Pieter-Dirk Uys’s great skill is his ability to think deeply, write succinctly and present superbly. I don’t think that calling him a genius is far-fetched and his latest show reinforces his standing as one of South Africa’s greatest artists.
“When in Doubt, Say Darling” takes a side swipe at political correctness and the inability of some of our countrymen and women to eradicate words from our vocabulary that are shot like arrows at the balloon of goodwill that Nelson Mandela left us as part of his legacy.
Whilst he is cutting in his portrayal of politicians antics, he is neither myopic, one side or cruel : he tells it as it is. And it is his telling that is – well – telling. He seems to understand that politicians are simply flawed beings who cannot help themselves ( mmm – contradiction perhaps ? ). No matter which side of the political spectrum they pollute, politicians will always let their flaws hang out for all to see – and for Pieter Dirk Uys to ‘talk’ to us about.
This show takes us on a journey through parts of Mr Uys’ life since he moved to Darling, renovating his new home, interaction with the towns residents and with detours into the past; where we are reminded of the info scandal, P.W. Botha and of course Piet Koornhof. On the way he pricks ( yes – Malusi gets a mention too ) at the DA, millennials and erstwhile president, Jacob Zumba. He regales us with light hearted memories of Nelson Mandela, who he was clearly very fond of, but has little funny to say about Julius Malema, who he appears to have dark reservations about. And of course Tannie Evita closes the show.
A standout for me was Pieter Dirk Uys changing costumes and personas on stage. It’s not just the costumes, makeup and hair that change; his facial expression, body posture and entire demeanour morph seamlessly into the new characters.
Full house – tick.
Standing ovation – tick.
Worth seeing – Absolutely Darlings !!!!