n Shakespeare in Southern Africa - MacBeki - a farce to be reckoned with, Pieter-Dirk Uys : theatre review

Volume 21, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1011-582X



Performed in Cape Town and in Johannesburg just prior to this year's national elections, Pieter-Dirk Uys's latest play has proved remarkably prescient in its farcical representation of how politics gets done in South Africa, and of how certain camps have configured in the Zuma era. models its exploration of voracious ambition on Shakespeare's Macbeth, only, unlike in Macbeth, Uys "does not spill blood in his play. He spills the beans" (x). In his playwright's note to the expeditiously published text of the play (already on sale at Johannesburg performances), Uys remarks : "In my play no one dies; they go back into the collective leadership" (vi). This solution for dispatching throne-toppled characters, as well as a host of extremely funny lines, make a comedy. Nevertheless, there is foul murder aplenty, occurring off-stage as a consequence of Lady Manto's beetroot- and garlic-inspired policies.

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