Master satirist Pieter-Dirk Uys is doing a world tour of South Africa with his latest show, Adapt or Fly, which comes to the Hexagon Theatre on UKZN campus from 4 – 9 June.
Adapt or Fly! Mrs Evita Bezuidenhout, Kidi Amin, Pik Botha, Nowell Fine, Mrs Petersen, the old Krokodil, Madiba and the dancing DA are coming to the rescue! In a time of depression, recession, fear and anger, what is better and more healing than a good laugh at the expense of those who depress, recess, frighten and annoy us?
Pieter-Dirk Uys celebrates 2012 as a year of radical change in South Africa through political paralysis. From the hundred million rand ANC centenary celebration in January, right up that long winding road to end up again in Mangaung for the ANC December Congress, the ruling party will be too busy fighting each other for personal wealth and political power to bother themselves about running a country up or down.
Adapt or die was said by Prime Minister P. W. Botha, when he announced his proposed revisions of apartheid policies as a prelude to the 1981 General Election which was still for whites only. Uys started his onslaught against the politically-correct racist regime at the Market Theatre, then toured the entire country and overseas with his show.
Adapt or Dye was the first local video – a recording of a Market Theatre performance in 1982 – to be introduced through hire-shops and those few outlets that had the courage to make the comedy available. That was its essence: humour.
Thirty years ago Uys started his total onslaught against careless, corrupt and unacceptable politics. Apartheid might officially be dead today, but the careless, corrupt and unacceptable political crooks and clowns are still dancing centre-stage.
His new show will be a personal political comedy-trek along a familiar long tiptoe to freedom, through the minefields of racism and sexism that have always made up the tarmac of our political freeway. Laughter at fear has always been Uys’s trademark, from the darkness of his first one-man show in 1982 Adapt or Dye, to the dazzling kaleidoscope of rainbow colours in his new 2012 show Adapt or Fly.
Uys is joining his chorus-line of characters that include a motley medley of past National Party leaders (DF Malan, JG Strydom, HF Verwoerd, BJ Vorster, PW Botha and FW de Klerk), balanced with the more familiar quartet of ANC Presidents from Nelson Mandela, via Thabo Mbeki, through Khalema Motlanthe to Jacob Zuma and beyond. The Malema nickname ‘Kidi Amin’ does come to mind.
Kugel Nowell Fine enjoys her 35 years as the ultimate Jewish African Princess with a look at her now in her seventies, as well as a glance back at the 1985 Nowell, young, blonde and deep in a liberal white struggle with her maid Dora. And then there is, of course, Evita Bezuidenhout waiting to embrace her new job as chairperson of the proposed Media Tribunal.
It is said when history repeats itself, it can take tragedy and turn it into farce. So banish the blues. Come and enjoy the blacks, whites, browns, yellows and ‘others’ that make up this unique country of our dreams. As long as we can laugh at our fear, we are still in charge of our future.
Adapt or Fly was also inspired by politics. At the height of the Malema-speak of nationalization of mines and land-grabs of farms which frightened many people into near-panic, a spokesperson for the ANC Youth League was heard to suggest that if whites did not like the fact that the youth would take over South Africa, then they could go somewhere else:  ‘Adapt or fly!’
ADAPT OR FLY – 30 years after Adapt or Dye
Hexagon Theatre UKZN, 4 – 9 June @ 7.30pm
Ticket Prices:
Mon 4th R90  (student/senior special of R50)
Tues 5th  – Thurs 7th R90 (student/seniors R80)
Fri 8th & Sat 9th R110 (no concessions)
Special Dinner and Show option on Friday R200pp

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