SOMETIMES, IT TAKES a little more than the humdrum ebb and flow of domestic life that allows for spite and malice to manifest on every corner. Sometimes one needs to wake up, listen to the music and show a bit of empathy. This is the primary message in Janie Ligthelm’s Afrikaans radio drama Bring vir Carli, which broadcasts on Radio Sonder Grense, this evening, 24 December, at 8pm.
It’s a complicated tale of love and stress, the pall that can happen after the proverbial honeymoon and how molehills can become mountains when you’re trying to bitch your way through your ex-husband’s money and emotions. Evoking the helter-skelter life of Mozart’s character Figaro or Carl Gorham’s British animated series Stressed Eric, it’s also about the steely grip of a mother set in her way with Calvinist values. Ultimately, it is about how love can change everything.
And it is here where you meet Tehan (Melt Sieberhagen). He’s a career academic by dint of his parental heritage, but he’s also a guy who has loved and erred along the way. As people do. Threaded through with references to Franz Schubert, Mozart and more, it’s a story that could easily teeter into mushiness, but a strong script and briskly competent performances prevent this, and keep you focused until the work’s very last line.
Bring vir Carli presents a wise and fleshed-out focus about how sometimes fate can make mincemeat of the opinions that you held sacred for far too long. And it serves as a biting and muscular indictment of conventional society. But structured with its denouement balanced on the work’s last three words, it evokes such Afrikaans drama as Dop, crafted and honed with great polish. It’s not all sunshine, rainbows and pink spangles, but rather a story about real people, capable of real hurt and real forgiveness.
- Bring vir Carli is written by Janie Ligthelm. Directed by Anrich Herbst and featuring technical input by Cassi Lowers, it is performed by Susanne Beyers, Karli Heine, Deon Lötz, Rolanda Marais and Melt Sieberhagen. It broadcasts on RSG on Thursday 24 December at 8pm, will be rebroadcast on Monday 28 December at 1am in the radio station’s all night programme, Deurnag, and is also available on podcast: www.rsg.co.za