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PRESS: A trio of award-winning Afrikaans plays, make up the season at the Baxter this November

Marie Vogts


Afrikaans theatre takes centre stage at the Baxter Golden Arrow Studio, with three award-winning, Afrikaans plays, from 15 to 27 November 2022, at 7pm, with 3pm matinees. These three exceptional and hugely popular productions - Frank Opperman's Ek wens, ek wens, Nico Scheepers' Nêrens, Noord-Kaap, followed by its sister production, Amper, Vrystaat - come hot off their sell-out success at various Afrikaans festivals.

Ek wens, ek wens is based on the novel by Zirk van den Berg, adapted, designed and directed by Philip Rademeyer, with Frank Opperman. There are only five performances from 15 to 19 November and there is parental guidance of 13 years (language).

Opperman plays Seb, a mortician who leads a gray, simple and unhappy existence. His life is one of routine and trifles, and he has long ceased to see the wonder and grandeur of life. One day he meets an angelic boy, Gawie. The magical consequences of this meeting force Seb to ask, ‘If I only had one wish, what would I wish for? Another job, a lot of money, better relationships with the people around me? What is important to me? What do I want most in my life?’

The media raved. AJ Opperman for Netwerk24 said, “This production is any theatre-goer's dream. But Opperman's game impresses the most. The tone in which he speaks, all the movements. Everything worked out so perfectly. That you will laugh is certain, but it contains an incredible seriousness. Because while you see Opperman perfectly performing his fine craftsmanship, you wonder about life. And the later the angrier. And the beautiful closing sentence makes you think further. There is a lot to tell, but it's hard not to let the monkey slip. So go see for yourself instead. This piece deserves it.”

The production won the Aardklop National Arts Festival 2021's best production award and Frank Opperman received the award for best actor in this one-man show.

Nêrens, Noord-Kaap, after the great success of the series on kykNET, runs on 19 and 20 November, at 3pm and at 7pm, on 22, 24 and 26 November.

Like in the television series, it can now be seen live on stage, at The Baxter. Three brothers - played by Albert Pretorius, De Klerk Oelofse and Geon Nel - are directed by Nico Scheepers, who also wrote the play.

“Viewers who enjoyed the kykNET series can now look forward to the theatre production where it all began,” says Creative Project Manager, Marie Vogts.

Seasoned arts writer, Marina Griebenow, for Ink, said, “The text is so cleverly developed and written that each note of a brother contributes to the symphonic whole and the tension between themselves and above all in a similar vein to a striking climax."

Andrea Winckler, for Kritiek, described it, “As a director and playwright, Scheepers has an impeccable ability to manipulate the energy on stage to keep the audience riveted throughout. One moment you laugh, then suddenly he speaks to the soul and forces you to introspect."

Awards include, Best National Debut Production (2018 Free State Arts Festival), KykNet Fiesta 2018 and Best Duo or Ensemble, KykNet Fiesta 2018. Nominations include: Best Actor (De Klerk Oelofse), KykNet Fiesta 2018; Best Newly Created Afrikaans Text (Nico Scheepers), WoordTROfees 2018; Best Player (De Klerk Oelofse), WoordTROfees 2018; Best Director (Nico Scheepers), WoordTROfees 2018; Best Play, KKNK KANNA Awards, 2018; Best Director (Nico Scheepers), KKNK KANNA Awards 2018; Best Actor (Geon Nel & De Klerk Oelofse, KKNK KANNA Awards 2018 and Best Theater Presentation.

Sister production, Amper, Vrystaat brings together three formidable women, Antoinette Louw, Cintaine Schutte and Milan Murray, darlings of Afrikaans theatre, television and festivals.

Set in the Free State, where secrets kick the bucket, three estranged sisters meet for their Mother's funeral in Amper, a town in the middle of nowhere. There where the earth is so flat you can see your future and who knows what awaits when when you climb a windmill? The strange circumstances surrounding their mother's death have the whole county buzzing.

Amper, Vrystaat, is a comedy with heart, a story with truth, that touches everyone. And acknowledges that everyone has a secret.

The production received Best Debut Production at the Free State Arts Festival 2015, five Fiesta nominations in 2016 (and won the Fiesta for Best Theatre Design), an ATKVeertjie nomination for Best New Afrikaans Text in 2016, as well as Best Production at Aardklop 2016.

Bookings for all three of the productions in the Afrikaans season at The Baxter, is through Webtickets online or at Pick n Pay stores. Tickets are R180 and R100 for pensioners.

For discounted theatre package, for all three productions, contact Marie Vogts on email or cell 071 965 2870.


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