Tannie Evita, the alter ego of iconic satirist Pieter-Dirk Uys, is a well-known theatrical face that made a name for herself ruffling political feathers before the dawn of democracy already. She is still at it and now back at Theatre on the Bay to continue shining a follow-spot on the politically dubious in her latest offering, Evita Bezuidenhout ant the Kaktus of Separate Development.
The risk with political satire is that it needs to be ever updated to remain relevant, to not leave audiences feeling that they have heard it all before. It is the type of comedy that cannot afford to become stale in either substance or presentation.
During the first half of the show, Tannie Evita is her well-known quirky self, setting the historic scene of her kitchen crossing from NP to ANC and the reasons behind it. You laugh occasionally but are initially left wondering whether this show is but a nostalgic nod to the best of Tannie Evita?
Then you take your seat again after interval and a full set and tempo change greets you with Tannie Evita even donning a new glam look too. The dramatic punch of the stark contrast is clear: even if the landscape changes you must still be ever aware of your political surroundings to spot the devils hiding in the often purposefully repackaged, and potentially fake news, details.
From a theatrical entertainment perspective, the new material understandably shines brighter than the nostalgic opening scene walk down memory lane, because it takes you by surprise. The impact of the satirical balance between the familiar and the new material will come down to the subjective preference of every audience, depending on their life experience and backgrounds. The contrast can however be comedically justified when viewed in the context of the post-interval opening line... one which I don't dare give away. However, you can be assured that this Tannie, she will make you think, and think again!
In that turn of scene moment you realise, this Tannie is bringing freedom of speech sass back. She invites you to partake in a very entertaining Imbizo, explaining the influence of alternate facts on South Africa from the perspective of diamond ownership and the reconciliatory power of koeksisters, while also highlighting why you should never let go of your inquisitive nature by being too gullible a follower of history as (you think) you know it.
This show is a tongue-in-cheek intellectual commentary that in a public service setting makes you flinch and giggle simultaneously, as Tannie Evita ridicules both the past and the present, the Van Riebeecks and the Trumps, by shining a follow-spot on some crucial truths. She delights in unashamedly peeling away at the layers of privilege and prejudice in a take-no-prisoners manner... even if you are perhaps an American or a Brit seeking refuge on South Africa’s sunny shores. At her Imbizo, no country has amnesty in its relations to South Africa, and the right audiences in that critical yet humorously inclined mindset, will adore her for her charming honesty.
Highlighting both sides of the “politics of power” coin through local and international affairs and ‘affairs’, Tannie Evita in an intriguing showcase of satire attempts to persuade her audience to never underestimate the importance of civic duty if they want to claim as their own the democratic dignity it guards.
Book your tickets at Computicket for an audience with the Tannie Evita at Theatre on the Bay, as she dishes up both the nostalgic and the currently controversial in her latest show,Evita Bezuidenhout ant the Kaktus of Separate Development, until 1 July 2017.