Casper de Vries

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Casper de Vries. (1969-) Actor, writer, cabaret-artist and comedian.

Biography

Youth

Casper is of Dutch stock. He went to Silverton Primary and High School there. He wrote his first piece (Een Koekoek in 'n Hoendernes = "A Cuckoo in a Chicken's Nest") while still at school.

Training

He studied drama at the Stellenbosch University Drama Department.

Career

Contribution to SA theatre, film, media and/or performance

He was discovered as comic genius when performing in Hennie Aucamp’s cabaret’s (notably Slegs vir Almal) and other presentations.

Casper went on to achieve fame for his one-man, stand-up style shows, with their crude and uninhibited approach, which he usually wrote and performed himself, relying on his talent for mimicry, his freeflowing use of rude language and his diminutive size for laughs. Initially he worked with a number of other artists on his shows (e.g. Didi Kriel, Trevor Muller, Alan Hunter, Lolly Sonmez, Eppie Angeleri), but between 1992-1997 with Andrew Roos exclusively. Made his name with Hallo Suid-Afrika/ Hello South Africa in 1986, followed by i.a. AU (1987), Onemanshows/ Eenmanwys (1989), Ziets en De Vries (1990/91), Small Talks (1992/93), Gemini (1994), Ontvries ("Unfrozen" - 1995/1996), WalgWors '97! (lit. "Retch Sausage '97!" - 1997), WETTER (1998), TOET & TAAL (1999), laatdaarLAGwees ("let there be laughter" - 2000), DiMensie (A play on the Afrikaans for "dimension" and "the little person" - 2001/2002), Laat daar lag wees (2002) and Die HITS (2002-2003).

Also performed as actor in i.a. Die Van Aardes van Grootoor (Pieter-Dirk Uys, 1992), Die Fledermaus (1993), Steve en Vriende (Steve Hofmeyr and other singers, 1997).

He wrote, composed and directed the cabaret Hello South Africa/Hallo Suid-Africa starring himself, Johan Engelbrecht, Elsabé Zietsman, June van Merch and Didi Kriel at the Windybrow Theatre circa 1986. His one-man show Small Talks was staged at the Richard Haines Theatre in December 1992.

He made some appearances in films and on television, from 200* hosting his own late-night TV chat show Casper Rasper ("Casper Grater").

Awards, etc

Won the Fleur du Cap Theatre Award for Most Promising Student in 1986.

The Lifetime Achiever Recipientfrom Comicschoice.

Nominated Vita Award (Free State region) 1999 for best comedian and best costume design for his show Casper de Vries.

Sources

Tucker, 1997.

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