Booitjie and the Oubaas

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by Athol Fugard.

The story is about the life of 80-year-old Abraham Barends, known by his friends as “Booitjie” because of his small stature, who lived with his wife Siena in the small rural Eastern Cape village of Nieu Bethesda.

Fugard met Barends when he was living in the village and based the plot of Booitjie and the Oubaas on Booitjie’s early life when he worked as a caregiver with some of the village’s elderly men.

In reality, Barends held down two jobs, one looking after five elderly and infirm men in Nieu Bethesda during the night, and another operating a grader and repairing roads in the district during the day.

The world premiere was staged in South Africa at the Rhodes Theatre, (part of the Rhodes University Theatre Complex) in Grahamstown during the 2006 National Arts Festival, starring Christo Davids as Booitjie and Marius Weyers as Oubaas.

Barends and his wife attended the world premiere.

2006: Produced at the Baxter Theatre in Cape Town, directed by Janice Honeyman with Christo Davids, Mary Daniels and Marius Weyers.


The Herald

Cape Times, 26 July 2006.

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