Woordfees: Klippe Wat Val

March 8, 2018

Philip Rademeyer se toneelstuk oor twee mans wat ná jare met hul verlede gekonfronteer word, bied uitsonderlike toneelspel en ’n onvergeetlike teaterondervinding. Die produksie is deel van die US Woordfees en kaartjies is by Computicket beskikbaar.


A young man arrives at the home of his childhood best friend after many years. His friend’s mother is dying, and arrangements need to be made. Abri (Dean John Smith), a prodigal son of sorts, has to coax his friend Kannetjie (Wilhelm van der Walt) out of the doghouse, just like in the old days, but it soon becomes apparent that their relationship has not escaped the ravages of time. Their tightly-woven story, written and directed by Philip Rademeyer, explodes off the stage in a way not often seen in our theatres.


Aided by exquisitely evocative music by Gideon Lombard and superior lighting design by Studio J, Van der Walt and Smith deliver stellar performances that allow Rademeyer’s effortlessly moving writing to soar to the heights it was clearly meant to reach.

Van der Walt’s performance is as incandescent as the shooting stars his character is obsessed with. The actor’s portrayal of the young Kannetjie is moving and innovative, and reminds the viewer how keenly children feel. Who experiences the devastation of disappointment more profoundly than a child? Van der Walt never descends to caricature in his approach to the disabled Kannetjie, and his physical choices remain consistent and highly effective throughout the play. The actor’s versatility is on dazzling display here as he moves between excitable child and stubborn, infuriating adult.


Smith delivers sensitive, well-rounded, enthralling portrayals of Abri as a strong young man and as an inquisitive boy during flashbacks, and as both Abri and Kannetjie’s mothers. His excellent vocal differentiation and transformations in physicality make each character immediately recognisable. He imbues Kannetjie’s mother with a combination of maternal drive and bitterness that makes the character compelling, and his embodiment of Abri’s mother, Tant’ Sara, is replete with so much love and understated humour that the character truly comes to life.


This piece, with its exquisitely evocative soundtrack, top-notch lighting design, faultless performances, and world-class writing, is a shining star in the firmament of Afrikaans theatre and an absolute must-see.


Klippe Wat Val can be seen as part of the US Woordfees on the 8th, 9th, 10th, and 11th of March. Tickets are available at Computicket or at the door.


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