Theatre from 5 September to 1 October 2011 from Mondays to Fridays at 8pm and on Saturdays at 5pm and 8pm. Tickets cost from R100 to R130, all via Computicket with special discounts available and charity bookings via sharon.alexander@uct.ac.za or 0216803962.