I spent an hour with Pieter-Dirk Uys in the lounge of the Soho Hotel, just around the corner from the theatre and a convenient haven for his quiet time ahead of each performance. What transpired was a deeply personal, courageous, thoughtful and wickedly funny discourse. As you’ll hear, it ranges from sharing his own creating process to his famous stage personality Evita Bezuidenhout’s relationships with Madiba, Pik Botha and others to outspoken views on HIB/Aids, Malema, Ramaphosa, South Africa’s future and the country’s world famous comic export Trevor Noah.
Thinking about the interview afterwards, it dawned on me its timing was perfect. Now 72, but still learning and improving, Uys is at the peak of his intellectual powers and beyond the point where he counts his words. Also, putting together a 90 minute biographical show, he would have gone through a deeply reflective process, unearthing much new material shared with us here. As you’ll hear in this extraordinary interview, even though admitting it’s tough for his white mouth to now be heard by a black ear, Pieter Dirk Uys hasn’t lost his knack for getting fellow South Africans to ask uncomfortable questions of themselves. Gently opening eyes rather than poking them out with a stick.