Today, 8 March 2014, is International Women’s Day. I spent much of it thinking about girl children who are denied an education, young women who are murdered because they shamed their family by being raped, women who have their genitals mutilated. I forgot about middle class white (and black and brown and yellow) women in South Africa, Germany … the world over for whom education, rape, abuse and other unpalatable things are part of daily life.
Bambi Kellerman (Pieter Dirk Uys) is Evita Bezuidenhout’s younger sister. The Poggenpoel sisters, Evangelie (Evita) and Baby (Bambi), and their mother, Ouma Ossewania, lived in Bethlehem. Baby Poggenpoel left school before she completed and went to work washing hair at the hair salon, narrowly escaping a rape, moved to Germany, married a much older man who abused her, ran away, became a stripper/sex worker and experienced life, love and lust. She is now 76 years old, HIV positive and a phenomenon in her own right on stage at the Auto and General Theatre on the Square.
In this production she sings caberet, shares her life story from poverty through fame and fortune. She deals with issues arising out of Fifty Shades of Grey, wisely reminding us that S&M is not for amateurs, and that condoms come in more than just flavours and that the government should be using some of the misdirected Nkandla millions to provide better female condoms. Expect her Nazi husband to feature (in a cocktail shaker), watch her drink too much whisky (always gargle with whisky before a blow job) and explain some of the more interesting sex toys on a line at the back of the stage.
The songs are the songs of our childhood, Afrikaans folk songs, played on the piano by Geoffrey Johnson. You may not recognise the lyrics which are quite frankly “Sies”, and “Vuil”. The show is not dreary or dull or negative about life and sex, but yes, amongst other unpalatable things she reminds us to vote or we get Zuma, or even more chillingly, Malema, in a Weimar Republic like state. Drug abuse features.
If you have not yet read Bambi Kellerman’s autobiography, the one with scandalous title “Never too Naked”, you will have an opportunity to purchase it at the theatre.
Book early as I am sure this will sell out, the second performance on Saturday 8 March 2014 being almost completely sold out. The only person who will not buy a ticket to see this is Evita Bezuidenhout, South Africa’s most famous white women. The Poggenpoel sisters have not been seen in the same room for a very long time.
Fifty Shade of Bambi is running at the Auto & General Theatre on the Square until 16 March 2014. Highly recommended.