Afrikaans

Head to head with a bunny

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WHO came first: the chocolate egg or the Easter bunny? Photograph courtesy rsg.

THEOLOGY MEETS CHOCOLATE commercialism in this tender little Afrikaans-language Easter comment with a sweet heart and a poignant back story that reflects on purism and the struggles of the elderly. Quintin Roy en die Paashaas (Quintin Roy and the Eastern Bunny) is Radio Sonder Grense’s Easter play which will be broadcast twice on Good Friday this year. It’s a poignant reflection that grows out of a chance meeting between an actor doing the Easter Bunny shtick in a shopping centre and a curmudgeon of a retired priest who lives in a facility for the elderly.

And it’s more than a conflict of chocolate interests. Featuring Francois Stemmet as the decidedly miserable old man called Lodewyck Broderick, and Johny Klein in the bunny suit, the work is an essay on the seriousness of Christian symbols and the platitudes cast in the wake of fertility icons such as rabbits and eggs. Coated all over with a chocolate veneer and a shot of cynicism, this foray into the priorities and dialogues around the table of a home for the elderly, sees an Easter message blossom into fulsomeness.

A little disappointing in the denouement department, the work is sweet and slightly wooden: it promises hilarity with the filching of a whole basket full of promotional chocolate eggs, and the angry conflict between a man in a hurry and another guy in a bunny suit, but the former pastor’s cross sense of conviction keeps the dialogue earnest and discursive and doesn’t allow it to lose its religious edge.

If you’re expecting something that will change your life, Quintin Roy might disappoint, but if you’re looking at a competently developed piece of narrative to stimulate your Easter perambulations, it may be just the ticket.

  • Quintin Roy en die Paashaas is written and directed by Helena Hugo. Featuring technical assistance by Bongi Thomas and Patrick Monana, it is performed by Merlin Balie, Johny Klein, Bertha le Roux-Wahl, Elma Potgieter, Francois Stemmet, Gigi Strydom and Bronwyn van Graan. It will be aired on RSG, 100-104fm at 1pm and again at 7pm on Good Friday, March 30: rsg.co.za
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