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WHEN IN DOUBT

SAY DARLING

S

When in doubt, just say ....

– Estelle Sinkins, Weekend Witness, 3 November 2018

 

FOR some 40 years, Pieter-Dirk Uys has been confronting South African audiences with the stark reality of life in this country.

 

Under apartheid he challenged the National Party's racist policies and made fun of its leaders, from Hendrik Verwoed to F.W. de Klerk, and, since the 1994 elections has not allowed political correctness to get in the way of holding the likes of Jacob Zuma and Julius Malema to account.

 

In his latest show, When in Doubt, Say Darling!, a few well-known faces make an appearance and are suitably skewered by the satirist. But there is so much more offered by the now 70-year-old performer.

 

The show includes stories of how he came to live in Darling in the Western Cape, how Tannie Evita came into being, and the joy he gets from helping children in his home town through the Darling Trust.

 

He puts the personal elements of When in Doubt, Say Darling! down to a new-found confidence to be himself on stage.

 

"It had a lot to do with the extraordinary reaction I had with The Echo of Noise," Uys says.

 

In that production he offered the audience a look at his life and his relationships with his parents Hannes Uys and Helga Bassel, and his sister, Tessa.

 

"I discovered that I could sit on a barstool for 90 minutes and tell a story."

 

I've always done these short little bursts about people and used them as shields and now, suddenly, I have the confidence to take a chance ...

 

"It's also age. I think when you get to a certain age the disease to please has been cured. The audition is over. I really don't care if people don't like what I talk about. They can watch Game of Thrones [instead].

 

"Uys is also finding the climate in the country more tricky to negotiate, admitting that younger audiences don't want an ageing white man to portray black people.

 

"The redline of racism is so close to the edge of my shoe and I don't want to step over it. I don't even want to do accents and things like that.

 

"The old tribe was my tribe and it was okay for me to make fun of it, but now it's white mouth against black action ... the environment has changed," he adds.

 

Not that it stops him from taking a satirical swipe at the likes of Jacob Zuma. He simply approaches it from a different angle.

 

It's fascinating to watch him dressed as finger-waggling P.W. Botha, complete with old National Party rosette, morph slowly into Zuma with just a few subtle costume changes, facial expressions and mannerisms.

 

He also confronts the audience with the challenge of being an older person in SA, creating an elderly white man who is leaving his home and trying to choose what he will take with him.

 

It's a poignant vignette because for the character every object holds a memory, and in every box there are a host of life experiences.

 

He contrasts this with the vulnerability of the older generation to the machinations of con artists as he plays the role of an elderly Muslim woman from the Bo-Kaap, who is struggling to fill out a visa application to visit her family in Britain, and is grateful when a young Nigerian man offers to "help" her.

 

Uys also reveals how he came to live in Darling, explaining that he stopped in the town when he got lost on the way to MacGregor.

 

While waiting to eat a tasty schnitzel at the local German restaurant, he bumped into an estate agent who showed him round.

 

Her tour included a stop at a dilapidated Victorian house, which came complete with a family of cobras under the floorboards.

 

A few hours later he drove out of Darling having made an offer to buy the house.

 

Back home in Cape Town he started to have second thoughts and a few days later drove back to tell the agent he’d changed his mind.

 

He stopped to look at the house one last time and was approached by a young man who said he’d heard that Uys had bought it and that he had done restoration work on Victorian houses in the United Kingdom and wanted to help him restore it.

 

“It was fate,” he says. “I might not be living there if we hadn’t met.”

 

Uys later took over the Darling Station and created the now famous Evita se Perron, a cabaret theatre where you have a great chance of bumping into Tannie Evita herself.

 

He's also deeply involved in the projects in the local community through the Darling Trust, which offers early childhood development, music and art classes and facilitates skills development and employment opportunities for young men and women.

 

Uys shares some of the stories of his kinders with the audience in When inDoubt, Say Darling!, and speaking to him, his passion and delight in helping children brings a smile to his face off-stage too.

 

"Talking about children crosses all the lines because everyone wants things to be good for children," he says.

 

"It immediately makes people believe in something optimistic as opposed to this huge cloud that hangs over every conversation.

 

"There is nothing you can do about the headlines, but there are things that we can do with our families, our neighbours, our communities ..."

 

Uys feels lucky to have had such a long career, adding that being successful reminds him that what he's done strikes a chord with people.

 

But he also admits that when he's not working he loves nothing more than being at home where he can sit on the sofa and cuddle his cats.

 

And no, he doesn't plan to stop working, saying: "People are always telling me to slow down, but it's hard ... there is still so much to do."

 

When in Doubt, Say Darling! is at the Hexagon Theatre in Pietermaritzburg on November 6 and 7 and at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre in Durban from November 8 to 11.

 

Booking for the Maritzburg shows at www.webtickets.co.za and with Computicket to see Uys in Durban.

 

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‘I’ve been telling everybody I’m coloured’

– Estelle Sinkins, Weekend Witness, 3 November 2018

 

PIETER-DIRK Uys is proud to describe himself as coloured.

 

The veteran satirist discovered, following the publication of Group Without Boundaries, written by Hans Heese (an Afrikaner academic in the mid-eighties), that his family has a smattering of black blood in it.

 

"When that book came out, oh the drama!," he says, adding that his dad, Hannes, was outraged at the very thought of a black ancestor.

 

"I phoned the university where he worked and spoke to the secretary of this Dr Heese. I said: 'Mevrou dis Pieter-Dirk Uys hier', and she said, 'Asseblief Meneer Uys, moenie moeilikheid for ons maak'.

 

"I said I didn't want to make moeilikheid, I just wanted to know why the Uys name wasn't in the book. I said to her,'Is ons puur, sekerlik nee?'"

 

The secretary revealed that the family hadn't been included because Heese couldn't get definitive proof, but there was a definite possibility that he had a black ancestor.

 

"It turns out that my Ouma Grootjie plied her trade on the road between Cape Town and Paarl, and her name was Wilhemina Opklim. Isn't it wonderful?" he said.

 

"I went to my father and told him the story, and he made me promise not to tell anyone. I promised him I wouldn't but I didn't keep it. I've been telling everybody I'm coloured," he added.

 

Uys drew on his discovery for a skit in When in Doubt, Say Darling! in which Evita is advised to look into her family tree for a black ancestor to save the Bezuidenhout farm from being expropriated.

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Uys shares thoughts on SA’s politicians

– Estelle Sinkins, Weekend Witness, 3 November 2018

 

 

POLITICIANS and members of Parliament should get the minimum wage, have their expenses paid by the Treasury and realise that they are there to serve the country and not to make themselves rich.

