On Sunday 23 April 2023 Master storyteller lit up the stage with his tender memoir – The Echo of a Noise
Special guests , including members of the Diplomatic community enjoyed the evening.
Witty, engaging and deeply personal, Pieter-Dirk Uys’s “one-man memoir” The Echo of a Noise is showing in Pieter Toerien’s Montecasino Theatre, tracing the journey of how one of South Africa’s national theatre treasures learned to use humour as a “weapon of mass distraction”.
Uys has been entertaining and scandalising audiences since the 1970s, and his characters such as Evita Bezuidenhout and Bambi Kellermann – not to mention his spoofs of apartheid’s rogues’ gallery and his HIV/Aids awareness work – have earned him a place in South African theatre history as one of the nation’s foremost satirists and theatre activists.
Now, in The Echo of a Noise, it’s Uys unpowdered, uncostumed and virtually unplugged – stripped down to a barstool, a beanie and a casual black ensemble but armed with a lifetime of entertaining and often poignant anecdotes about the influences that shaped him and his art.
The show has been staged to much acclaim, laughter and tears since 2016, and now it returns to Johannesburg to enchant audiences anew. No performance is the same, as this master storyteller feeds off each audience’s energy as he strolls through his pageant of memories with its colourful cast of characters.
We met his father Hannes Uys, his mother Helga Bassel, his grandmothers, his teachers, his passions: Sophia Loren, censorship, false eyelashes and making a noise – a loud, audacious, bitingly funny noise – when everyone demanded silence.
There was much humour in these recollections, too, as Uys held the audience spellbound with this powerful monologue – confirming once again why he remains one of South Africa’s most engaging raconteurs.
by Marion Kate