Just 24 rubles and 36 kopeks worth of anguish

PUTTING the ‘aaaa!’ into ‘eina!’, Ou Wyntoon en die Weerlose Kreatuur is an essay of gout and wine. Photograph courtesy

NOT EVERY WOMAN out there is a defenceless shrinking violet as cliché and politically-correct rhetoric may tell you. Take the one who bursts into the private toe-related agonies of Kistunov, a 19th century Russian curmudgeon and banker (played by Johann Nel) to beleaguer him with her own domestic dilemmas. Ou Wyntoon en die Weerlose Kreatuur, an hilarious and brilliant piece of Chekhov impeccably magicked into Afrikaans by Nico Luwes, is what you will discover on the radio on Heritage Day, this year.

It’s a tale of gout and wine, money and gender stereotypes being pushed into new and rude frameworks, as it is one about self-importance and the selfishness of suffering. Beautifully performed by Nel opposite Esther von Waltsleben, this 1899 short story is brought to graphic life that smacks of relevance, even to us, more than 100 years later.

Ou Wyntoon en die Weerlose Kreatuur is based on Chekhov’s ‘A Defenseless Creature’, and evokes works such as Tobacco, and the harmful effects thereof in its coarse wisdoms which contains astute observations about the quirky world in which we live and the curiously vulnerable self-importance we tend to exude. It’s a violent little essay about being babelas and fragile in the face of someone else’s problems, with some delicious caveats about hubris and the nature of the self. It’s also something you cannot allow yourself to miss, on Thursday.

Ou Wyntoon en die Weerlose Kreatuur (Old ‘Wine Toe’ and the Defenceless Creature) is based on a short story by Anton Chekhov and translated by Nico Luwes. Directed by Amor Tredoux, and featuring technical input by Cassi Lowers, it is performed by Johann Nel, Jan-Hendrik Opperman and Esther von Waltsleben. It broadcasts on Radio Sonder Grense on 24 September, just after the 2pm news, and is also available on the radio station’s podcast archive.

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