 

Thats the view of satirist Pieter-Dirk Uys, who is performing his latest show, When In Doubt, Say Darling!, in Durban and Pietermaritzburg until November 11.

 

We have got this immoral high ground of people who are totally disinterested in the people,” he said.

 

Politicians need to realise that they are there to do a job and not to become billionaires and millionaires, because thats crap  and  it has to stop.

 

Speaking about the elections in 2019, he said the vote was of paramount importance for the whole country.

 

This election next year is more than just an election,” Uys added. For me the issue is Ramaphosa. We have got to make him strong.

 

The fact that he is in the ANC is irrelevant. He could be in the Dagga Party. The point is that he is there and he is the only one who can pull us out of  this traumatised state that we are in.

 

Uys believes the born-free generation is particularly important, adding: Ten years ago I thought the born-frees were grateful little kids, but theyre not. They are so f***ing angry that their parents still have no electricity and no running water.

 

Twenty-four  years after our  first democratic elections, when they thought their problems would be solved, they aren’t. In fact they’re worse.”

 

The veteran satirist makes a point of visiting schools and community centres around the country to talk to young people and to encourage them to vote. He admits, however, that getting the message can be hard, adding: Politics impacts on everything education, healthcare, electricity, roads, fuel but you have  to make it personal to each person to make an impact.

 

It has to be their struggle.”

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WHEN IN DOUBT, SAY DARLING!

You daren’t lose focus for a minute or you might miss a hilarious aside or sarcastic crack at a politician!

– Caroline Smart, Artsmart, 3 November 2018

 

Pieter-Dirk Uys is back in town! What a pleasure! This time with his latest show, When in Doubt, Say Darling.

 

The title has been in his mind for about 40 years since he worked with one of South Africa’s legendary theatre figures, Taubie Kushlick, who called everyone “Darling”. He expands this by saying that the older one gets, the more difficult it is to remember names! So just call people “darling” instead.

 

This leads to the fascinating and highly amusing story of how he went to live in Darling in the Cape. He ended up in the town, having lost his way en route to McGregor and fell in love with a total wreck of a Victoria house. He bought it and eventually created his cabaret theatre and restaurant, Evita se Peron, in the old railway station and this is now one of the tourist attractions in the area.

 

The set comprises a jumbled collection of cardboard boxes and beer crates. The show is described as being about “forgetting, forgiving, remembering, faking, making-up and doing.” As it progresses, we delight in meeting again his unforgettable characterisations of former State President PW Botha and politician Piet Koornhof as well as former President Jacob Zuma.

 

At one stage, the boxes represent the belongings of an old man who is having to move from his spacious home to two-rooms in an old age home. In this beautifully poignant section, Uys has a chance to focus on the SPCA, a charity which is very close to his heart, encouraging audiences to donate money or belongings that are no longer needed.

 

Another unforgettable section deals with his community work for the children of the township area surrounding Darling, exposing them to new experiences like ice-cream parlours, a movie house … and the sea!

 

Uys deals with many issues that are confronting communities at all levels in South Africa at the moment. It’s rapid fire delivery — you daren’t lose focus for a minute or you might miss a hilarious aside or sarcastic crack at a politician! Over the years, I believe the general public has learnt more about South Africa’s political scene through Uys and his no-holds-barred eye-openers than they have through the media.

 

Obviously, the audience eagerly awaits the appearance of the famous Evita Bezuidenhout and Uys does this transformation very cleverly. While putting on her make-up, he occasionally dons different wigs and we meet British Prime Minister, Theresa May; Germany’s Chancellor, Angela Merkel, along with Noelle Fine (a long-time Uys character), eventually triumphing as Evita, false eyelashes and all!

 

Evita has the last word as she urges people to fight the land reformation issues by searching into their own origins!

 

The show, which lasts for an hour and 20 minutes without interval, had sold-out seasons at Pieter Toerien's Montecasino Studio and the Fugard Theatre in Cape Town — so don’t miss it here in KZN! Uys deserves all the support we can give him — not just for being an extraordinary performer but for being one with a huge heart.

 

When in Doubt, Say Darling has another performance tomorrow in the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre at 15h00 and again from November 8 to 10 at 19h30 and on November 11 at 15h00. During the week, Uys moves up to the Hexagon Theatre in Pietermaritzburg for performances on November 6 and 7. Booking is through Computicket.

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More memories and mirth, darlings!

– Billy Suter, sosuterbill.com, 2 November 2018

 

PIETER-DIRK Uys’s audiences invariably know what to expect from the now-73-year-old South African treasure who has travelled far and wide, for many years, with countless shows.

 

The celebrated performer, playwright, producer, author and passionate promoter of Aids education has built up such a rapport over his four decades in entertainment that in more recent years he comes across on stage more like a charismatic, chatty, colourful old friend rather than the theatre legend and master satirist he is.

 

We expect from him the dusting down and new airings of former political sacred cows and tarnished icons, both old and more recent. We expect a spot of drag, dark humour and much food for thought amongst the satire, broader comedy, knowing nods and witty asides.

 

However, the appeal of an Uys show lies not only in revisiting old chestnuts, which never fail to raise laughter and applause, often while also pushing buttons. The joy is that one always expects, and usually gets, a surprise or two among the familiar, tried and tested.

 

When in Doubt, Say Darling! , latest in the long line-up of solo productions by the writer-performer — who should alone get a lifetime achievement award for his clever show titles —  again offers something old, something new, something borrowed and, yes, even something blue.

 

Once again Uys is alone on stage, in his costumary black trousers and shirt, this time on a raised platform containing cardboard boxes, some closed and some open, as well as plastic crates with various odds and ends.

 

The scenario suggests, with an air of pathos, that Uys might be in the process of decluttering, perhaps thinking of moving on, as he sorts through distant memories and old souvenirs of a colourful past and a stellar career.

 

The suggestion is never more poignantly emphasised than when, later in the show, Uys takes on the character of an elderly, lonely man who goes through the faded remnants of his past while seeking his only real companion, his unseen old dog, Smelly.

 

Another standout moment features Mrs Peterson, the amusing coloured woman that Uys hauls out for a sketch that blends humour with a tinge of sadness. It has Mrs P ultimately facing danger while on the phone  to organise a visa to visit family in Manchester in the UK.

