Veteran actor Zane Meas takes on one-man stage production

Published Jun 20, 2024


Veteran actor and former “Isidingo” and “7de Laan” actor, Zane Meas, will return to centre stage on June 28 with his stage piece titled, “Van Wyk: The Storyteller of Riverlea” which he wrote and is directed by Campbell Meas.

According to Prithven Pillay of the Roodepoort Theatre, Meas’ performance offers close and fascinating insight into the life of poet, writer and activist Chris van Wyk and Meas’ very close ally.

This piece of enthralling theatre will be staged at the Roodepoort Theatre from Friday, June 28, to Friday, July 12.

“The production offers audiences a captivating look into the colourful and word-rich life of Van Wyk, a character that is synonymous with profound storytelling in South Africa.

“The Roodepoort Theatre is honoured to host such a compelling production that not only entertains but also plays homage to the enduring legacy of storytelling. We invite patrons to join us for an evening of exceptional theatre that promises to leave a lasting impression,” Pillay said of the production.

Those who, over the years, have witnessed the work of the veteran actor know that this production will be one for the books as the Johannesburg-born actor and playwright has become synonymous with versatility and depth.

Pillay says in this stage production, Meas goes further than impersonating Van Wyk and embodies the true essence of the character in a refreshing performance that strikes just the right note.

“As such, his portrayal of this character is expected to resonate deeply with audiences, providing a glimpse into the soul of Van Wyk while celebrating the power of narrative in our lives.”

Like Meas, Soweto-born Chris was a prolific and respected South African writer, author, poet, editor and above all, a storyteller of great impact.

He was known for his works that often explored themes of apartheid, social justice and everyday life in South Africa. One of his most famous works is “Shirley, Goodness and Mercy”, a collection of short stories.

Van Wyk also authored several children’s books, including “It Is Time for the Siblings to Move”, “Ouma Ruby and Secret” and his children’s version of Nelson Mandela’s “Long Walk to Freedom”, the theatre statement reads.

“Additionally, Chris van Wyk was involved in editing and contributed to various literary publications. His writing often carried a mix of humour, wit, and profound insight into the human condition. Van Wyk passed away in 2014, but his literary contributions continue to be celebrated in South Africa and beyond,” said Pillay.

The stage production also serves as a tribute to Meas’ close friend and legend of Riverlea.

Meas penned “Van Wyk: The Storyteller of Riverlea” as a tribute to his friend Van Wyk and their ties to Riverlea, a neighbourhood with a rich cultural tapestry and history of resistance against apartheid.

Having grown up in the same neighbourhood, Meas is able, through the life of Van Wyk and the ties to their neighbourhood, to capture the essence of his artistry and the enduring power of Van Wyk’s storytelling in this captivating show.

The Star

[email protected]