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'''Pieter-Dirk Uys''' (1945-)  is a South African actor, dramatist, impersonator, comedian, political satirist and author. His personal website [http://pdu.co.za/] describes him as "author, actor and activist".
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'''Pieter-Dirk Uys''' (1945-)  is a South African actor, director, dramatist, impersonator, comedian, political satirist and author.  
 +
 
 +
Also found as [[Pieter Uys]] in early programmes.  
 +
 
 +
 
  
 
== Biography ==
 
== Biography ==
  
=== Youth ===
 
  
=== Training ===
+
He was born in Cape Town on 28 September 1945 and grew up there. He matriculated from Nassau High School in Mowbray, Cape Town after which he completed a BA degree at the [[University of Cape Town Drama Department]]. His university lecturers included [[Rosalie van der Gucht]], [[Mavis Taylor]] and [[Robert Mohr]]. In the late 1960s and early 1970s he studied at the London Film School [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London_Film_School].
 +
 
 +
He began working as a freelance playwright, actor and stage director in Cape Town in the 1970s. His early plays, like ''[[Popcorn]]'' (1973), ''[[Selle Ou Storie]]'' (1974), ''[[Pity About People]]'' (1974), ''[[God's Forgotten]]'' (1975) and ''[[Karnaval]]'' (1975) all premiered at the [[Space Theatre]] in Cape Town. Over the years he continued writing, directing and often acting in his own material all over South Africa and abroad. While at film school in London he played a role in drag for the first time, as a milkmaid in an advertising film he produced as a student project and he later became particularly well-known in South Africa for the character [[Evita Bezuidenhout]] (also known as Tannie Evita), a white [[Afrikaner]] socialite and political activist, which he created and plays himself on stage, television and film. He later settled in Darling, in the Western Cape, where he converted the old, disused, railway station into a cabaret venue called [[Evita se Perron]] ("perron" is [[Afrikaans]] for "station platform") [http://www.evita.co.za/], where he stages productions and performs himself regularly.
 +
 
 +
== Contribution to SA theatre, film, media and/or performance ==
 +
 
 +
=== As a drama student ===
 +
As a student at [[UCT]] '''Pieter-Dirk Uys''' (under the name [[Pieter Uys]] or Peter Uys) played a part in ''[[Little Malcolm and his Struggle against the Eunuchs]]'' by David Halliwell at the [[Little Theatre]] in 1967 with [[Peter Kruger]] and [[Wilson Dunster]] and directed by [[Mavis Taylor]]. While at the London Film School he wrote and produced ''[[Faces in the Wall]]''.
 +
 
 +
=== Space Theatre in the 1970s ===
 +
He returned to South Africa to join the [[Space Theatre]] as a very active actor, writer and stage director.
 +
 
 +
==== As playwright at The Space ====
 +
While working fulltime at The [[Space Theatre|Space]] he wrote ''[[Popcorn]]'', ''[[Pity About People]]'', ''[[Selle Ou Storie]]'', ''[[Snow White and the Special Branch]]'', ''[[God’s Forgotten]]'', ''[[Just Hilda!]]'', ''[[Karnaval]]'' and ''[[Kitsch]]'', and did an adaptation of ''[[The Happy Prince]]''.
 +
 
 +
==== As actor at The Space ====
 +
As actor he appeared in ''[[People are Living There]]'', ''[[Skyvers/Jollers]]'', ''[['Tis Pity She's a Whore]]'', ''[[A Different Shade of Grey]]'', ''[[Don't Walk About with Nothing On]]'', ''[[I'll Ring for more Toast]]'', ''[[Just Hilda!]]'', ''[[Karnaval]]'', ''[[The Maids]], [[A Man Hanging]], [[Muzeeka]] and [[Ooh! La-La]].
 +
 
 +
==== As director at The Space ====
 +
He also directed [[Pity About People]]'', ''[[Popcorn]]'', ''[[Selle Ou Storie]]'', ''[[Snow White and the Special Branch]]'', ''[[Superman]]'', ''[['Tis Pity She's a Whore]]'', A Tribute to Noël Coward: ''[[Fumed Oak]]'' and ''[[Red Peppers]]'', ''[[We Bombed in New Haven]]'', ''[[Cop Out]]'', ''[[Faces in the Wall]]'', ''[[Fortune and Men's Eyes]]'', ''[[God’s Forgotten]]'', ''[[I'll Ring for more Toast]]'', ''[[Just Hilda]]'', ''[[Karnaval]]'', ''[[Kitsch]]'' and ''[[Muzeeka]]''.
 +
 