 

Mrs P marks not the only moment Uys appears in drag, of course — Tannie Evita, it almost goes without saying, is also here. But she makes only a brief appearance right at the end of the show, and not before Uys constantly surprises his audience, during application of make-up and false eyelashes, by revealing other “famous white women”. Among them are kugel Nowell Fine and politicians Angela Merkel and Theresa May.

 

As the press release states, the show sees Pieter-Dirk sorting out 40 years of distress, disguise and disgust: from apartheid to tripartite, from amandla to Nkandla — and happily back to amandla.

 

Expect to see and hear the likes of Piet Koornhof and PW Botha — even a hilarious performance of PW Botha impersonating Jacob Zuma, complete with cackles, dance moves and leopard skins.

 

We also get passing references to Mulusi Gigaba, MotherTheresa, Donald Trump and Durban’s Alhambra Theatre, among other things, and all are well received.

 

For me, the best parts of the show come with Uys casually chatting about his home, experiences and community of friends in Darling. He chats about discovering the town by having got lost on a road trip. He talks about how he fell in love with a dilapidated Victorian house there that was later restored by members of the community.

 

He also talks lovingly about converting the Darling railway station into his beloved cabaret venue and museum. And he talks of his acceptance by a close community, and discusses children there that he has seen grow up to become successful adults.

 

He also tells of a particularly amusing day trip to a burger joint and cinema that he arranged for a group of the town’s kids.

 

When in Doubt, Say Darling is in Durban on November 2,  3, 4, 8, 9, 10 and 11. It will be the Hexagon Theatre in Pietermaritzburg on November 6 and 7. Booking is at Computicket outlets.

 

Treat yourself, darlings!

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When In Doubt, Say Darling — Darling

–  Chris Sutton, Publicity Matters, 2 November 2018

 

Pieter-Dirk Uys’s great skill is his ability to think deeply, write succinctly and present superbly. I don’t think that calling him a genius is far-fetched and his latest show reinforces his standing as one of South Africa’s greatest artists.

 

“When in Doubt, Say Darling” takes a side swipe at political correctness and the inability of some of our countrymen and women to eradicate words from our vocabulary that are shot like arrows at the balloon of goodwill that Nelson Mandela left us as part of his legacy.

 

Whilst he is cutting in his portrayal of politicians antics, he is neither myopic, one sided or cruel : he tells it as it is. And it is his telling that is — well — telling. He seems to understand that politicians are simply flawed beings who cannot help themselves (mmm — contradiction perhaps?). No matter which side of the political spectrum they pollute, politicians will always let their flaws hang out for all to see — and for Pieter Dirk Uys to ‘talk’ to us about.

 

This show takes us on a journey through parts of Mr Uys’ life since he moved to Darling, renovating his new home, interaction with the towns residents and with detours into the past; where we are reminded of the info scandal, P.W. Botha and of course Piet Koornhof. On the way he pricks (yes — Malusi gets a mention too) at the DA, millennials and erstwhile president, Jacob Zumba. He regales us with light hearted memories of Nelson Mandela, who he was clearly very fond of, but has little funny to say about Julius Malema, who he appears to have dark reservations about. And of course Tannie Evita closes the show.

 

A standout for me was Pieter Dirk Uys changing costumes and personas on stage. It’s not just the costumes, makeup and hair that change; his facial expression, body posture and entire demeanour morph seamlessly into the new characters.

 

Full house — tick.

Standing ovation — tick.

Worth seeing — Absolutely Darlings !!!!

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When in doubt, say Darling!

The newest Pieter-Dirk Uys show — When in Doubt, Say Darling — will be showing at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre.

The North Coast Courier, 9 October 2018

 

At a time when a casual greeting or embrace can be seen as racist or harassment, the advice is simple: when in doubt, say Darling.

 

The newest Pieter-Dirk Uys show — When in Doubt, Say Darling — will be showing at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre on Durban’s UKZN Campus from 1-4 and 8-11 November.

 

The show has just enjoyed a sold-out season at Pieter Toerien’s Montecasino Studio and the Fugard Theatre in Cape Town.

 

Sometimes politics repeats itself, not only taking history and turning it into farce, but taking farce and turning into the fake news which is now called entertainment.

 

Pieter-Dirk Uys is sorting out 40 years of distress, disguise and disgust: from apartheid to tripartite, from amandla to Nkandla — and happily back to amandla.

 

In the boxes are wigs, glasses, wagging fingers, toyi-toyis, red berets, trump cards of madness, icons and aikonas, from Bezuidenhouts, Raubenheimers and Ramaphosas to Altzheimers.

 

See PW Botha impersonate Jacob Zuma! Witness Dr Piet Koornhof solve the Brexit stand-off. Celebrate the appearances of Angela Merkel, Theresa May, Nowell Fine and Evita Bezuidenhout.

 

If you can’t remember their names, just say Darling. If you get lost along the road to somewhere, simply ask for Darling.

 

He did it, and now Pieter-Dirk Uys also lives in Darling.

 

Join him and many darlings on an exciting walk through this new minefield of hashtags and hate speech to the edge of the next cliff of crisis, when the end of the world seems nigh.

 

It also used to be called a sunset, but here’s a secret: the sun will also rise tomorrow, Darling.

 

His other shows will be held at the Hexagon Theatre in Pietermaritzburg on 30 and 31 October and again on 6 and 7 November.

 

Booking is open for the Durban season through Computicket.

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Pieter-Dirk Uys’ sold out "When in doubt say darling” returns to the Fugard in November

 Theatre Scene Cape Town, 21 August 2018

 

Pieter-Dirk Uys’ newest show, When in doubt say darling, sold out as it opened at the Fugard Theatre on 8 August, creating an unprecedented demand for tickets. With a growing waiting list for the current season that ends on Saturday 25 August 2018, the Fugard Theatre has now opened bookings for a return season in November 2018.

 

At a time when a casual greeting or embrace can be seen as racist or harassment, the advice is simple: when in doubt say ‘darling'. If you can't remember their names, just say 'darling’. If you get lost along the road to somewhere, simply ask for Darling. He did it, and now Pieter-Dirk Uys also lives in Darling.

 

In this production, Pieter-Dirk Uys sorts out 40 years of distress, disguise and disgust: from apartheid to tripartite, from amandla to Nkandla. Wigs, glasses, wagging fingers, toyi-toyis, red berets, trump cards of madness, icons and aikonas. From Bezuidenhouts, Raubenheimers and Ramaphosas to Altzheimers. Sometimes politics repeats itself, not only taking history and turning it into farce, but taking farce and turning into the fake news which is now called entertainment.

