BWW Review: #HETWO: EVITA EXPOSED at Theatre On The Bay is Full of Heart and Belly Laughs
It's billed as a unique confrontation where Pieter-Dirk Uys and Evita Bezuidenhout finally come face to face. However, it's so much more than that. This show feels like a love letter to the nation's favourite tannie.
The simple setting of a table and chair off to one side and a projector and screen at the back is all Uys needs to help us and him relive some of the highlights of his career and Evita's extraordinary life. As a huge fan of both, I found the start somewhat terrifying - we are at tannie Evita's funeral and some the various characters she has interacted with over the years have come to say their farewells and to tell stories. Thankfully this was really just a way to introduce the concept of looking back and the world does not have to say farewell to Evita. I know I'm not ready for that!
But what an incredible trip down memory lane. It must have been quite something for Uys to dust off some of his characters and bring them to life again. You could tell that the audience was loving it. There's something special about the contrast of the familiar on stage but giving us new jokes and new takes on old stories.
The projector and screen on stage were used to show old photos and clips from televisions shows and broadcast events where Evita featured. What a treat to look back at all these moments in our history. I got goose bumps thinking about the impact that Uys and his creation of Evita have had on the world.
To me, the most fascinating part of the entire show was listening to Uys talk about his shared history with Evita. She is so real to him, and to most of South Africa if we're honest. It was almost as if Uys was trying to work out if she is actually real and he is merely impersonating her as he does so many other famous people. The title of the show, #HeTwo, was obviously inspired by the conversation sparked by the #MeToo movement. However, Uys was really looking at the two people he lives with: himself and herself.
If I'm honest, I wanted more. I wanted to really delve into this psychological and almost existential question of does Evita really exist. There is a fantastic moment of confrontation between the two at the end, which I loved, but felt it could've been pushed further. This might just be me though, who always wants to get to the bottom of the thought process...
It is a great show with a lot of heart and a lot of laughs. The audience members all came out with smiles on their faces on opening night. It was classic Pieter-Dirk Uys and classic Evita Bezuidenhout: thought-provoking, funny, from the heart and on point with the current popular conversation.
Photo credit: supplied
#HETWO: EVITA EXPOSED will be performed at Theatre on the Bay until 14 September. Tickets cost R150R220 and bookings can be made at Computicket on 0861 915 8000, online at www.computicket.com or at any Shoprite Checkers outlet.