Vettie, Vettie is the first Afrikaans play to run at Pieter Toerien’s Montecasino Theatre. I went to see it on 31 May 2014.
On Wednesday 4 June the cast of the play will be in the Expresso studio for the breakfast show which airs weekdays at 06:00 – 08:30 on SABC3. They chat about how poking fun at “vetties” received such rave reviews.
Those of us who are overweight and obese know all about the realities of social condemnation of our body size, and this play focuses on that, together with some quite positive messages of liking oneself (and others) regardless of body size.
Vettie Vettie is amusing in all the right places, entertaining and feel good. This is what comedy theatre is all about and director Andre Odendaal uses veteran Tobie Cronje well as he effectively leads the cast of less experienced actors, Hanna Grobler, Luan Jacobs and Andre Lotter, through the action scripted by Charles Laurence as My Fat Friend and translated by Johan Bernard wonderfully. All the technical elements come together well and the play is slick and pleasant. Costumes (and they are particularly excellent) are by Ann Bailes and the set and lighting is by Kosie Smit, music is by Dawid Boverhoff and the stage manager is Jaco Conradie.
The setting is three South African ex pats living in London. One, Vicky, owns a bookstore she inherited from her father, while another, James, works for her in the bookstore. The third, Tobie Cronje, is her gay best friend.
The run at Montecasino ended on 1 June 2014, but I am sure that this play will visit the various festivals, particularly the Afrikaans festivals. It is well worth seeing. Yes, you do need to be able to understand Afrikaans in order to enjoy it, but matric Afrikaans for second language speakers is adequate for the task.