Elect-style Dysfunctionby Zoe Henry / 25.04.2009
Whether you Umshini Wammed your way into the voting booth, flipped a coin to decide between Botox (Helen Zille) or GHD hair straighteners (Patricia de Lille), or spoilt your ballot, the voting experience can be a daunting one.
Enter Tannie Evita. She may not tell you who you should’ve voted for, but she will make you feel a bit more positive about the whole thing. In true Evita style, Elections and Erections makes the belly and cheek muscles ache with laughter while the mind and heart reel with thought and emotion. It’s a canvas for a plethora of vibrant characters, each one better than the next, and logically ending with the best – Tannie Evita herself. In the first half we are introduced to colourful caricatures such as an old lady from Brakpan who is now a char in The White House. She wears an apron decorated with prints of Obama’s face and chinwags about how she misses South Africa. Noelle Fine is dressed to the nines in patriotism. She stands donned in her Madiba caftan in a queue at Home Affairs on Pesach, clutching a box of Matzos, to get her new ID book so she can vote. Mrs Peterson, a Muslim optimist who believes no vote should go wasted. There are a few political cameos: Jacob Zuma and Thabo Mbeki (puppets) and Die Groot Krokodil (played by Pieter). There are also a couple of appearances by Pieter Dirk-Uys as himself telling chilling stories of his own experiences in a racist South Africa. The second half belongs entirely to the fabulous Evita Bezuitenhout herself. She has a talent of making everything that comes out of her mouth sound wonderfully witty and cheeky, be it brilliant or banal. There is some audience interaction, but nothing tacky and cringe worthy as is so often the case. There was a final surprise political cameo that took place in the form of Patricia de Lille (the actual person). Seeing as I saw the show before Election Day there was some shameless electioneering. Whether Tannie Evita herself is a supporter of GHD is anyone’s guess, but anyone leaving the theatre finding the proverbial coin flipped in favour of GHD would be forgiven.