This November, the art and skill of solo performances is celebrated at the Baxter Theatre Centre, with four diversely exciting productions.They start with Graham Weir’s Dead Yellow Sands, followed by Antoinette Kellermann in As Die Broek Pas, Marc Lottering in Hashtag Lottering! and Pieter Dirk-Uys in his memoir The Echo of a Noise.
Graham Weir kick-starts the solo season with his double Fleur du Cap Award-winning Dead Yellow Sands, in the Baxter Golden Arrow Studio, from 31 October to 26 November at 8.15pm nightly, and Saturday matinees at 4pm. The Argus gave it five stars, calling it “A tour de force not to be missed …”, while Cue described it as “a masterclass in voice and text” and The Critter said, “The production’s simplicity and transparency holds greater power than grand false spectacle.”
The play is a return to minimalism: an actor lit with sophisticatedly simple lighting, speaking the stories he has lived. It is the combination of a haunting original South African script and the consummate skills of the veteran production team, led by director Bo Petersen, that have led to the production’s success thus far.
Acclaimed Afrikaans actress Antoinette Kellermann returns to the Baxter, from 3 to 12 November, to perform her gripping one-woman play As Die Broek Pas, directed by Marthinus Basson and translated into Afrikaans by multi award-winning writer Willem Anker. Staged nightly at 8pm with Saturday matinees at 3pm, the production explores the life of a woman who, during Germany’s depression in the 1930s, disguises herself as a man after her husband’s untimely death. Her trials, survival and journey make for compelling and riveting theatre.
As Die Broek Pas has won eight top South African theatre awards and has been nominated for an additional six, winning, amongst others, four kykNET Fiëstas.
Fresh from headlining the Cape Town Funny Festival in London in October, the hilarious Marc Lottering comes to the Baxter Theatre with his latest hit show Hashtag Lottering!, from 15 November to 3 December, just in time for the silly season.
Undoubtedly regarded as one of South Africa’s biggest names in comedy, Lottering has been in the funny business for almost two decades and continues to keep audiences in stitches across the country. His Hashtag Lottering! covers a broad range of topics – from how to successfully live in debt, to the dangers of a WhatsApp family page. His national tour kicked off earlier this year to great acclaim, playing in venues across the country in Durban, the Eastern Cape, the Klein Karoo Kunstefees in Oudtshoorn, the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown and a five-week sold out season in Joburg.
The imitable Pieter-Dirk Uys finishes off the November solo line-up with his memoir The Echo of a Noise, in the Baxter Golden Arrow Studio from 29 November to 17 December, Tuesdays to Saturdays at 8.15pm. “I tell the story behind the stories. Turning 70 has given me the thumbs-up to share the secrets and let the cat out of the bag,” says Uys.
Having performed alone on the stages of the world well over seven thousand times, the theatre legend has learnt that every show is the first and the last performance – because each audience demands and gets a different energy, topicality and excitement. Now in his 70th year, Pieter-Dirk doesn’t glance back at the successes and failures that have strengthened his belief in a constant improvement of his work, but at those small signposts that throughout his life subconsciously pointed him in a right and original direction.
Laetitia Pople, arts editor from Die Burger described it best, saying “This is just Pieter-Dirk Uys speaking and he opens his heart and talks about his private and public life. He leads you into his inner sanctuary, takes you through our history and shows us where what is public and private meet. He remains a master storyteller who can make as much fun of himself as he does with the others who get a lashing from his sharp tongue.”
Booking for any of these exciting productions at the Baxter this November can be made through Computicket on 0861 915 8000, online at www.computicket.com or at any Shoprite Checkers outlet. For discounted corporate, schools or block-bookings, charities or fundraisers, contact Sharon on 021 680 3962, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or Carmen on 021 680 3993, e-mail email@example.com