“Rain in Darling, Evita se Perron gets a new coat of paint, Pieter’s successful World Tour and the Darling Voorkamerfest Perfoming Arts festival is back on track …”
Pieter-Dirk Uys writes –
“It rained! In Darling. Not just a few drops that were photographed as they plopped into the fine dust of our former foliage, but real raindrops that fell on our heads! Standing in the downpour, arms stretched out like Julie Andrews on the hills that were alive with the sound of music, one could really believe that dreams were coming true, if not also prayers. Not that people were not praying for rain in the Western Cape. The trouble was, the rain fell in Gauteng. So much for that service delivery. Hopefully there will be more winter downpours which will assure us of a good flower season and a general sign of relief from the fynbos.
Evita se Perron has welcomed a new coat of paint as the original pink got lighter and fainter and needed Botox. Many have commented on the colour scheme that sees odd shades matching up in an unexpected quilt of light green, pink, sky blue and white. It works as fifty shades of fun and did not happen as a planned brand spectrum for the venue. Back in the last century when the tin shack that used to be Darling Station became the workshop for a local carpenter, the rusted exterior led to grunts of discontent from municipal levels. Those days saw Darling with its own local government and mayor, both Afrikaans and very white. There were threats to demolish the eyesore. A few resident darlings who wanted to preserve the history of their town and saw the old railways station as part of that nostalgia, decided to act. Each brought a tin of paint they had in their garage – a pink, a blue, a green and a white. This rainbow of protection soon covered rust, dust and wear and the powers that were seemed to calm down. Once the carpenter moved to fairer fields, the old former station was taken over by a recent new refugee from the Mother City who against all advice, decided to convert the place into a theatre. What a crazy fool! Evita se Perron is now well into its 23rd year and as an international tourist destination with all it has to offer, still treasures the inherited colours that have become the lipstick, rouge, eyeshadow and powder of Tannie Evita’s plek.
The best news since the rainfall is the fact that the Voorkamerfest is back on track to dazzle the world around us in that first weekend of September. Starting on Friday 31st August into Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd of Blomme-maand, this unique example of entertainment and reconciliation once again will show how a community can get up and after two years of disappointing cancellations, present 60 performers in 21 ‘theatres’ throughout the town. The I LUV YZER team, who has also shown that they also LUV DARLING, will be presenting the food and funfair at Evita se Perron where guests can get their breath back and compare notes and experiences of what they saw, where it was and how it enthralled them. This year’s VKF has been enriched by the participation of the Fugard Theatre in Cape Town, who is sponsoring the performers from all over the province and the country to entertain during this weekend. This part of the festival budget is the most critical as without performers there can be no fest. The Fugard has established itself as a unique platform for local South African theatrical talent and their generous outreach to embrace the Darling Voorkamerfest is highly appreciated and welcomed.
I have just returned from a world tour of part of the real world. There was a three week season of my memoir presentation The Echo of a Noise at the Soho Theatre in London which was, surprisingly for me, a sold out season. It always excites me to see how this very personal story of a life lived so far away at the southern tip of Africa, can embrace audiences in the UK, Holland and Germany where I have performed the work. It proves that politics isn’t as universal among audiences as I thought. It’s more of an acquired bad taste. It’s the story that matters. That’s what theatre is all about and even things that make you laugh need a storyline. Politics has no story. It just has a beginning, because many third-rate politicians with their fourth-rate ideas never bother to hang in till the end.In London there are many old friends who came to see the show and meeting up again with them in the theatre bar afterwards was again proof that even though years pass between meetings, friendship dissolves time and picks up where one left off. I also did a performance of the Afrikaans version of Echo – Weerklink van ‘n Wanklank – and then a one-off show by Evita’s sister Bambi Kellermann in Berlin, where her terrible German brought the house down. The one thing that united all those experiences in three different countries were the many people who wanted to talk about ‘your lovely place in Darling’. Evita se Perron has fans all over the world and the affection I sensed among all of them really inspires one to make sure that Tannie Evita’s plekkie stays a work in progress and adapts to all the ups and downs of rising prices, droughts, floods, Malemas, elections and erections to remain unique, inspiring, charmingly offensive and financially viable. Bums-on-seats is the cry of celebration as we all lift our glasses of Groote Post Old Man’s Blend and toast the future of the Perron, Darling, the West Coast and the world outside. Long may we all live to enjoy another day!”