REVIEW OF PRODUCTION
THE RETURN OF ELVIS DU PISANIE
WRITTEN BY PAUL SLABOLEPSZY
MASQUE THEATRE, MUIZENBERG
18,19, 25, 26 January 2013
Bookings  021 788 1898
REVIEWER  Coleen van Staden
The play premiered in 1992 and won more awards in a single year than any other play in SA’s theatre history.  Watching it now, so many years later, one can see why it received so much praise.   Written with such keen insight into the blue collar working environment and small town mindset, Paul Slabolepszy clearly draws on his own experiences growing up in towns like Witbank and Modderfontein and gives us characters and situations that a South African  audience can readily identify with.
The story of Elvis du Pisanie is a simple one.  A lower middle class white male has lost his job as an underfloor heating salesman and wonders how he will provide for his family. He decides to kill himself.  An Elvis tune on his car radio, stops him in his tracks and sends him travelling back, both literally and figuratively, to his boyhood neighbourhood where he re-lives some of his fondest memories and faces some of his darkest hours.   The audience is taken on a journey, through a series of image-rich vignettes back to an era of Saturday morning movies, Dick Tracey, bouncing pony tails,”pondok” outhouses and Elvis Presley talent shows. We get right under the skin of the Du Pisanie character and into the hearts of the various people and situations that shape his life.
This brilliantly written one-man show requires an actor who is skilled, empathetic, energetic and intelligent and Pieter-Schalk Bothma brings all of those skills and more to the role. The piece has moments of both high comedy and heart-wrenching despair and his ability to move effortlessly from one character to another and from one emotion to another is to be applauded.  Equally impressive is Bothma’s skill in physically shaping the scenes so that each situation has a unique flavour, ensuring 90 minutes of rivetting theatre.
This piece comes highly recommended and is a coup for the Masque Theatre – Dont miss it!
Coleen van Staden
Muizenberg
072 120 5645