An audience with Bambi Kellerman? How can one not attend? Her opening salvo confirms all one’s instincts.
“It’s a like a whore’s handbag,” she says, referring to the plush red interiors of Theatre on the Square’s recent revamp.
She had to dress down and steps out demurely in a black pants suit and apologises for looking like a matric class pianist.
I had accidentally written down “matrix”!
That’s what Ms Bambi does to you as she admits she felt she had to go for something hysterical. She is in Gauteng to promote her show 50 Shades of Bambi at Theatre on the Square which opens tomorrow night and runs until March 16.
“Ich bin ein Afrikaner,” she says in her best Berlin cabaret provocative speak with a nod to a famous US president, but also playing with many other thoughts in your head.
“They might shoot you in the head, but they’re always polite!”
She’s back with the Afrikaner, of course.
That’s Bambi for you – or any of Pieter-Dirk Uys’s alter egos. But especially Bambi. She’s the naughty yet sometimes nice one and it’s clever to cut her loose with the elections looming.
There are no politics here, she murmurs, but we all know she’s dropping a whopper. Her creator can’t breathe if he’s not pricking the conscience.
“My sister,” she says mockingly about the more famous Evita, “has joined the ANC and they deserve her.”
The two siblings don’t get along and are never seen in the same room.
Introducing her background to those who haven’t met this particular Uys guise, Bambi performed in Berlin, started out advertising the goods by sitting naked in a window and married a former Nazi, Joachim von Kellerman, who reminded her of the ooms in Bethlehem.
But now she’s back in this exciting country and wants to talk sex – either with consenting adults or confused idiots. She jumps on her edu-tainment bandwagon and says: “If we can’t talk to each other, how can we talk to our children? If you’re not doing the talking, someone else will.”
It’s that kind of chatter, laughter with a lesson, the best kind of medicine, that is used so powerfully.
That’s also the show – stories, songs (absolutely, she’s a cabaret star!) and reality checks. She is, after all, Evita’s sister. The tannie can’t be the only one to grab the serious stuff.
She wants everyone to come to the cabaret, but please, “bring a sense of humour!”
Then, as if she suddenly realises she can’t let this one go, she says of her morning’s journey from OR Tambo: “I was driving without an e-tag. I feel such a fraud. I feel I can run the SABC!”
Back to politics, which she won’t touch.
“We have to get involved in elections and protect our freedom: For those who don’t know, google Weimar Republic. See what happens when we’re careless.”
Who are you going to vote for, someone asks the lady?
“I might look closely at Malema. We have to keep that voice on the left.”
Distracted for a moment when a journalist says he represents The Guardian, she lets slip: “Oh dear, half of England has become Venice.”
That’s the mind of this chameleon comedian who is quicker out of the blocks than Mamphela Ramphele drops parties and doesn’t let anything slip his mind or pass by unobtrusively. It’s the things we all talk about which he dangles with a different slant and has people looking at again and again from this side and that.
Whom we should vote for? It’s a secret, one of the few we have, she notes.
In conclusion: “I’m a girl of 70, had a full life, did everything at least twice, am HIV positive, but I take the drugs and I’m fighting for a union for sex workers. It’s dangerous work, but in this way, future wives of the president will also contribute and pay.”
That’s the kind of slippery slopes she likes selecting as she also pays honour to her pianist for the show, Godfrey Johnson, then she slips away for some selfies with a few of the journos – nogal!
• Fifty Shades of Bambi, Sandton Theatre on the Square, tomorrow to March 16.