AFTER its annual dance festival wrapped up last week, the Baxter Theatre is going into drama overdrive with three stand-out solo plays: Antoinette Kellermann in As Die Broek Pas, Graham Weir in Dead Yellow Sands and Wessel Pretorius in Die Ontelbare 48.
As Die Broek Pas and Die Ontelbare 48 are performed in Afrikaans and are part of a season Afrikaans plays at the Baxter. There is a discounted rate if one buys ticket for both productions.
As Die Broek Pas (If the Pants Fit) is at the Baxter Flipside from November 3- 12. Direction and design is by Marthinus Basson.
A woman, Ella (Kellermann) assumes the identity of her dead husband, Max Gericke. Disguised as a man, she takes over his job as a crane driver in a factory. The play is set in Germany in the 1930s when people were desperate for work. Ella did what she could in order to survive, said Kellermann. “She assumes his identity and has to relinquish much of her self – her femininity.”
The play interrogates survival, gender, identity.
Written in 1982 by German playwright Manfred Karge, it was titled Jacke wie Hose and was based on a true story. The literal translation is “jacket or trousers.”
The English translation is Man to Man – translated by Anthony Vivis and Tinch Minter. When award- winning writer Willem Anker translated the play into Afrikaans, he went with the resonant title, As Die Broek Pas. Kellermann said: “It’s a play on the Afrikaans expression – ‘as die skoen pas’ – ‘if the shoe fits, wear it’.”
Kellermann performed As Die Broek Pas in 2012 – as part of the practical component for a master’s degree at the University of Stellenbosch.
Kellermann has been cast in male parts many times and in her thesis she studied so-called “trouser actresses” – women playing the roles of men.
Kellermann subsequently performed As Die Broek Pas and Man to Man – in tandem – at the Fugard Theatre.
She performed the play in Afri- kaans on the festival circuit and in English at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown.
“So many issues in the play resonate with us today – unemployment, gender inequality and pol-
Antoinette Kellermann in at the Baxter.
Wessel Pretorius, who directs and performs in