One man and many characters in Jerry, an Unconventional Hero and Dude, wa's my Bakkie?
For an evening of fun and funny theatre, head down to the Alexander Bar to see an intimate double bill written and performed by Jeremeo Le Cordeur. These two short plays form an interesting combination. Two events, based on personal experiences, take place with the same set of characters featuring in each. However, each section has a different approach to the one-man show genre and the energy of each is unique.
Jerry, an unconventional hero has been finely crafted by Ian van der Westhuizen. This excerpt is filled with tension, drama and action. Jeremeo shifts seamlessly between one character and the next, even managing to fight with himself as two different characters. The humor is subtle and the imagery is starkly beautiful, with extremely effective use of one light bulb, shadows, flickering lights and minimal props. Jerry deals with a few interesting moral dilemmas. What should we do when our luck seems too good to be true? Do we get what we deserve or are good and bad people treated to the same fate, regardless of our choices? Is there a situation in which violence is necessary? How do we know if we have the courage to stand up for ourselves, or for others, until we are forced to? All these topics give the play gravitas, but this does not mean that we are watching a drama. Perhaps the best description of Jerry is an action dramedy. It does defy a specific genre and create a new type of theatre experience that seems to be gaining popularity: a play that seems almost like a film.
Then, after a quick changeover, we jump back in time and switch to the perspective of a minor character from the previous play. Dean is Jerry’s brother. Afrikaans, much more flamboyant and generally an over the top drifter. This section of the evening is buoyant, generally less concerned with ethics and more focused on having fun. Instead of playing multiple characters, Jeremeo interacts with recorded dialogue and with the audience. He also handles unexpected moments with great ease (like when his disco ball came crashing to the floor). Dude, waar’s my bakkie? is more of a feel good romcom, but it does have some themes that make it touching and real. In one strongly poignant scene, we see Dean’s greatest doubts, wishes and regrets and truly feel for him. However, before the audience can get too emotional, he returns to his normal vain self, creating a moment in which you can barely decide whether you should laugh or cry. Directed by Dean van der Ventel, this is a more set-driven piece, with the bakkie – Miss. Weekend – possibly becoming the biggest character on stage.
The team of young artists have truly created a unique experience of interlinked, yet independent performances. Talent to watch! This short run at the Alexander Bar & Theatre offers a taster of things to come. Both productions into full-length works to be showcased throughout 2019. Why don’t you head down for an evening of relaxation and easy viewing? At the end of a long and stressful year, I am sure we can all benefit from a little more theatre.
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