Interview with an Angel

Cape Town Today talks to playwright Pieter-Dirk Uys about his new production "Auditioning Angels"

How did it feel writing a play again after almost 13 years?

Pieter-Dirk Uys: Die Vleiroos was in 1991 — and writing a play is still one of the most exciting experiences. Wished there was more need for more dramas.

Was there any single event that motivated you to write Auditioning Angels?

PDU: The lack of political and social discourse and argument — like in the 80's. The stage is the only place not yet stilled by self-censorship or political correctness. Sadly the minister of health and the president don't go to see plays.

What did you set out to achieve with Auditioning Angels?

PDU: Entertain by reflecting the reality of life, make us laugh at fear and encourage people to explore new areas of opinion and ideas.

What has the audience reaction been like?

PDU: The reaction has been very divided. The under 25's embrace the play as a way of their lives; the older audiences are uncomfortable and yearn for some easy comedy.

Has anybody in government passed any comments?

PDU: No.

When you watch the play now, are you happy with the final product, or are there changes you would have liked to make?

PDU: There are always changes once you're happy with this step — the next step could be an opera? A t-shirt? An aids policy from government? The struggle continues....

Considering the grim content of the play, I found the end rather surprising. Don't you think it was perhaps a bit too happy or even unrealistic?

PDU: That's the joy of theatre. Everyone has the right to make up their own minds. The end is prophetic; we will soon have to adopt babies like stray kittens. Unrealistic??? Is anything unrealistic, from 9/11 to the rape of a baby?

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from 2003