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In a time of depression, recession, fear and anger, what is better and more healing than a good laugh at the expense of those who depress, frighten and annoy us?
Celebrating 2012 as a year of “radical change” in SA through political paralysis, Tonight caught up with some of the characters from Uys’s new show to get their thoughts on the state of the nation, its politics and politicians, and the socio-economic climate today.
Here’s what they had to say:
Advice to Juju from Uncle Adolf: I was helped out of political obscurity by the financial crash of 1929. Your crash will come. Promise the poor anything. They are the majority.
Evita Bezuidenhout on the Budget: Yes, Minister Gordhan sounds like Oprah. Government’s first and main commitments are education, housing, health and welfare. Then, once everyone is alive and well, transport and the environment. Then, when everyone has travelled and seen the beauty of our country, security and tourism, to bring them in with their investments and let them out with their lives. No one celebrates a 100th birthday on state funds!
Former apartheid president PW Botha: I always said it and I’ll say it again: “Adapt or die!” Now all you hear in the queue at the Australian high commission is: “Adapt or fly!” I won’t say it again, but let me state here most categorically: “I told you so!”
FW de Klerk: Blame me! Someone had to open that door and it could not be a member of the ANC because they were all inside. So viva, Pretoriastroika!
Mrs Pietersen on the Cape Flats: How can they call the DA a whites-only party? Look at Zille, De Lille en hulle! Helen’s botox is making her look coloured!
Julius Malema: It’s not just my woodwork; I blame Bantu Education for everything. How must I know the word “suspension” doesn’t mean “promotion”?
Jacob Zuma: I’m on my way to New York with the first ladies. Where is the empty Jumbo Jet? My ZuMamas need their shopping trolley!
Nowell Fine (old white liberal kugel now in her seventies): I am not having a nervous breakdown because I trust the ANC, I swear to God. They will investigate every cul de sac before they find the freeway.
A security policeman, now retired: “Roses are red, violets are blue, apartheid is dead, and so are you!” Ja, I must laugh.
There is ou Jacob Zuma still with that cloud of corruption hanging over his head.
And me? Golden handshakes, amnesty and a nice security job in Iraq. Life can be beautiful.
Former apartheid prime minister BJ Vorster: Ons sal lewe. Hulle kan sterwe.
The architect of apartheid, Hendrik Verwoerd: Ah, Mr Tsafendas, what can I do for you?
Madiba: Graça, please switch tv channels to The Bold and the Beautiful. I can’t take the breaking news any more.
• Pieter-Dirk Uys’s Adapt or Fly will run at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre from March 6 to March 18, from April 3 to 29 at The Fringe at the Joburg Theatre, from May 14 to June 9 at the Baxter Studio, Cape Town, and from June 27 to July 7 at the National Arts festival in Grahamstown. The Durban run: at 8pm, Tuesday to Saturday and at 3pm on Sunday. Low price preview: R95 on Tuesday, March 6. From March 7 to 18 March: R140 at Computicket.
Some interesting facts before you see the show:
• ”Adapt or die” was said by then prime minister PW Botha when he announced his proposed revisions of apartheid policies as a prelude to the 1981 general election, which was still for whites only. Uys started his onslaught against the racist regime at the Market Theatre, then toured the country and went overseas with his show.
• Adapt or Dye was the first local video – a recording of a Market Theatre performance in 1982 – to be introduced through DVD stores and those few outlets that had the courage to make it available. That was its essence: humour.
• Thirty years ago Uys started his total onslaught against careless, corrupt and unacceptable politics. He feels apartheid may officially be dead, but the careless, corrupt political crooks and clowns are still “dancing centre stage”.
• He says his new show will be “a personal political comedy-trek” along a familiar long |tip-toe to freedom, through the minefields of racism and sexism that have always made up the tarmac of our political freeway.
• Laughter at fear has always been an Uys trademark, from the darkness of his first one-man show in 1982 (Adapt or Dye), to the kaleido-|scope of colours in his 2012 show (Adapt or Fly).