Review: Pieter-Dirk Uys Returns with “Sell-By Date”

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The theatre lights dim, the audience hushes, and an air of anticipation fills the room. Instead of the traditional curtain rise, Pieter-Dirk Uys makes a grand entrance from the side of the stage, immediately capturing the attention of every individual present. His presence at Pieter Toerien’s Montecasino Theatre, marking his return to Johannesburg from 24 August to 10 September with his new show, “Sell-By Date”, is nothing short of magnetic.

Having been an ardent admirer of Uys’s work, it was a dream come true to witness him perform live. The experience was surreal, and Uys’s performance was beyond expectations. From the moment he walked onto the stage, he exuded an energy that was both captivating and infectious.

Uys, now 77, has been a stalwart in live theatre since the late 1960s. His longevity in the industry is a testament to his unparalleled talent and ability to evolve with the times. In “Sell-By Date”, he addresses the inevitable question of retirement, which he often faces due to his age. But in true Uys fashion, he retorts with wit, saying he doesn’t plan to “retire” but rather “retread”.

The show is a brilliant amalgamation of humour, political insight, and societal reflection. Uys’s ability to blend these elements seamlessly is what sets him apart as a master storyteller. The narrative of his recent knee transplant and the challenges he faced during recovery, such as stumbling on stage, added a personal touch to the performance, making it all the more relatable.

One of the highlights of the show was the appearance of beloved character Tannie Evita Bezuidenhout, who, along with a host of other characters, provided a delightful mix of comedy and commentary. It’s no wonder that the late Tata Madiba enjoyed koeksisters with Tannie Evita Bezuidenhout – her charm is truly irresistible.

Beyond the laughter and entertainment, “Sell-By Date” delves deep into the societal context of the pandemic and its impact on people’s lives. Uys also poses a thought-provoking question: Has South Africa’s democracy reached its sell-by date? Through his performance, he encourages the audience to confront their fears and reflect on the political landscape of South Africa.

Uys believes in the power of laughter as a tool to address fear and engage in meaningful discussions about pressing societal issues. This belief resonates throughout the show, making it not just a theatrical performance but a platform for dialogue and reflection.

“Sell-By Date” is a masterclass in storytelling. Uys’s unparalleled ability to weave humour, personal anecdotes, and political commentary into a cohesive narrative is truly commendable. It’s highly recommended to see this show and experience the magic of Pieter-Dirk Uys in person. It’s not just a performance; it’s an experience that will leave you both entertained and enlightened.

Photo Credit: Hentie Van Der Merwe

Shaun Zietsman

Blogger and Content Creator from Johannesburg, South Africa.

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