Lefra Productions is well-known by now for its hilarious farces. This year's brand new farce is My Boetie se Boetie se Boetie se Baba by Ray Cooney and his son, Michael.
It is one of the most successful shows yet on London's West End. Charles Spencer of The Telegraph wrote: "This is a laughter machine!" and Steven Stanley of Stage Scene LA wrote: "An evening of laughs!" My Boetie se Boetie se Boetie se Baba features top actors like Ana van Achterbergh, Botha Enslin, Cindy Swanepoel, Cobus Venter, Dirk Vermeulen, Duncan Johnson, Francois van Rensburg, Marga van Rooy and Phillru van Achterbergh.
In My Boetie se Boetie se Boetie se Baba we meet Tom Koekemoer (Cobus Venter). He and his wife Linda (Cindy Swanepoel), are excited about the prospect of adopting a baby. All that remains is a visit from the social worker (Marga van Rooy), answering a few questions, and the baby is theirs! But things don't work out that way. Not even close! While Tom is living a respected middleclass life, the same cannot be said of his brothers Dick (Botha Enslin) and Harry (Francois van Rensburg). It's not that the brothers aren't close … but the threesome is clearly two-thirds dysfunctional. Dick has just returned from Zimbabwe with contraband cigarettes and brandy, and Harry is trying to bury a cadaver in Tom's garden. To make matters worse, two illegal immigrants (Ana van Achterbergh and Dirk Vermeulen) appear on the scene, the prudish social worker arrives, a never-say-die police constable (Duncan Johnson) becomes suspicious and the scoundrel Boris (Phillru van Achterbergh) comes to fetch his payment … and what follows is a huge hysterical mix-up!
By Ray Cooney and Michael Cooney
Translated and adapted by Frans Swart
Director and Producer Frans Swart
With Ana van Achterbergh, Botha Enslin, Cindy Swanepoel, Cobus Venter, Dirk Vermeulen, Duncan Johnson, Francois van Rensburg, Marga van Rooyen, Phillru van Achterbergh
Set Hugo Hewitt
Drama Theatre, ArtsCape, D F Malan Street, Foreshore, Cape Town
Tuesday, 29 September @ 19:30 | Wednesday, 30 September @ 19:30 | Thusrday, 1 October @ 19:30
Friday, 2 October @ 19:30 | Saturday, 3 October @ 14:30 & 19:30 | Sunday, 4 October @ 14:30
My Boetie se Boetie se Boetie se Baba will visit ArtsCape in Cape Town from 29 September to 4 October this year. Bookings can be made at Computicket on 0861 915 8000 or at www.computicket.com. Groups of more than 10 will receive substantial discounts; please phone Lefra Productions on (011) 815-3000, or send an e-mail to email@example.com. You’re also welcome to discuss fundraising activities with us. For more information, visit www.boetie.co.za or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ana van Achterbergh obtained her B-Tech Diploma in Drama and Film at the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) in Pretoria. Her love of and passion for drama began in childhood, when she participated in each and every eistedfodd and became a cultural star by being awarded Best Public Speaker and Best Actor of her high school. At 11, she won the the drama division on the television programme Star Search. In addition, Ana is South Africa's Liewe Heksie, performing in that production since 2010. Ana was formerly a radio presented at East Rand Stereo 93.9FM, directing various ATKV shows and writing short films. Last year, Ana played Mary in My Boetie se Sussie se Ou.
The talented Botha Enslin completed his drama qualification at the Pretoria Technikon (nou TUT) in 2003, and has been particularly involved in children's theatre with around 30 productions under his belt. “Children's theatre teaches children how to be children again, despite the high tech times we live in,” Botha says. “It allows children to dream and broadens their imagination”. Botha has been participating in in the Lefra production, Liewe Heksie, since 2010, in which he plays a few different roles. Besides his performances in children's productions, Botha also featured in among others Houtkruis - the Musical as well as Jonathan Taylor's 2010 production, Dogs of the Blue Gods. He is well-known in television advertisements, and roles in inter alia the soapies Generations and Rhythm City and then, of course, as the drag queen Thalula in Erfsondes! He also played Detective Sergeant Slater in the 2013 production of My Vrou se Man se Lyk se Tas and Stanley Gardener in My Boetie se Sussie se Ou.
