Sun. May 19th, 2019

Pieter-Dirk Uys returns to London to walk through the minefield of hashtags and hate speech

The legendary South African satirist is back in London.

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In this era of #MeToo and political correctness, can calling someone ‘darling’ be seen as sexual harassment? Should an actor who is not black impersonate a character who is not white? Is a male performer allowed to dress up as a woman?

When In Doubt Say Darling

These are the questions at the heart of Uys’ new show When In Doubt Say Darling, playing at London’s Soho Theatre between Monday 6th and Saturday 25th May.

“I’m waiting for the day someone will say to me: ‘Pieter-Dirk Uys! You can’t do women! It’s politically incorrect’” says Uys, from his home in the aptly named Darling in the Western Cape.  

“For the last 40 years, it’s been part of my job to impersonate males, females and convertibles. It’s called acting. Now my characters and I find ourselves in the 2019 minefield of hashtags and hate speech. May I wear the the#MeToo button on Evita Bezuidenhout’s blouse? Next to her ANC badge? Or on her ANCWL Gucci jacket?”

After decades of challenging the most controversial topics head-on (normally with that head donning a wig and belonging to his most famous alter-ego, the boere tannie Evita Bezuidenhout), Pieter-Dirk is having to come to terms with making work where the courts of Apartheid South Africa have been swapped for the court of public opinion on Twitter and beyond.

Having performed all over the world, made friends with Nelson Mandela, and established her own political party Evita’s People’s Party (EPP), Mrs Bezuidenhout and Uys are looking to the future.

“Evita is now 83. Will she retire? Will I retire? If the public interest diminishes, then we might both ride off into the sunset. But there is much to do in the next few months. The 2019 General Election will take place on 8 May, with the 9 May being the first day of the rest of our lives.

Comrade Evita would be the first person to demand an end to my politically-incorrect, sexist exploitation of her. I will reflect all that in a future show where the tannie and I will appear on stage together and at the same. The title should say it all: #HeTwo.

Before that, however, she will be at Soho Theatre in London sharing the chorus line with PW Botha, Jacob Zuma, Angela Merkel and Theresa May, among others. Yes. When in doubt, say darling!”

Details of the show

Public interest certainly hasn’t shown signs of diminishing yet and with that cast of extras, When In Doubt Say Darling is set to be one of the hottest tickets in town.

Tickets start from as little as £11 for the run that must end Saturday 25 May.

Don’t miss this chance to see Uys once again expose the ‘mock’ in democracy and highlight the ‘con’ in reconciliation.

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