 

Join Pieter-Dirk Uys and many darlings on an exciting walk to the edge of the next cliff, when the end of the world seems nigh. It used to be called a sunset. Here's a secret: the sun will also rise tomorrow, darling.

 

When in doubt say darling runs from 27 November 2018 to 15 December 2018 at the Fugard Studio Theatre with performances Tuesday to Friday at 8pm and Saturday at 4pm and 8pm. Booking is through the Fugard Theatre box office on 0214614554 or directly through the Fugard Theatre website on www.thefugard.com.

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**** Tried and tested, tongue in cheek

– Beverly Brommert, Cape Times,14 August 2018

 

CONSUMMATE entertainer that he is, Pieter-Dirk Uys has injected new life into tried-and-tested favourites of his repertoire — with an artful blend of the familiar and the fresh. The result is a sly, sweet, satirical farrago of material — appropriately ushered in by a snappy rendition of Cole Porter’s Anything Goes.

 

Understatement is key, with Uys clad in a versatile, basic black ensemble — lending itself to the many changes of personae involved in this show.

 

The stage is likewise set with a minimum of props — an assemblage of cardboard boxes that serve the dual purpose of containing costume accessories and suggesting a life in transition. Like many a senior citizen, Uys is facing the need to downscale and jettison encumbering possessions.

 

Since he is a resident of the village of Darling, and also has frequent recourse to the hackneyed endearment “darling” when memory fails him regarding the name of an interlocutor, the title of his latest show is doubly justified.

 

He takes us on a trip down memory lane, as he recalls the purchase of his Victorian house in Darling, the genesis of his theatre Evita se Perron, his integration into village life and the characters encountered along the way.

 

Most poignant among these is the elderly gent preparing to relocate from his family home to an old-age retirement centre, as well as the voluble Muslim lady from the Bo-Kaap, locking horns with the authorities in an attempt to get a visa for a first-time visit to her family in Manchester. Uys’s irrepressible sense of humour keeps the tone light but the underlying issues are there to exercise the mind.

 

Inevitably Evita Bezuidenhout makes her appearance, but this time her presence is not pivotal to the show. She is in fact deconstructed as Uys applies the requisite make-up, wig and costume, in full view of his spectators, with an occasional excursion into the character of “the wrong white lady”, offering inspired impersonations of Angela Merkel and Theresa May.

 

Most witty of all is his audacious portrayal of Zuma by PW Botha, a neat solution to the problem of a white man in a black role — both were presidents of this country and both make almost identical speeches, the former with wagging finger, the latter with forced chuckles. It makes you think, which is what Uys does best.

 

Note: When in Doubt Say Darling is sold out for the entire run, but there is a waiting list for cancellations.

 

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Still Uysing it after 40 years

– Orielle Berry, Cape Times, 31 July 2018

 

HE’S 72 and he has been practising the art of making people laugh and cry for more than 40 years.

 

But does there come a point where one lays down one’s props and costumes, puts away the high heels and slops and the mascara and the nail polish, and calls it a day?

 

“Never, darling,” says PieterDirk Uys when we meet at his favourite café in Kloof Street.

 

“I am anchored to the now… While many people may be traumatised by what’s happening and how it affects them, in this respect I am optimistic.”

 

He’s recently back from Amsterdam, where he performed in Afrikaans. He recently won a Comics Choice Lifetime Achievement Award and the Hertzog Prize for Drama. And in between all his outof-town gigs, Uys manages to fit in an amazing 90 shows a year in Darling.

 

In his acceptance speech made on his behalf in absentia at the Savannah Comics Choice Awards: Lifetime Achiever Award 2018, he said rather fittingly: “Comedians can’t really get awards, but they can receive them to pass them on to the really funny people, who unfailingly inspire us… In our case, the mass of third-rate politicians with their fourth-rate ideas.

 

“Thanks to our successful democracy we will never be at a loss for words.

 

“I am happy to accept your award for my lifetime in the trenches of political incorrectness, which has now opened up into a minefield of hashtags and hate speech…”

 

When in Doubt say Darling is an appropriate name for his latest show. After playing successfully in Joburg, it returns to the Mother City in August for a three-week run at The Fugard.

 

Darling is probably his favourite way of referring to anybody and everybody, and it’s also the place, as he says, “that allows me to stop and smell and breathe”.

 

More than 20 years ago, Uys happened on the village quite by chance.

 

He says one public holiday, he drove off into the sunlight. He was, he claims, on his way to McGregor, but took a wrong turn and ended up in the West Coast village.

 

He met the estate agent, who drove him around. After a few twists and turns, he fell in love — taking one look and buying his house from the car.

 

Shortly after that, one of the station buildings became vacant. Evita se Perron was born, and of course the rest is history.

 

He jokes when he says: “I have been unemployed since 1975.

 

“One can always laugh at one’s own fear… And if you always expect the worst, hoping it will never be as bad as you expect, then you’re okay.”

 

And yes, sometimes, politics repeats itself and that’s what the latest show is all about.

 

In it, as he says, he “sorts out 40 years of distress, disguise and disgust: from apartheid to tripartite, from amandla to Nkandla. Wigs, glasses, wagging fingers, toyi-toyis, red berets, trump cards of madness, icons and aikonas…”

 

He adds: “At a time when a casual greeting or embrace can be seen as racist or harassment, the advice is simple: when in doubt say ‘darling’.

 

“If you can’t remember their names, just say ‘darling’. And if you get lost along the road to somewhere, simply ask for Darling.”

 

When in Doubt say Darling is on at The Fugard Studio Theatre from August 7 to August 25. Call 021 461 4554 or book online at thefugard.com

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Pieter-Dirk Uys is discovering pearls in the muddy potholes of life at age 72

Pieter-Dirk Uys (PDU as he is lovingly abbreviated) is back with a new show, ‘When in doubt say darling’, at the Fugard Theatre this August. Peter Tromp caught up with the theatre legend.

– Peter Tromp, The Next 48 Hours, 26 July 2018

 

It’s been more than two years since we last spoke with you. How has life treated you since our last exchange?

 

Two years? Goodness, it feels like 48 hours. What can I tell you…being 72 really only means one is no longer tied down to the number 60. But there is something different about life when seeing one’s sell-by date. I think at last the audition is over. The disease to please has been cured. Maybe for the first time I don’t have to deliver what people expect, but what will surprise them and me. For 40 plus years I have been focused on the ups and down, the ins and outs of local politics. That hasn’t changed. But politics is here today and gone tonight. The third-rate politicians with their fourth rate ideas who terrorize us with their corruption and arrogance will eventually be forgotten on the rubbish heap of old jokes. It’s the people around one that count: family, friends, children, grandchildren, neighbours and the cats. So life has been treating me to a merry-go-round of rediscovery.

