Die Seemeeu

Classic Chekhov in Afrikaans at the Baxter for a limited season in October

Anton Chekov’s classic drama The Seagull, translated into Afrikaans and adapted by Saartjie Botha as Die Seemeeu, and featuring a star-studded cast flies into the Baxter Theatre for a short season from 20 to 31 October at 7.30pm and matinee on Saturday.

2015 Standard Bank Young Artist for Theatre Christiaan Olwagen directs the stellar ensemble led by luminaries Sandra Prinsloo, Marius Weyers and Gerben Kamper with Alyzzander Fourie, Deon Lotz, Rolanda Marais, Martelize Kolver, Albert Pretorius, Geon Nel and Cintaine Schutte.

The production amassed multiple awards and played to sold-out audiences at the Aardklop Festival in Potchefstroom, the Klein Karoo National Arts Festival (KKNK) in Oudtshoorn and Woordfees in Stellenbosch. These included two Fiëstas (best actor Albert Pretorius and best actress Rolanda Marais) and two Kanna awards (Cintaine Schutte and Deon Lotz) as well as an Aardvark award for ground-breaking work (Christiaan Olwagen).

Undoubtedly two of the darlings of South African stage, television and film, Sandra Prinsloo and Marius Weyers recently wowed audiences with their masterly performances in Wie’s Bang vir Virginia Woolf? (the Afrikaans translation and adaptation of another classic Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?).

Cape Town audiences are in for a treat when this team of heavyweight actors take to the Baxter stage for this limited season and they can now enjoy and experience this updated and contemporary version in full-colour, 3D and surround sound, performed in Afrikaans with English surtitles.

At its heart, this is a classic tale of unrequited love, a yearning to succeed and interestingly complex characters which drive the plot. Chekhov’s work remain relevant today as he deals with real, familiar and human emotions such as pain, longing, hope and life’s cul-de-sacs in such a timeless way. Rudolf Stehle from Krit wrote “This is a production that Chekhov would have been proud of” and Laetitia Pople from Die Burger simply described it as “brilliant”.

The Seagull was the first of Chekhov’s four great dramas and nearly also his last. On the opening night in 1896 it was so badly received that he turned his back on theatre. However when it was brought to stage in 1898 the play was performed to great acclaim and Chekhov received praise for his ability as playwright.

Irina Arkadina (played by Sandra Prinsloo), a successful actress who knows her stardom and her body will not shine forever, brakes away for a short visit to her brother’s (played by Marius Weyers) farm. Joining her is author Boris Trigorin (Alyzzander Fourie), a virile man with a wandering eye and Irina’s son, Konstantin Treplyov (Albert Pretorius), who yearns for a girl (who doesn’t want him) and for fame (that is not meant to be).

Add to that a flirty nymph, a farm manager without an ounce of emotional intelligence and who is stuck in a nasty marriage, ‘n moody teenage daughter who will drive any parent to drink, an audacious teacher and a rather clumsy doctor. Not to mention the vodka. Oh, the vodka!

Charl-Johan Lingenvelders has created the innovative soundtrack with costumes tailor-made for each character by Birrie le Roux and lighting by Wolfie Britz. There is an age restriction of 14 years.

Die Seemeeu runs at the Baxter Theatre from 20 to 31 October at 7.30pm. Tickets cost between R80 and R150 and booking is through Computicket on 0861 915 8000, online at www.computicket.com or at any Shoprite Checkers outlet. Students pay R60 (Tuesdays to Thursdays) upon producing a valid student card.

For discounted corporate, schools or block-bookings, charities or fundraisers, contact Sharon Ward on 021 680 3962, email sharon.ward@uct.ac.za or Carmen Kearns on 021 680 3993, email carmen.kearns@uct.ac.za

20 Oct - 31 Oct

Starts: 7:30 pm

Drama / Theatre

Classic Chekhov in Afrikaans at the Baxter for a limited season in October Anton Chekov’s classic drama The Seagull, translated into Afrikaans and adapted by Saartjie Botha as Die Seemeeu, and featuring a star-studded cast flies into the Baxter Theatre for a short season from 20 to 31 October at 7.30pm and matinee on Saturday. […]