Die Plaasvervangers (A)

Production: Die Plaasvervangers (A)
Text: Pieter Fourie
Director: Stéphanie Brink

Venue: Wynand Mouton Theatre

Dates and times:
23 March 2010 19h30
24 March 2010 19h30
25 March 2010 19h30
26 March 2010 19h30

Bookings: Computicket (Mimosa Mall and Checkers)

Bookings for block bookings of 10 or more people can be done with Thys Heydenrych (072 235 3191) or Marijda Kamper (051 401 2160)

Die Plaasvervangers is a student production of the Department of Drama and Theatre Arts and is under the direction of Stephanie Brink. The production promises stylized theatre at its best! This piece was chosen in celebration of Pieter Fourie’s 70th birthday as well as the fact that it delivers an important message to our young and floundering democracy of today.

Fourie touches on sensitive political issues stretching from the Anglo/Boer War up to the late eighties and points specifically to the injustices and dangers of Apartheid. The production gives a satirical view on the happenings around the birthday celebrations of the main character namely the Kampmoeder (Camp Mother). This dramatic dark comedy uncovers the falsehood contained in the Afrikaner’s cultural roots. The idea of the big lie, in all its facets, comes to light over 4 generations. Fourie wanted to publicly expose his contempt for the lie that the Afrikaner indulges himself in: the complete uncovering of the hypocritical lie that is the super race, the Afrikaner. The fitting title emphasises the lie as replacement (in Afrikaans: plaasvervanger) for the truth on which the Afrikaner has built his identity in the present. The original rural tour of the production was banned in 1978 because some of Fourie’s insinuations in the play were too extreme for governing bodies, politicians as well as certain critics, who questioned the artistic value of the piece.

The dramatic action centres around the 100th birthday celebrations of the Kampmoeder. She represents the Afrikaner’s idealism and the consciousness of his calling at the beginning of this century. According to legend, the typical Mother of the nation, as is her duty as Afrikaner woman, gave birth to a Boer child in the concentration camp in order to insure the Afrikaner nation’s purity and future. The boy, who was born, becomes a senator and, according to tradition, inherits the family-farm and the duty to raise a new generation of Bonthuyse. The fact is that, unknown to the Kampmoeder, her descendants have left the farm and the brown servant-family has moved into the big farmhouse. But this is not the only secret!

The play opens with the characters in disarray as a result of the lie of what has happened to the farm. The Afrikaner traditions must be reinstated before the celebrations begin! The brown servant-family has four days to restore the house and plant new palms in the place of the lost symbolic ones to complete the fake facade.

Fourie exposes, in a comical way, the lie of each generation of Afrikaner until the Kampmoeder finally reveals the complex intrigue of the original lie – to the great consternation of the pillars of the pre-1994 governments. The play utilizes symbolic scenes and figures as signs of the gradual moral degradation of the Afrikaner nation over the decades.

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