 

Tell us about your new show, ‘When in doubt say darling’. What can audiences look forward to from you in your latest foray onto the planks?

 

The last political exercise was ‘Adapt or Fly’. Then came my memoir ‘The Echo of a Noise’, and maybe that more than anything showed me that politics isn’t as universal among audiences as I thought — it’s the story that matters. That’s what theatre is all about and even things that make you laugh need a storyline. Politics has no story. It just has a beginning, because they never bother to hang in till the end. And so I use the D-word on stage and do my tango in this present minefield of hashtags and hate speech. The town of Darling is where I live, but the word “darling” is also an endearment we overuse in theatre — “hello darling” here, there and everywhere. Then again when one reaches a certain age, you also forget certain things: his name, her name, their names. So? When in doubt, say darling. I combine both worlds in my new show — the bloody arena of politics and the comfort-zone of stories. Having lived in Darling for 23 years has given me a balance to the breaking news of shock and awe. It has reminded me that life goes on in spite of the Trumps, Malemas, lies, fears and droughts. I share some of those moments with my audience with a smile and a chuckle.

 

How do you keep your sanity in a world of Zumas and Trumps and Netanyahus and Erdogans and Putins and Jinpings — (supposedly) democratically elected authoritarians who make an absolute mockery of truth?

 

Let’s rephrase that and say I keep my INSANITY in spite of the so-called sanity of politics and social upheavels. There’s nothing more healing at the end of a session of working at the latest tensions surrounding land issues, racism, poverty, corruption and headlines than spending time with your cat. There is also another good way to keep yourself from going completely moegoe when you allow the world’s troubles to break wind in the palm of your hand. Switch off the cell phone, the iPhone, the WhatsApp, the Google, the YouTube. Ban the social media back to the cloud. I also have a sign on my computer which helps: “Don’t press send when pissed!”

 

You have always provided us with historical context for whatever times we found ourselves in. What do you make of South Africa’s present, and how do we weather the inevitable storms to come?

 

I leave a lot of that to Mrs Bezuidenhout now that she is a member of the ANC where she cooks for reconciliation and keeps her eye on the fragile crystal ball of democracy. She reminds her audience that we must remember where we come from so that we can celebrate where we are going. I want her optimism to encourage people to believe that for every piece of bad news there are two pieces of good news. But you have to find that pearl in the muddy potholes of daily life.

 

Will we see Tannie Evita make an appearance in this show?

 

My stage at the Fugard Studio Theatre is full of boxes. Packing up is hard to do, but after 40 years it’s time to sort out all the hats, glasses, jackets, wigs, earrings and dresses. Tannie Evita always has a choice of three outfits: fat, medium and large. And so I do find moments in our past to remind the audience how much better the world around us can become if we laugh at our fear and make it less fearful. Of course there is PW Botha, briefly, and Jacob Zuma, even more briefly. Piet Koornhof’s mask of big ears and nose makes a flighting appearance. But the focus is on the now: from the red berets (Gucci of course) to the new separate developments of Brexit, Trump and Malema. And my ladies do make their appearance: Mrs Petersen, Mrs Merkel, Mrs May, Mrs Fine and of course Mrs Bezuidenhout. How can I leave her out? Her reality show on YouTube (and repeated via the Daily Maverick) is now on Episode 152 — ‘Evita’s Free Speech’, every Sunday. Catch her there if you can.

 

* ‘When in doubt say darling’ is at the Fugard Studio Theatre from August 7 to 25, with bookings through 021 461 4554.

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Pieter-Dirk Uys & the satire that keeps SA laughing

– Masego Panyane, The Star Tonight, 18 April 2018

 

Four decades worth of work is a great achievement. Pieter-Dirk Uys has reached the proverbial mountain top, and When in Doubt say Darling, is Uys telling his story as he wants to.

 

It’s a one-man show, and the stage is filled with box upon box, which happen to be the props — costumes, hair, hats, glasses and a newspaper featuring the day’s news that he has used over the years.

 

It felt awfully like a farewell show. Like Uys is using this show to retire. This was the first sobering moment for me; something that drove home the point that with all the deaths that have been around us, and shows like these, it is truly the end of the era.

 

When I had the chance to have a cup of tea with Uys, he explained where the title of the show had come from. And it’s a chuckle-worthy anecdote. Almost every single event in his life, whether on or off stage, has been in dazzling high definition colours, one wonders if along the way he’s had any ordinary experiences.

 

He’s clad in a black T-shirt, sweat pants and sneakers for a large chunk of the show, which enables him to do quick wardrobe changes on stage.

 

Of the many characters he has portrayed on his stage, there’s a select few who make it to this show, namely Jacob Zuma, PW Botha, Piet Koornhof and his alter ego, the most famous white woman in South Africa, and a member of the ANC in good standing, Evita Bezuidenhout.

 

En route to bringing out Evita, Angela Merkel and Theresa May pop up unexpectedly, and Uys delivers sharp impersonations of the two women.

 

In between the skits, Uys shares stories about his life in Darling.

 

I loved hearing about how the children of the town are getting to experience the arts and so many other things. The joy in this life he’s lived for the last 22 years is clearly evident in Uys’s voice when he talks about these experiences.

 

There is one small thing. In that audience, I was possibly one of the three younger people, with the majority of the audience being white men and women who are well over the age of 50. And the nostalgic laughter of the audience made me feel like I was peeking through the window while some senior citizens were reminiscing about the good ol’ days.

 

Some of the references required me to Google them for understanding. Which in all fairness, Uys warned would be the case. The other stuff was funny.

 

From the complexities of being a white man who satirises black politicians, to the irony of Piet Koornhof dating a coloured woman and the unbelievable tendencies of PW Botha, Uys packages these moments in a mixture of sketch and commentary.

 

A really touching sketch was about a man moving to a retirement village. I wondered if this was a reflection of Uys’s thoughts about growing old and retirement. You could also feel the energy in the room becoming a little more sombre.

 

If you know Uys, you probably have an opinion about his work. Love him or hate him, watching him on a stage is always an experience.

 

And who knows? This may just be the last one man show we get from him.  All the more reason to see it live.

 

Tickets are available from Computicket.

