I often wonder exactly what it is that prompts people to see a show? Certainly one of the deciding factors is who is presenting the show. Now Elzabe Zietsman is one of those names that means something in this regard. Elzabe is a singer, an actress, and a chef. Her club, Zietsies – also a bed and breakfast, a fabulous place to have a meal or simply a drink overlooking Johannesburg from just under the Brixton Tower as the sun sets, is a famous “to do” place in the city.
As an entertainer Elzabe is top notch, so I looked forward to seeing her, together with two other entertainers, Mark Hawkins and Tony Bentel in their production, Vlakkant/Diepkant, which they took to the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown. Well, I saw it at the 969 Festival at Wits on Sunday 14 July 2013.
I was not disappointed with what they billed as “nBoereBarokAfrikaanseBurlesqueVerskrikkelieNaaisVerskeidenheidsKonsert … met ‘n verskil!”
Elzabe did her thing, Mark and Tony did their thing. Importantly, the young people the Doily Foundation is supporting did their thing. The Doily Foundation came into being because Zietsies neighbours won’t allow it to function as a restaurant legally, so in order to overcome this Elzabe Zietsman is forced to run it as a club. Like all clubs there is a joining fee, but the money is not meant to make Elzabe just a little bit richer – or a little bit less poor (depending on her other work, I dare say), but rather she uses it to further the dreams of some young people who are talented enough to be studying at the National School of the Arts. So we heard her clarinettist/saxophonist sponsor child, the singing twins, a wonderfully talented young male ballet dancer and a violist. Worth joining the club just to support these young people – but don’t forget drinks on the terrace.
Just a small note: One needs to understand a bit of Afrikaans to make sense of some of the show. While the production is now officially finished, it may well pop up again. Don’t miss it if it does.