Ter Hollman tickles the funny bone with his interpretation of a breakup in ‘2Lovers’

Tessa Jubber and Ter Hollman in a scene from ‘2Lovers’. Picture: Supplied

Tessa Jubber and Ter Hollman in a scene from ‘2Lovers’. Picture: Supplied

Published Jun 4, 2024


BREAKUPS are painful but Ter Hollmann channels the funnier side of it in “2Lovers”.

A writer and actor, he wrote the script for the SCrIBE Scriptwriting Competition held by The Imbewu Trust in 2017. He didn’t win and he made it through as a finalist.

Hollmann said: “And then I went went away and rewrote the script and did a short run in 2018 at POPArt with another actress, Michelle Levine. We were about to bring it to the world in 2020 and then Covid happened.

“In 2022, we brought it back but Michelle had moved on and so we approached Tessa (Jubber).”

“2 Lovers” is directed by Craig Morris and stars Hollmann alongside Jubber. It explores the intricacies of love and long-term relationships but in a humorous and relatable way.

On the script, Hollmann said: “It is the arc of a love story from beginning to end. It unfolds from the first meeting to that awkward meeting years later and everything that happens in between.

“It has a broken chronological sequence so it doesn’t play from beginning to end.”

He said: “I wrote it for a number of reasons. A love story is always popular. But I wanted to write a piece of theatre that would get people back into the theatre.

“I wanted it to be challenging and something that people would notice. But I also wanted it to be funny, for people to have a good time and walk out smiling.

“I wanted to write a breakup story that would make people happy. That was the premise I was working on with experiences from my own life coupled with those of my friends.”

Interestingly, Hollmann and Morris knew each other from their university days at Rhodes. But they hadn’t seen each other for many years, barring one chance meeting at a party.

Hollmann said: “I watched him do a play called ‘Johnny Boskak is feeling funny’, which he had done very well, and I thought he would be perfect to direct my play and went to speak with him.”

On trusting Morris to bring his vision to life on stage, he said: “I’m not that passionate. There were a few moments where I was like, I’m not going to back down from this.

“But if you want complete control as a writer, write a novel. Plays and movies are more collaborative so we trust and go with it. I know Craig very well.

“There were certainly compromises and I gave up certain things in the script that I felt were important but he said: ‘No, it has to be like this’. You trust the process. It wasn’t difficult for me. The choices that Craig made were the right choices.”

As for sharing the stage with Jubber, Hollmann said: “It’s been a wonderful experience. I didn’t really know Tessa, I knew of Tessa. I approached Craig first and we talked about actresses and we had to look at who would be amenable to profit share as we weren’t able to pay upfront.

“And Tessa was eager to come on board. We’ve become the best of friends, professionally and socially.”

Over the years, the script was reworked.

Ter Hollman and Tessa Jubber in ‘2Lovers’. Picture: Supplied

He said: “We debated over changing Twitter to X but the story is set in the past.”

Hollmann was also mindful of the language used, especially with the rise of the #MeToo movement.

“In one scene, the character described herself as overweight but our understanding of body shaming etc. means that we try not to use that kind of language. And the play was updated to reflect this better way,” he said.

“2Lovers” will be headed to Makhanda for this year’s National Arts Festival and, thereafter, it will be staged at the Hilton Arts Festival in August.

Where: Theatre on the Square, Sandton.

When: Ends on June 15. Plays at 7.30pm during the week and at 5pm and 8pm on Saturdays.

Cost: Tickets cost R200 through Computicket. Group booking discounts available.

The King of Broken Things

Written and directed by the visionary Michael Taylor-Broderick, and featuring the brilliant Cara Roberts in the solo role, “The King of Broken Things” is a theatrical masterpiece that has been captivating hearts and minds across South Africa and beyond.

This bittersweet story of loss and longing is an invitation to experience the world through the unfiltered lens of a wise child, offering profound insights into the human experience.

The heart-warming one-person play draws on ancient Japanese traditions, mythology, and the power of dreams, serving as a poignant reminder of the magic that surrounds us and the importance of empathy in a fractured world.

Where: The Market Theatre.

When: June 5 to June 23, 7pm, and 3pm on Sundays.

Cost: Ticket prices between R100 to R200 through Webtickets. No under-10s allowed. There is a half-price special on Wednesday.