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Review: When In Doubt Say Darling

– Leon van Nierop, What’s on in Joburg, 9 April 2018

 

Reviewing a Pieter Dirk Uys-performance nowadays (especially for his fans) is like critiquing an annual Saturday evening dinner party at your best friends’ place. It stands to reason that you are going to enjoy it. You know what to expect, although there could be some inspiring detours into unpredicted terrain with new topics, which makes the evening even more exiting.

 

Enough to say that you will get everything from this show that you’re used to. But what makes it so agreeable and entertaining is presentation: so simple and uncomplicated, audiences just sink into their chairs and stay there for 80 minutes without being aware of how quickly the time passes. Uys keeps you riveted by simply chatting to you as if he’s known you for 40 years.

 

As so often before, Uys stands on stage and doesn’t move around a lot, so there are no ‘big show’ numbers or attempts to prettify the production. The power lies in his easy-going rapport with the audience (who all feel like his friends) as well as some new material that the regulars may not know. And for those in a nostalgic mood, there’s the chance to cackle at his impersonations of P.W. Botha, Piet Koornhof and his alter ego Evita Bezuidenhout.

 

The most heart-rendering sketch — the highlight of the show — sees an elderly man packing up his belongings to move to a retirement village while his old dog, Smelly, is watching him, probably near heaven’s door. The quiet sadness and melancholy memories are touching and counts among the best Uys has delivered in recent years. Angela Merkel and Theresa May also pop up unexpectedly and in quick, cutting and witty sketches, Uys comments on their recent utterings or appearances. (Merkel’s hair!)

 

When in Doubt, Say Darling helps you to smile (in my case it was a cruel grin) at what is happening in our country now and realising: it is your state of mind, your own sense of having fun, and finding the dark comedy and satire in many real-life situations that keeps us going. Strongly recommended. And when in doubt, just buy a ticket.

 

When in Doubt Say Darling is on at Montecasino’s Pieter Toerien Theatre until 22 April 2018.

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Pieter-Dirk Uys — a cultural gem

– Peter Feldman, Artslink, 5 April 2018

 

Pieter-Dirk Uys can best be described as the gift that keeps on giving.

 

This South African cultural gem returns to Jozi with a show, "When In Doubt Say Darling," crammed with memories, all of which he hauls out from a stage loaded with boxes.

 

He is not moving from the small town of Darling in the Swartland, but needs to get rid of some of his baggage. But as he digs through the various files and costumes, vivid images appear as he recounts an engaging story of his life in Darling and in theatre and what it has meant to him.

 

He describes the characters he met when establishing his little theatre there and how they impacted on his life; the barefoot boy who sang his heart out and the other little tyke who had never seen the sea.

 

A one-man artist who has perfected his craft, Uys has a wonderful rapport with his audience, punctuating his stories with some naughty asides and infectious laughter.

 

He re-visits a few of the politicians he has played since the 80s. Favourites such as PW Botha and Piet Koornhof (with the big ears) miraculously materialise before your eyes. A highlight of these impersonations is the skilful manner in which he morphs from PW to Jacob Zuma, with a costume change and rearranging his facial features.

 

He talks about his move to Darling, calling it "the best biggest mistake" he ever made. He has been in the town for 22 years and became something of a landmark — even having a street named after his famous alter ego, Evita Bezuidenhout.

 

Evita appears, too. She wouldn't want to miss this party and watching her come to life with make-up, an African print top and a wig raised the roof. His anecdotes about his meetings with Madiba (who loved Evita) and his relationship with the late Winnie Mandela add to the jigsaw of his life — one that has been well spent in contributing immeasurably to the South African theatrical landscape.

 

There is still plenty of life in this 'old' man and may he remain the satirical genius he has proven to be!

 

When In Doubt Say Darling is on at The Studio, Pieter Toerien Theatre, Montecasino, Fourways until 22 April.

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When in doubt say Darling

– Moira de Swardt, artscomments, 6 April 2018

 

I have been watching Pieter-Dirk Uys play his satirical roles as various South African politicians on both sides of the 1994 divide, South Africa’s most famous white woman — Evita Bezuidenhout, the lovely Bambi Kellerman, the intriguing Ouma Ossewania and many more, for more than forty years now. Although I am a little younger than he is, we’ve grown together.  I once lived next door to him in Melville, although I hardly ever saw him — he is fairly retiring in his personal life.

 

The last show of his at Montecasino, this time last year, was an autobiographical one, The Echo of a Noise. This one, When in Doubt Say Darling, is another autobiographical show.  He is clearing out his space in his home in Darling, Western Cape, and as he deals with the various props, he reminisces about his various productions.

 

Most of the older audience remember, with great fondness, each of the characters (and more) he takes props and memories out of his signature plastic crates.  I loved his take on “today’s news” as he looks at “polonialism” and Winnie Mandela who is possibly reuniting with Nelson — unless they have gone to different places.

 

Pieter-Dirk Uys has become a social campaigner over the years, for voter education, for HIV education and for social upliftment wherever he happens to be.  He recounts heart-warming tales of what he is experiencing as he interacts with the underprivileged youngsters from Darling.  This section alone is all new and wonderfully amusing without any satire.

 

Younger audience members assured me they didn’t feel alienated by not knowing who Piet Koornhof was, or not really remembering PW (or any other) Botha. It was almost as if they were stepping into history.  However, most of his audience has aged alongside him and we continue to love his shows even as we remember those days alongside him.

 

When in Doubt Say Darling runs at Pieter Toerien’s Montecasino’s Studio Theatre (upstairs, no disabled access) until 22 April 2018. Tickets from Computicket.

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Uys is Suid-Afrika se eie kisduiweltjie

– Laetitia Pople, Die Burger, 31 March 2018

 

Die woorde “afskeid” en “vertrek” is presies só gerangskik deur die ontslape skrywer Karel Schoeman, dit vervat bykans als wat die mens hier op die ondermaanse hetsy fisiek of emosioneel ontwortel. Hierdie woorde kry nuwe beslag in die vertoning Weifel oor jou twyfel (When in doubt say darling) van die satirikus Pieter-Dirk Uys. Hier takel hy eietydse sake, soos die vlugtelingkrisis, Brexit, haat-spraak en die ondermyning van die demokrasie, maar grawe ook uit ’n magdom van dose op die verhoog ’n paar apartheidspoke. Dit is tyd om ’n paar te groet en agter te laat — dit is vir baie van sy karakters, soos die bejaarde man, tyd om ’n nuwe huis, dalk sy laaste op die aarde, te betrek. Besin Uys oor sy eie uittrede hier?

