Meeting the in-laws

WHAT Leopold thinks of the new family from the farm. Photograph courtesy

AFRIKAANS RADIO DRAMA REVIEW: CLASS CLASHES CAN happen in the funniest and most brittle of contexts. This is what you can expect in Pap en Kaviaar, play that broadcasts on Thursday 1 April at 8pm on Radio Sonder Grense, opening the station’s new season of radio theatre.

Featuring music from both Pink Floyd and Abba, the work is all about values and their discontents, but it’s also about how different generations respond to key issues surrounding the glue that holds us, as a society, together, and the four-letter word for any romantic: money.

It’s about future in-laws getting to know one another, but in the case of Loek and Coba Bennet (Anton Schmidt and Heidi Mollentze) and Liana and Marius Fitzwilliam (Elma Potgieter and Anton Dekker), it is about a mix of one-upmanship, country-bumpkinness, shame, guilt and a fancy little Fitzwilliam dog who needs to show the visitors from their cattle farm who owns the estate in question.

It’s a wordy, clever, but slightly predictable and wildly hilarious foray into what distinguishes the proverbial mink from the manure of society. And like the tropes explored in Absolutely Fabulous, which featured Joanna Lumley and Jennifer Saunders, we get the sensible romantics articulating themselves with poetry and values in the younger generation.

It’s a kind of period piece in a strange sense: Remember the baby boomers? Those who wanted to change the world with values of love and peace and daisy chains and cannabis? Well, the Bennets and the Fitzwilliams are rooted in the materialist set of values that follows them, and the circle turns, with the most expensive coffee in the world and some Karoo-raised lambs as part of the deal.

It’s also a tale of honesty in the face of some slapstick violence, and one of loss and remembrance. By and large, it’s a hard-edged work, served well by competent performers with a great sense of timing and a writer who knows the pinky-raised tea drinking values as well as she knows the rudeness of farm life.

  • Pap en Kaviaar (Porridge and Caviar) is written by Isabel Martinson. Directed by Mari Snyman, and featuring technical input by Neria Mokwena and Evert Snyman, it is performed by Anton Dekker, David Louw, Heidi Mollentze, Elma Potgieter, Anton Schmidt and Karin Wessels. It broadcasts on RSG on 1 April at 8pm, starting the radio station’s new theatre season. The play is also available on podcast through the radio station’s website:

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