RADIO DRAMA REVIEW: AS ‘N KIND KOM KUIER.
FILTERED THROUGH WITH botanical references and the best of African jazz, the trajectory of Zelda Bezuidenhout’s Afrikaans-language radio drama As ‘n Kind Kom Kuier, which debuts this evening on Radio Sonder Grense, is one that sings to the wisdom of the elderly. You will strain to hear every last word of this finely structured work, which flies in the face of what society may expect.
Elna Smit-Smith (Antoinette Kellermann) is an elderly Johannesburg widow with cancer. Her adult son and daughter are busy with their own lives in their own contexts. She has a caregiver, Vanessa (June van Merch), who holds her tight, administers drugs and listens to her bitter disappointments and moments of levity. And then, the dreaded and unthinkable occurs and a young man – a child, really – pops into their lives.
Nicknamed ‘Dollar’ this teenager (Deklerk Oelofse) fits a clear stereotype. And like the young miscreant in Charles J Fourie’s recent radio drama, Vergifnis, he finds a place in Elna’s heart which had been allowed to lie fallow. This is a satisfying – if a tad predictable – yarn of comeuppance and surprises, of forgiveness and of the beauty of a tabula rasa, untainted by knowledge and formed by need.
Evocative of the power in Nicholas Spagnoletti’s play London Road and the South African volte face in tales such as Craig Higginson’s Dream of the Dog, As ‘n kind kom kuier will hold your heart strings. It is a clear plot line with the Kellermann character as its well-developed core.
- As ‘n kind kom kuier (When a child comes to visit) is written by Zelda Bezuidenhout. Directed by Joanie Combrink, and featuring technical input by Cassi Lowers, it is performed by Antoinette Kellermann, Pierre Nelson, Deklerk Oelofse, Daneel van der Walt and June van Merch. It broadcasts on RSG on 4 June 2020 at 8pm, will be broadcast again in Deurnag, the station’s all night programme, on Monday 8 June May 2020 at 1am and is available on podcast through the radio station’s website: rsg.co.za