 

Uys werk altyd met humor, diep insig en deernis, sonder om doekies om te draai. Die stapel dose op die verhoog bevat sy verhooglewe van meer as vier dekades. Soos hy sorteer, dink hy hardop oor die pad en die karakters wat hom in ons 24-jarige demokrasie die nuwe bestel ingedra het. Dit word ’n voëlvlug van ons geskiedenis. “Ons vergeet byvoorbeeld maklik 30 jaar gelede was Oudtshoorn ook nat (Nat)”, word daar skalks opgemerk ná die milde reënbuie op dié Karoodorp.

 

Hy sê as die nuwe wette oor haat-spraak op die wetboeke is, hy nie meer sou kon werk nie — sou hy selfs hierdie vertoning nie mog lewer nie. Woorde is woorde, dit is nie wapens nie, benadruk hy. Oor die afgelope twee dekades het baie mense — veral die bornfrees — hom in ’n blik probeer druk; hy mog byvoorbeeld nie Zuma speel nie, want hy is wit, hy moet liefs die mond gesnoer hou oor dit of dat. Mense vergeet dat Uys ’n kisduiweltjie is — hy spring uit, koggel en tart soos klokslag.

 

Uys bly by sy land en sy mense. Hy bly vlymskerp en eietyds. Hy raak die hartsnare met sy vertolking van ’n bejaarde en sy hond, Smelly, wat na ’n aftreeoord moet gaan. Sy hond mag saam, want nie een van die twee gaan lank daar wees nie. Hy omvorm P.W. Botha met ’n paar kostuumwisselinge in Zuma en “hie-hie” die hele pad hof toe of Dubai toe. Hy toor Angela Merkel, Theresa May, Nelson Mandela op en Evita Bezuidenhout kom loer ook in. Dit is veral die skets oor ’n vlugteling wat by die doeane vasval wat diep sny en raakvat. Ook die bejaarde vrou van die BoKaap wat by haar kinders in Londen gaan kuier – en so duidelik haar midde in ’n swendelary bevind met die aankoop van haar visum.

 

Uys besiel opnuut, want hy is ingeploeg hier en die moue is opgerol. Hy is nog lank nie klaar met sy geliefde land en sy mense nie.

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Language and culture no barrier for this year’s Klein Karoo arts festival

– Steyn du Toit, Business Day, 30 March 2018

    ......

 

Another piece featuring a stage legend is Pieter-Dirk Uys’s new one-man production, Weifel Oor Jou Twyfel/When In Doubt Say Darling. After four decades of ruling the industry, the show sees the beloved satirist rummaging through his attic and storage cupboards.

 

What tumbles out of these closets includes costumes, wigs and, most excitingly, a few brand new characters. Providing both commentary on the past 24 years of us being a democracy, as well as observing South Africans in all our wackiness, don’t be surprised if Uys eventually outlives us all.

    ......

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Charming, chilling and confrontational Mr Uys

At the age of 72, SA’s leading satirist has a new one-man show

– Diane de Beer, Business Day, 27 March 2018

 

The wonderful thing about Pieter-Dirk Uys is his maturity, the way he keeps his eye on the future as he confronts, charms and sometimes chills people with his stories about the past and present.

 

"The age of 72 is a very specific place to be," he says. "You can see your sell-by date. The audition is also over. The disease to please has been cured. You don’t have to prove anything; just improve.

 

"To quote from [a previous show] The Echo of a Noise: sort out your legacy. Make sure you flush before you go."

 

That’s exactly what he is doing with Weifel oor Jy Twyfel: When in Doubt say Darling, which plays at the Klein Karoo National Arts Festival followed by a season at Montecasino’s Pieter Toerien Theatre.

 

"The stage setting is an area filled with cardboard boxes, crates and black bags. Packing-up time. After 40 years I have a collection of props, costumes, wigs, eyelashes, hats and Koornhof masks among old Nat emblems. The show is about sorting out, and reinventing," Uys says.

 

"Out of a box comes a prop. I give it a place in our history, and then it also becomes the centre of a new sketch, character, issue. I also weave throughout stories about my d-word: darling.

 

"And living in Darling: the kids, the community, the hope, the humour and the reality that if we do not look after our communities, the country will dissolve," Uys says.

 

"There is too much focus on government as a superman; government is the essential toilet paper to help us clean up and move on!"

 

As always, this show started with the title. Uys drew inspiration from 1968, when he was the only member of staff in Capab’s public relations department brave enough to deal with Taubie Kushlick, who arrived to direct The Lion in Winter.

 

"Pietertjie darling, she called me, and I was at her bek se call!" he recalls.

 

"Instinctively, I knew how to handle her demands and maybe that was the beginning of the rest of my life as a one-man band. PR is essential. Diplomacy is a foundation to negotiation. When I kissed her goodbye, I said: ‘Mrs Kushlick, you call everyone darling. You must call your autobiography When in Doubt say Darling’.

 

"She looked at me as if I had coughed. Didn’t get it. Didn’t use it. Now I use it!"

 

He understands he has a broader horizon behind him than ahead and he dusts off old targets to remind audiences that bad politics easily reinvents itself as a democratic solution.

 

"In this new show I even do Piet Koornhof in a sketch from 1984 with his focus on illegal blacks, and then reinvent him in the same voice as an officer at Heathrow Airport, sorting out refugees and illegals who want to get into the UK — not unlike what we did in the old days of apartheid," Uys says.

 

"Yes, it is a full English Brexit. I am moving from the brittle political reflections. Let the younger generation sort out their future. I am in my future."

 

Uys still has the discipline and energy to tour with three 70-minute solo shows in his car. "I also treasure my independence. I have no staff: I am my own stage manager, writer, director, performer, driver, publicist and sometimes my own worst enemy," he says.

 

His shows are all about the audiences. He wants to make a difference to their views. He offers audiences an opportunity to laugh at their fears, to confront fear, to understand it and prevent it from winning.

 

"There is no time for knock-knock jokes. The reality of the absurdity around the obscenity of daily life is enough to fill 70 minutes. And then someone leaves my theatre and realises that they have laughed at something they didn’t even dare to think about."

 

He points out that SA has again teetered on the edge of a cliff, only to see "the Ramaphosa wind gush up and level the playing field.

 

"We must stop blindly believing that things will get better. They won’t. What you see is what we’ve got. Just make sure things don’t get worse."

 

Instead of watching the world, he suggests people look in the mirror and ask strangers what their next move should be.

