SOMETIMES IT TAKES a fresh young voice to rejuvenate an old chestnut in ways you couldn’t have imagined. Anna Greenfield’s Afrikaans language radio drama Liewe Pynappel debuted this evening on Radio Sonder Grense. It’s a gentle tale of pregnancy and love, in that order, with a little feisty humour, some strong realisations and a spot of pathos tossed into the mix.
But above all, it makes for good listening. There are no devils in the wings in this tale of a young woman who goes through the ultimate experience of childbirth, with just the fruit metaphors presented on the internet to keep her company in the wee hours of the night.
Elsa (Cindie Swanepoel) is going to be a single mom. Her boyfriend skedaddled when he discovered he was to be a dad, and disappeared out of the picture quick as he could. And thus Elsa finds herself being coddled by an overprotective mom (Frieda van den Heever) who isn’t equipped with a tact filter. Her dad has had a stroke and cannot speak, but he’s so strong a presence in this work, he should have been scripted in this play.
And Elsa’s experience of this pregnancy is related to her unborn tot, as it progresses. It’s happy and sad, funny and light, and everything from farting in yoga to peeing ten times a night comes under her loupe. Not to mention irascible toddlers and new young mums with gazillions of baby-related questions, or the chap in the grocery store (Stian Bam) who seems so unsympathetic over her need to binge on yoghurt.
The story becomes predictable about two thirds in, but written with a fresh voice and performed with the unpretentiousness of youth, this work has the feistiness of Diablo Cody’s 2007 coming of age film Juno. And it’s a delicious start to this season’s radio drama works, which will be performed on RSG in this slot.
- Liewe Pynappel (Dear Pineapple) is written by Anna Greenfield. Directed by Frieda van den Heever, and featuring technical input by Cassie Lowers, it is performed by Stian Bam, Susanne Beyers, Ilana Cilliers, Crystal Donna Roberts, Cintaine Schutte, Lindie Stander, Cindy Swanepoel and Frieda van den Heever. It debuted on RSG on April 4 at 8pm, will be rebroadcast on April 9 at 1am in Radio Sonder Grense’s Deurnag programme, and is also available on podcast: rsg.co.za