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HOT air balloon surprises: Listen to Albert Short’s Ontydige Tydings.

IT TAKES A very special writer to be able to strip the emotion of a funeral and infuse it with seriously funny dark humour that forces it to rise to a new level. This is what you will experience in Albert Short’s Ontydige Tydings (Untimely Tidings), an Afrikaans language radio play, which will be broadcast this evening, Thursday October 4, on Radio Sonder Grense. But it’s not only the dark humour which will keep you riveted to the theatre of the mind, in this new season of recorded theatre on the wireless.

Rather, it’s the understanding of a society which runs deep into the nuances of language and idiom, the turns of phrases and the implicit care, but secret callousness, that the young show for the elderly. It’s a tale of a foundling who seeks her true past and secret letters written to a dead sister. Above all it’s about an unconventional funeral which takes an unexpected windy turn and will leave you in stitches.

Hot on the heels of Short’s previous play which you may have heard last season, the work presents characters that you met, then. There’s an amputated arm which knocks on the door at night, and ominous thunderclouds which don’t seem to bode good news in the ether. It’s all delicately interwoven into a strata of superstition and community, earnest values and the restlessness of youth. It’s a treat.

  • Ontydige Tydings (Untimely tidings) is written by Albert Short. Directed by Christelle Webb-Joubert, and featuring technical input by Bongi Thomas and Patrick Monana, it is performed by Eswé Bruwer, Elize Cawood, Janine Opperman, Saskia Pocock, Rian Terblanche and Karen Wessels, with Carla Redelinghuys on violin. It performs on RSG 104FM, on October 4 at 8pm, is rebroadcast during the radio station’s Deurnag programme at 1am on October 8 and is also available on podcast.

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