 

"Courage, honesty, compassion, healthy anger, information, respect and maybe a talent to amuse," are his keys to success.

 

Weifel oor Jy Twyfel: When in Doubt say Darling plays at the Klein Karoo National Arts Festival on March 29 and 30, followed by a season at Montecasino’s Pieter Toerien Theatre from April 4 to 22.

 

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Pieter Dirk Uys Aims to Reboot Live Theatre with When In Doubt Say Darling

It’s show time and Pieter Dirk Uys is on the march as he opens his latest show at the Klein Karoo National Arts Festival followed with a season of the same show — albeit with a switch of languages from Afrikaans to English — with a stated mission: Live theatre has slipped down to the bottom of page 5 of everyone’s priorities. Let us reboot it back to page one! He speaks to Diane De Beer about this time of performance.

– Diane De Beer, De Beer Necessities, 25 March 2018

 

The wonderful thing about artist Pieter Dirk Uys is his maturity, the way he is looks back yet keep his eye on the future as he confronts, charms and sometimes chills us with his stories about our past, present and what to expect in years to come.

 

“The age of 72 is a very specific place to be,” he says. “You can see your sell-by date. The audition is also over. The disease to please has been cured. You don’t have to prove anything; just improve. To quote from (a previous show) The Echo of a Noise: sort out your legacy. Make sure you flush before you go.”

 

That’s exactly what he is doing with Weifel oor Jy Twyfel: When in Doubt say Darling which plays at the Klein Karoo National Arts Festival on March 29 and 30 followed by a season at Montecasino’s Pieter Toerien Theatre from April 4 to 22.

 

“The stage setting is an area filled with cardboard boxes, crates and black bags. Packing-up time. After 40 years I have a collection of props, costumes, wigs, eyelashes, hats and Koornhof masks among old Nat emblems. The show is about sorting out, and reinventing.

 

“Out of a box comes a prop. I give it a place in our history, and then it also becomes the centre of a new sketch, character, issue. I also weave throughout stories about my d—word: darling. And living in Darling: the kids, the community, the hope, the humour and the reality that if we do not look after our communities, the country will dissolve.

 

“Too much focus on government as a superman; no, government is the essential toilet paper to help us clean up and move on!”

 

As always, this one also started with the title which began in 1968 when he was the only one in CAPAB’s PR department brave enough to deal with Taubie Kushlick who was arriving to direct The Lion in Winter.

 

Pietertjie-darling, she called me, and I was at her bek se call! Instinctively I knew how to handle her demands and maybe that was the beginning of the rest of my life as a one-man band. PR is essential. Diplomacy is a foundation to negotiation. When I kissed her goodbye, I said: ‘Mrs Kushlick, you call everyone darling.’ ‘Yes, darling?’ she asked. I said: ‘You must call your autobiography When in doubt say darlng.’ She looked at me as if I had coughed. Didn’t get it. Didn’t use it. Now I use it!”

 

Proof again, that his way of thinking is instinctive and is always there — in the early days as much as it is now. But now, many decades on, he can reach back and recycle the past while reinventing the future.

 

He understands that he has a broader horizon behind him than ahead and that’s why he dusts off those targets to remind audiences that bad politics easily reinvents itself as a democratic solution.

 

“In this new show I even do Piet Koornhof in a sketch from 1984 with his focus on illegal blacks, and then reinvent him in the same voice as an officer at Heathrow Airport, sorting out refugees and illegals who want to get into the UK — not unlike what we did in the old days of apartheid.

 

“Yes, it is a full English Brexit. I am moving away from the brittle political reflections. Let the younger generation sort out their future. I am already in my future!”

 

And as he points to his future, he also gives credit to his health. “If you can do it, get on with it. And so far, touch wood and stroke kitty, I still have the discipline and energy to tour with three 70-minute solo shows in the boot of my car. I also treasure my independence. I have no staff: I am my own stage manager, writer, director, performer (he or she) driver, publicist and sometimes my own worst enemy.”

 

“All you need to do is speak clearly and not bump into the furniture.”

 

His shows are all about the audience. He wants to make a difference to their view of life and their belief in themselves. No small task!

 

It’s about laughing at your fear, confronting fear, giving it a name, understanding its lethal ability but never allowing it to win, he explains. “There is no time for knock-knock jokes. The reality of the absurdity around the obscenity of daily life is enough to fill 70 minutes. And then someone leaves my theatre and realises that they have laughed at something they don’t even dare think about.”

 

He points out that we have just again teetered on the edge of a cliff only to see “the Ramaphosa wind gush up and level the playing field. We must stop blindly believing that things will get better. They won’t.  What you see is what we’ve got. Just make sure things don’t get worse.”

 

Instead of watching the world, he suggests we look in the mirror and ask the stranger his/her next move.

 

“Courage, honesty, compassion, healthy anger, information, respect and maybe a talent to amuse,” are his keys to success.

 

But not just any old talent. It is one that he has kept shining for more than half a century — and now sparkles more brightly than ever.

 

PS: ‘Evita’s Free Speech’ on You Tube every Sunday is now in Episode 132!  On Daily Maverick on Mondays. She has 140,000 on @TannieEvita.

 

* KKNK: Thursday and Friday (March 29 and 30) at 6pm at Oudtshoorn Civic Centre

 

* Pieter Toerien Theatre, Montecasino: (April 4 to 22); Wednesday to Friday at 8pm, Saturdays at 4pm and Sundays 3pm.

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When In Doubt Say Darling:  An entertainment with Pieter-Dirk Uys and other darlings

 

A new show about forgetting, forgiving, remembering, faking, making up and doing.

 

Sometimes politics repeats itself, not only taking history and turning it into farce, but taking farce and turning into the fake news that is now called entertainment.

 

Pieter-Dirk Uys is sorting out 40 years of distress, disguise and disgust: from apartheid to tripartite, from amandla to Nkandla. Wigs, glasses, wagging fingers, toyi-toyis, red berets, trump cards of madness, icons and aikonas. From Bezuidenhouts, Raubenheimers and Ramaphosas to Alzheimers.

 

At a time when a casual greeting or embrace can be seen as racist or harassment, the advice is simple: when in doubt say darling.

 

   •  If you can’t remember their names, just say darling.

   •  If you get lost along the road to somewhere, simply ask for Darling.

   •  He did it, and now Pieter-Dirk Uys also lives in Darling.

 

Join him and many darlings on an exciting walk to the edge of the next cliff when the end of the world seems nigh.  It used to be called a sunset. Here’s a secret: the sun will also rise tomorrow, darling.

 

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