Antoinette Kellerman gives an outstanding performance in As Die Broek Pas at the Baxter Theatre, as she takes on the harsh gender-redefining reality of Ella Gericke, a woman forced to step into the shoes (or rather pants) of her late husband, as a means of survival in 1930s Germany.
It is definitely not an easy play to watch. Although riveting and intimate, it is also very appropriately gloomily emotive at times. That just makes the calibre of acting brought to stage by Kellerman all the more impressive. Kellerman's talent for captivating the attention of her audience is unquestionable.
The Afrikaans translation of the text masterfully retains the essence and vision of Manfred Karge, the original German playwright of this piece, giving full consideration and expression to the manner in which his plays grapple with underclass associated issues.
From a design perspective, the only thing that was slightly troubling was the lighting on the night that I saw the play. The lighting is clever in that is designed to reveal a change in characters, as well as show the difference between reality and memory. Unfortunately, on the night there was a bit of a timing discrepancy between the dialogue and the lighting cues. This can probably be ascribed to opening night gremlins. Small issues of this nature would have been sorted by now and I am convinced that the lighting design, if accurately translated, will gift an audience with an even more powerful play experience. The set design however was undeniably on point as perfect complement to the text and delivery thereof. It shouts Nazi Germany entrapment. Contextually brilliant!
As Die Broek Pas is a phenomenal Afrikaans theatre experience, courtesy of Kellerman’s world class acting, Marthinus Basson’s skillful directing, and Willem Anker’s exquisite translation of the “Mann ist Mann ” original text. This showcase of artistic excellence is not to be missed!
Book at Computicket (R120 per ticket) to see this TEATERteater presented award-winning one woman play at the Baxter Theatre before run ends 12 November 2016.