STEPPING OUT: Richard September and De Klerk Oelofse as Bal-Oog and Brommel. Picture: Isabelle Grobler
Bal-Oog and Brommel are a lovable teenage duo who spend a lot of their free time trawling the streets of the dark underworld in Milnerton, seeking out the baddies.

When the pair were brought to life in a comic book, Die Avonture van Bal-Oog en Brommel: Moord in Ixia Straat, which was launched last year, they quickly developed a cult following - do-good buddies who want to conquer the world and bring it right.

Written by Sjaka Septembir, the comic has now been turned into a fun, edge-of-your-seat theatre production, currently premiering at the University of Stellenbosch Woordfees.

Septembir says the comic was initially started in 2000, when he made photocopies of the work and dished them out at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown.

“It was really very grassroots at that stage. But then we made a web video and life happened. We decided to make the characters less anarchic, more teenage-high-school.”

The other members of his team are illustrator Willem Samuel and Swart Streep, who coloured in the images.

Septembir says the idea of setting the action in Milnerton stems from his living in an apartment there.

“The 711 was robbed at least once a week; schoolgirls were being picked up you know all these stories were woven in.

“Bal-Oog is the character who lives in a flat with his mother, and Brommel comes to visit him on holiday.

“I initially got quite a lot of my inspiration from the Tintin comics, which I have a great fondness for - and you really can get a lot of empathy by reading this local boys’ story and seeing the play,” Septembir says.

The hilarious detective story, he says, is a real roller-coaster ride.

“Bal-Oog and Brommel embark on their first detective adventure, which leads to a series of hilarious situations.”

There’s a murder (of another character, Kobus, and Bal-Oog is in love with his girlfriend), a dog that smells something rotten, and in general a sequence of humour.

“Among all the excitement, the teens find they actually perhaps don’t want to save the world, and just want to enjoy their holiday and make music!

“I am very excited about the team bringing this story to life, which is going to be a visual and theatrical feast!,” he says.

Die Avonture van Bal-Oog en Brommel: Moord in Ixia Straat is performed in Afrikaans. It is directed by award-winning Gideon Lombard (Die Reuk van Appels, Suidooster) and stars Richard September (Rooivalk, Rondomskrik, Marat/Sade) as Brommel and De Klerk Oelofse (Liewe Heksie: Flower Power, Na-aap, Balbesit) as Bal-Oog, with live music by Gertjie Besselsen (Segs Vir Almal, Die Vlammende Fez, Die Storm).

* The show will be performed at the Woordfees at Hoërskool Lückhoff on March 7, 10 and 11. Tickets from Computicket.

It will then be performed at the Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunstefees in Oudtshoorn at the Griesselsaal from March 29 to 31, followed by performances at the Alexander Bar in Cape Town from May 28 to June 2.

The comic book will also be at FanCon on April 28 and 29. For more about Bal-Oog en Brommel, visit www.bal-oog.co.za