Cindy Swanepoel completed her B-Dram Honours at the University of Stellenbosch in 2003, and has since performed in more than 20 children's productions. Theatre productions in which she played a leading role included Kringe in ‘n Bos, The Crucible, Houtkruis – the Musical, Dalliances and Curl up and Dye. She is also a familiar face on TV, and has acted in Villa Rosa, Egoli – Place of Gold, Generations, Geraamtes in die Kas, Sterlopers, Laugh Out Loud and Pandjieswinkelstories, which will be on stage later this year. She is currently in Proesstraat and is co-owner of the production company Pôkô Events and Productions. Cindy was also part of last year's Silver Screen Festival, in the short film Eenrigting for which she was nominated Best Actres. Cindy also played Barbara in last year's My Boetie se Sussie se Ou, and movie goers will be able to see her soon in the role of Mysi Moolman in Ballade vir ’n Enkeling.
Cobus Venter has been making a name for himself as singer and actor over the past twelve years with leading roles in musicals such as My Fair Lady, Fiddler On The Roof, Dis Hoe Dit Was, Ons Vir Jou, Shaka Zulu, Jock of the Bushveld, Tree Aan!, Ester – die Musical, Cinderella, Jesus – die Musiekblyspel and Droomkind. In 2010, he was nominated twice for a Mercury Durban Theatre Award – as Don Quixote in Man of La Mancha and as Freddy Einsford-Hill in My Fair Lady – which he won for his portrayal of Freddy. Cobus also made his mark on the drama stage in productions such as Siener In Die Suburbs (KKNK 2002), Swaelduif (KKNK 2003) and Full Circle in 2006. He loves making people laugh, and showcased this talent in two farces directed by Pierre van Pletzen: Knypie Op Die Kant en Knypie 2: ’n Dubbeldosis. He also features regularly in the hilarious comedies Jou Gat My Skat and Dorings En Rose, both of which are still regularly on tour. His highlights as classical tenor include die Afrikaanse Oratorium, Die Skepping and the role of the pastmaster in the new South African opera, Poskantoor, which won Best Production at the Aardklop Arts Festical in 2014.
Dirk Vermeulen obtained his drama degree at the University of Pretoria, followed by a post-grad year at the University of the Witwatersrand. He joined PACOFS in Bloemfontein in 1987 and moved to SWARUK in Windhoek from 1979 to 1982. During that period, he performed roles like Tjokkie, the title role in Siener in die Suburbs by PG du Plessis, Gert Koei in Mooi Maria, Archibald in ’n Seder val in Waterkloof with Wilna Snyman and many others. He also worked with directors like the German Peter Kleinschmidt, Hermien Domisse, Mees Xteen and George Ballot. He has been back in Johannesburg since 1983, working as freelance actor, dubbing translator, director of dubbing, and director of TV programmes like Tekkies and Mini TV. He focussed increasingly on TV and film work, but still found opportunities to work on productions such as Nag van Legio by PG du Plessis; Custom of the Country, directed by Janice Honeyman; and Bartho Smit's Bacchus in die Boland. His 30-plus year career included too many TV productions and films to mention them all. Who could forget series like Fynbos and Vyfster, or the Boetie gaan border toe films? More recent appearances include Binneland, Getroud met Rugby, Erfsondes, Hartland, Pandjieswinkelstories and Treurgrond. Recent films include Verskietende Ster and Nothing for Mahala. His sitcom, Ithuba Lokugcina, aired on SABC 1 on 11 February this year.
