OSCAR AND THE PINK LADY Begins 29 July at the Baxter

Sandra Prinsloo in OSCAR AND THE PINK LADY
Sandra Prinsloo in OSCAR AND THE PINK LADY
Photo credit: Pieter Lombaard

OSCAR AND THE PINK LADY, the English version of Sandra Prinsloo's award winning Afrikaans play OSKAR EN DIE PIENK TANNIE will be at the Baxter Golden Arrow Theatre from 29 July until 23 August 2014. Due to public demand, there will also be 5 shows performed in Afrikaans, from 5 to 9 August, under the original title. This will be the first time that audiences in the Mother City will have a chance to see this widely acclaimed production starring one of South Africa's greatest actresses.

The play, directed by Lara Bye, is based on a novel by Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt, that was initially translated from French (OSCAR ET LA DAME ROSE) into Afrikaans by Naòmi Morgan. In the play, terminally ill ten-year Oscar, who has cancer, blames himself - as children tend to do - for his operation having been unsuccessful and casts a jaded eye on adults, love, hormones, God and death. His life buoy is Granny Rose, an elderly woman who visits the children's hospital every day. She is wise, witty and irreverent. To amuse him, she concocts tales of her days as the Wonderful West Coast Warrior, a free-style wrestler. She is morally brave and never lies to the child. She orders him to live every day as if it were ten years and advises him to write a letter to God every day and to make a wish.

With only a single table and a hospital bed onstage, Prinsloo expertly portrays the dying boy, a grandmother and a host of other characters in the children's ward. She casts off her skin seamlessly, embodying a host of sharply-etched characters. Although the play is definitely Kleenex territory, the text is crisp, cursorily sad and incidentally funny. Prinsloo plays against the sentiment, treading lightly over singeing sadness, delicately touching on paradigm-shifting insights and absent-mindedly caressing absurdities. Her timelessness is striking: the freshness of her creative genius bridges borders, sexes and generations.

The phenomenal Prinsloo is no longer 'op 'n drafstap'. She is galloping. First it was THE SEWING MACHINE that overwhelmed audiences countrywide and at the Edinburgh Festival, and now it is OSCAR AND THE PINK LADY, an equally successful and brilliant piece of theatre. Lighting design for the production is by Pieter-Jan Kap with background music by Braam du Toit.

OSKAR EN DIE PIENK TANNIE has been performed at several venues around the country since 2012, scooping multiple accolades wherever it was presented: Best Theatre Production, Best Director (Lara Bye) and Best Actress (Sandra Prinsloo) at the 2013 ABSA Klein Karoo Kunstefees (KKNK); Best Production, Best Director and Best Actress at the 2013 Fiestas; Best Actress at Aardklop in 2012; Best Theatre Production at Vryfees in 2012 and Best Free State Artist (Naòmi Morgan) at Vryfees in 2012.

OSCAR AND THE PINK LADY runs at the Baxter Golden Arrow Studio from 29 July to 23 August 2014 from Tuesdays to Saturdays at 7:30pm.The Afrikaans version, OSKAR EN DIE PIENK TANNIE, runs from 5 to 9 August 2014 at 7:30pm. There are two matinees at 4pm on 2 and 23 August. Tickets are available via Computicket and cost R120 with special discounts available for senior citizens, students and block bookings of 10 or more. The play has an age restriction of PG10.

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