THE CLASSIC THING that any self-respecting ordinary guy will do after witnessing something astonishing is to take it to his buddies in the bar, for a detailed post-mortem over a drink. This is exactly what happens in episode four of Martyn Le Roux’s serialised tale Die Soutwaterheks, (The Sea Witch). Recorded and released independently online, in both MP3 and MP4 formats, in Afrikaans with bits of English, this tale, told in individual episodes is accessible through various links.
The sea witch in question is a curious and largely uncorroborated part of urban legend, and the guys around the table, including Frans (Francois Coertze) and John (Pieter Theron), Jantjies (Riaan Visman), Danie (Jurgen Bosman) and Hans (Deon Botha) toss the events of the previous episode hither and yon with a mix of incredulity, beers and curiosity tinged with myth and fear.
The heart of the episode lies in its denouement, where Angelique, the late daughter of John and girlfriend of Frans appears unbidden with an evocative jewel, and it seems that whatever presence the men experienced in that terrifying sea storm was not necessarily out to trick them into smashing themselves to death somewhere – as any traditional mermaid or siren worth her salt might have done. No, it seems that there is a mix of military energy and mystical protection and precision afoot here.
The music in this episode almost drowns out the tale’s diction, but you will forgive this: the swirls of sound and tension in this episode force you to lean in close to your computer to make sure you are hearing this mystery unfold correctly. It’s a mix of what the friends say to one another in the private confines of the corner of the tavern in which they’re sitting and the comfortable give and take in their associations with one another; conjoined with the tempo and vortex of the music that brings your hair to stand on end at the climax of the episode.
Die Soutwaterheks promises 25 chapters: Watch this space for consecutive reviews!
- Die Soutwaterheks: Episode 4 Sien is Glo (The Sea Witch: Seeing is Believing) is written by Martyn Le Roux. Directed by Martyn Le Roux, and featuring technical input and sound research by Arné von Molledorf and Martyn Le Roux, and music by David Muller, it is performed by Jurgen Bosman, Deon Botha, Francois Coertze, Pieter Theron and Riaan Visman. It is available here.