Duncan Johnson has been freelancing for more than 25 years. He obtained an 4-year B. Dram degree from the University of Stellenbosch, specialising in Acting. In his final year, he was awarded the Fleur du Cap Most Promising Student in the Western Cape. After that, he spent some months at Bologna University in Italy, on a bursary from the Italian Embassy. Upon his return to SA, he participated in various stage productions, but will be remembered especially as continuity presenter for Mnet, presnter and newsreader for CNW TV and field presenter for Pasella. He also acted in Sewende Laan, Egoli and Intersexions, to name but a few, as well as the Lefra Productions farces My Vrou se Man se Vrou and My Vrou se Man se Lyk se Tas.
Francois van Rensburg's voice should be very familiar to South Africans: He has been part of Leon van Nierop's youth serial Ratels on the Afrikaans radio station RSG, in which he has been playing the role of Vincent de Wahl since 2009. He began by being awarded Best Actor in the ATKV Tienertoneel Competition during his high school years. He also appeared on TV – first in the soapy, Binneland, as Louis, and then in Sewende Laan as Errol's pal Gerrie, as well as in various musicals such as Tree Aan!, Ons Vir Jou and Jesus – die Musiekblyspel. In 2013, RSG broadcasted the radio story Sibbe, which was written by Francois. And of course Francois is also the popular afternoon (12:00 to 15:00) presenter on East Rand Stereo 93.9FM and is currently musician in training. In 2014 he also appeared in the Lefra show My Boetie se Sussie se Ou.
This year is Marga van Rooy's 51st year as professional stage actress. Having won the very first Jamie Uys Drama Bursary to study at the University of Pretoria in 1965, she completed her BA Drama as well as her Honours degree, cum laude. Marga worked for the Performing Arts Council of the then Transvaal (PACT), where she played various diverse roles from Shakespeare to Melt Brink, Chekov to Sophocles, receiving many awards. During her time with PACOFS from 1994 to 1995, she won the country-wide Vita Award for her drama, Die Pakkamer as playwright and Best Supporting Actress in Pieter Fourie's Groot Wit Roos. She became well-known country-wide after her role as Worsie's mother in the TV series Vetkoekpaleis. She also appeared in Egoli, Sewende Laan and (in 2015) Kyknet's Villa Rosa. In 2014, she won Best Supporting Actress for the film Die Windpomp, and was nominated for a Safta Award for Fanie Fourie se Lobola. In 2015, after many years of one-woman shows at festivals, with works by Dot Serfontein, PH Nortje en Mikro, she was nominated for a Fiesta Award as Best Supporting Actress for her role in Beauty Queen by Martin McDonagh, directed by Henry Mylne.
Phillru van Achterbergh studied Drama at the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) and currently froms part of the group Rembrandt van Rijn. He is very familiar with the stage. He appeared in Horings in 2002, which was also at the KKNK in that year. Phillru received four awards at the University's Rostrum Roulette Festival last year, which included the big award of Actor of the year. He then followed up with the TUT Department of Performing Arts Award as Overall Best Actor in the Department.
Director Frans Swart says My Boetie se Boetie se Boetie se Baba has all the farcical elements to get people laughing and keep them in stitches. “It's that laugh per minute kind of show. And that is exactly what we want to achieve with My Boetie se Boetie se Boetie se Baba – we want people to come and laugh and relax while watching the doings of the Koekemoers. It is not for nothing that scientists say that nothing can make one relax like laughter. This is why it is such an honour for Lefra Productions to be putting on this production. People are sick and tired of being sick and tired! We get enough of that from the political scene. So that is what My Boetie se Boetie se Boetie se Baba will do ... Baba is an exciting brand new project which has never been done in South Africa before. A totally new plot with many interesting twists and lots of laughter!”
Swart adds that it has always been important to Lefra Productions that shows should go on tour. “Yes, it is a logistic nightmare to tour with such a big cast and the set, but we are nevertheless determined to hit the road, so that the whole country can see the production.”