EPISODE TWO OF Martyn Le Roux’s Die Soutwaterheks positions the murky unknown in place. Recorded and released independently online, in both MP3 and MP4 formats, in Afrikaans with bits of English, it is accessible through various links, and breaks moulds of what storytelling can be in several ways.
It is in these carefully recorded 15 minutes that you will get to know a little more about Frans Baker (Francois Coertze) and Captain John Kearney (Pieter Theron) and their conversational dynamic and context. As they sit and warm their hands, bellies and hearts with words, bread and thick soup, something happens.
It’s the kind of event that evokes Wolfgang Fischer’s magnificent film Styx, which focuses on refugees and the politics of the ocean, but there’s a deeper and richer tale here which slips the work into another dimension. This might have to do with the title of the series, but it also has to do with Le Roux’s masterful narrative technique.
As the episode, mooted ‘Onverwagse Besoekers’ (Unexpected Visitors) unfolds, you realise that you’re not going to be slapped in the face with a one-liner of a story. Le Roux is taking his time and developing the texture of his characters and their context.
By any manner of means, this is no Disneyfied version of The Little Mermaid. And it’s an episode which will have you reaching for the next as the credits begin to roll.
Die Soutwaterheks promises 25 chapters: Watch this space for consecutive reviews!
- Die Soutwaterheks: Episode 2 Onverwags Besoekers (The Sea Witch: Unexpected Problems) is written by Martyn Le Roux. Directed by Martyn Le Roux, and featuring technical input by Arnévan Mollendorf, it is performed by Francois Coertze, Pieter Theron and Riaan Visman. It is available here.