WHAT HAPPENS WHEN a gorgeous stranger pops into your restaurant for a casual burger and a stated desire for more? Is he a critic? Has he an agenda? When Louis (André Weiderman) presents himself at the restaurant owned by Lilian (Roeline Daneel), you think love is in the air. You’d be half right. The story that unfolds in Ronel Mostert’s delightful Afrikaans-language radio play Erfporsie (inheritance), is, like the pairing of food and wine: A complicated business, about colour and flavour, mixing and matching, suitability and nuance but also, one about love and inheritance, devilry and fraud.
Mostert’s foray into the doings and strategies of wine farm owners and their desire to feather their nests by contriving to meet the demands in the wills of their elders will keep you on the edge of your seat. Constructed with editorial wisdom that enables the work’s trajectory to leap through time from one scenario to another, it is succinctly built, forcing you to listen with care to understand what is happening.
It’s a tale of chicanery which is sometimes obvious, but given the jazzy tone to the material, interspersed as it is with easy, witty music, is completely forgivable. Olivia (Margit Meyer-Rӧdenbeck) is a curious, outspoken character which may remind you of characters in Agatha Christie novels that you immediately suspect of badness. On a level she seems something of a person with borderline personality disorder, but to all intents and purposes, she is the partner of Darius (Leon Kruger), the brother of Louis.
Lilian falls hook line and sinker into the morass of greed, like the proverbial lamb to the slaughter, but her honest emotions (even the ones she ignores at the outset) save her life and her sense of integrity. This play is crafted in strong lines that may make you think of Back to Burgundy, the recent wine farm film about family. Either way, it’s a delicious way of spending a Thursday evening in the winter.
- Erfporsie (Inheritance) is written by Ronel Mostert. Directed by Amor Tredoux, and featuring technical input by Cassie Lowers, it is performed by Dean Balie, Elsabé Daneel, Roeline Daneel, Nic de Jager, Leon Kruger and Margit Meyer-Rӧdenbeck and André Weiderman. It broadcasts on RSG on June 6 at 8pm, will be rebroadcast on June 10 at 1am in Radio Sonder Grense’s Deurnag programme, and is also available on podcast.