Hartklop – story of Dr Chris Barnard


Based on a true story – as told to playwright Jan Groenewald by Susan Vosloo, a Cape Town heart surgeon…


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Starring Christo Davids and Nadia Valvekens
Arena Theatre, Artscape
Dates: 20 – 23 December
Time: 20:00
Bookings: Computicket

Where do your deepest loyalties lie? With your parents? Your lover? Who do you choose when the choice lies between life and death?

Herman le Roux is a patient of world-renowned heart surgeon Dr Susan Vosloo. His only hope of survival is a heart transplant. Is he going to live, or die? Will they find a heart for him in time to save his life?

The writer and director of Hartklop, Jan Groenewald, tells Herman’s story with that of Herman’s daughter, Jessica, played by Nadia Valvekens and her lover Daniel Cloete, played by Christo Davids.

It is 2017… Jessica and Daniel, both journalists, are together writing a story about heart transplants and the transplant pioneer Prof Christiaan Barnard. Working together, their relationship deepens into love and they are soon faced with a challenging personal situation far more complicated than the journalistic one they face in writing the Chris Barnard story.

Prof Christiaan Barnard’s credo remains an inspiration for all:

If you think you are beaten, you are.
If you think you dare not, you won’t.
If you like to win, but don’t think you can,
It’s almost a cinch that you won’t.
Life’s battles don’t always go
To the strongest or fastest man
But sooner or later the person who wins
Is the person who thinks he can.

– Walter D. Wintle (Adapted)

Prof Christiaan Barnard transplanted the first human heart on 3 December 1967. This ground-breaking medical achievement has held the attention of the world for decades. This December South Africa celebrates 50 years of world leadership in cardiothoracic surgery, and it presents a unique opportunity to stage Hartklop, a play featuring the story of Prof Christiaan Barnard, commemorating Professor Barnard’s achievement.

The play will form part of the city’s celebration which reaches far beyond its own metropolitan boundaries. It fits in with a Proudly South Africa achievement and as a “product” to be sold to the world.

A charismatic personality on the world stage, material from Dr Barnard’s personal life gives a personal edge to the play.

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