PG du Plessis’ laureate Hertzog prize drama, Die Nag van Legio – Artscape

DIE NAG VAN LEGIO  – Artscape-Arena

14 – 19 November 2017

 

PG du Plessis’ laureate Hertzog prize drama, Die Nag van Legio, will enjoy a short run at the Artscape Arena theatre from the 14th of November 2017. It was commissioned by the Innibos festival to be performed at their annual National Arts. Hereafter it visited the Free State Arts festival.

 

Nag van Legio – Andre Roothman as Dogoman

 

Die Nag van Legiois recognized as a South African masterpiece.  The psychological thriller is set in a psychiatric institute. The life of four patients are drastically altered when a character, Dogoman, appears on the scene.

 

One of the four, Dirk Jooste, knows Dogoman’s ability to take advantage of people’s religious beliefs and apposes him. With masterly manipulation Dogoman – as an act of revenge for a previous encounter with Dirk, turns everyone against Dirk. What unfolds then, is a thrilling battle between good and bad; known to mesmerize audiences. Mass hysterical outbursts, power games, manipulation and the subjection of the individual are the themes in this production.

 

This timeless debut work of PG du Plessis was written in the late 60’s, performed in 1969 by PACT – with legendary actors i.e. Carel Trichardt, Marius Weyers, Louis van Niekerk, Schalk Jacobsz and others in the cast. Pretoria came to a standstill with this unprecedented protest re language and politics. PG du Plessis was a student of NP van Wyk Louw, who held the belief that every generation should protest some cause. Die Nag van Legio is protest, and translates easily to today’s political landscape.

 

In 1972 Du Plessisis was awarded the Hertzog prize. He wrote a number of plays after this.

This long-awaited revival of this famous play, boasts the cream of South Africa’s actors, with André Roothman, Gerben Kamper, Deon Lotz, Duncan Johnson, Hein Poole, Francois Potgieter, Francois Jacobs en Riaan Visman; directed and designed by Albert Maritz.The set and props are brilliantly created by Gaerin Hauptfleisch, wardrobe by Elrina Marais and lighting byJako Beylevelt.

 

“Om hierdie teks te kan doen, is amper ’n roeping, (To do this script is nearly a calling)”said Maritz. “Maar ’n mens is bang vir wat dit vandag beteken(But one is cautious for what it may mean today) en jy kannie ’n meester se werk joune wil maak(and you cannot force your will on a masters work) deur goed net te begin verander nie (by simply changing everything).Destyds in Pretoria was dit ’n majestueuse sukses (Those days, in Pretoria, this was such a success). En nou waag ’n ou jou hand daaraan.(and now we dare to also make it happen)”

 

“Ek het al voorheengesê ’n teksbewyshomnie net in teorienie. (A script doesn’t prove itself on paper) Ditmoet op die plankelewekry om ditvolledigtekanbeoordeel. (It can only be evaluated when it comes to life upon a stage). Die akteursmoetfyn trap. (The actors must tread finely). Dit is moeilikemateriaal, maar ditskakel om in ’n vreugdevir ’n gehoor.” (It is difficult subject matter to deal with, but it translates into entertainment for audiences).

 

“Ons is versigtig met hierdieteks. (We are careful with this script) So ons werk byna met ’n skalpel en verwyder klein stukkies, hier en daar dalk ’n sinnetjie of ’n kort paragraaf. (So we worked very finely, carefully removing the least possible with a scalpel) Dis egter moeilik, want die struktuur van die teks is so goed.(It remains difficult because of the tight structure of the play). Ons probeer so min as moontlik ingrepe maak.(We attempted the least possible cuts) Dit is belangrik dat die stuk by die tyd by bly. (It is important that the script remains abreast of the time).”

 

Die Nag van Legio, supported by NATI (Nasionale Afrikaanse Teater-Inisiatief), Innibos Arts festival and Damhuis Restaurant, is on at the Artscape-Arena from 14 tot 19 November at 8 pm; matinees 15 and 19 November at 15:00 and 18 November at 14:30.  Tickets are R120 at Computicket and Artscape Dial-a-seat 021 421 7695.   Special discounts for pensioners and students are R95 for 14:30 matinee and R110 for evening shows. Adults should accompany minors under 10.

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