 +
==== As designer at The Space ====
 +
As designer he worked on ''[[Pity About People]]'', ''[[Selle Ou Storie]]'', ''[['Tis Pity She's a Whore]]'', ''[[We Bombed in New Haven]]'', ''[[Cop Out]]'', ''[[Faces in the Wall]]'', ''[[Fortune and Men's Eyes]]'', ''[[God’s Forgotten]]'', ''[[Karnaval]]'', ''[[Kitsch]]'', ''[[Muzeeka]]'' and ''[[Ooh! La-La]]''.
  
=== Career ===
+
=== As a Freelancer ===
 +
After his spell with [[The Space]] he became a freelancer in the performing arts in South Africa and abroad. Initially a performer and playwright, he continued to make his name with bilingual realist comedies and tragedies with a strong political message, set in Cape Town. He gradually started focusing on stand-up satires. These include the immensely popular and long running satire ''[[Die Van Aardes van Grootoor]]'' (lit “The Van Aardes [i.e. ‘those of the earth’] of Big Ear”) at the [[Baxter Theatre]]  and [[Market Theatre]] – where he opened the [[Laager]] in 1978, ''[[Adapt or Dye]]'' (1981),  ''[[Hell is for Whites Only]]'' (1982), ''[[Die Vleiroos]]'' (the first [[Afrikaans]] play commissioned for the [[Grahamstown Festival]]’s main festival, 1992), ''[[No Space on Long Street]]'' (a celebration of the [[Space Theatre]], performed in the [[Baxter Theatre|Baxter]] in 1997.
  
==Contribution to SA theatre, film, media and/or performance==
+
Towards the end of the 1970s he began doing impersonations of South African politicians and creating a number of popular characters, the most notable being [[Evita Bezuidenhout]], whose persona became so strong that she finally became Uys’s public alter ego. [[Evita Bezuidenhout|Evita]] has had a string of productions of her own, including a TV chat show for a while. (See also: '''[[Evita Bezuidenhout]]''').
  
=== '''TO BE EDITED''' ===
+
Over the years Pieter-Dirk Uys has performed a large number of one-man shows, including ''[[Farce About Uys]]'', ''[[Hell is for Whites Only]]'', ''[[Adapt or Dye]]'', ''[[One Man, One Volt]]'', ''[[Tannie Evita Praat Kaktus]]'', ''[[An Audience With Pieter-Dirk Eish!]]'' and others.
  
Born in Cape Town on September 28, 1945, studied drama at the [[University of Cape Town]]. As a student at [[UCT]] he performed (under the name [[Pieter Uys]]) in ''[[Little Malcolm and his Struggle against the Eunuchs]]'' by ????* at the [[Little Theatre]] in 1967 with [[Peter Kruger]] and [[Wilson Dunster]] and directed by [[Mavis Taylor]]. ***  When to the London Film School, where he wrote and produced ''Faces in the Wall'' (1969).  Returned to join the [[Space Theatre]] as a very active actor, writer and director. While there he wrote ''[[Popcorn]]'' (1973), ''[[Pity About People]]'' (1974), ''[[Selle Ou Storie]]'' (1974), ''[[Snow White and the Special Branch]]'', ''[[God’s Forgotten]]'', ''[[Just Hilda!]]'' (1974), ''[[Karnaval]]'' and ''[[Kitsch]]'', and did an adaptation of ''[[The Happy Prince]]''. As actor he appeared in ''[[People are Living There]]'', ''[[Skyvers/Jollers]]'', ''[[‘Tis Pity she’s a Whore]]'', ''[[A Different Shade of Grey]]'', ''[[Don’t walk about with Nothing On]]'', ''[[I’ll Ring for more Toast]]'', ''[[Just Hilda]]'', ''[[Karnaval]]'', ''[[The Maids]], [[A Man Hanging]], [[Muzeeka]] and [[Ooh! La-La]]. He also directed [[Pity About People]]'', ''[[Popcorn]]'', ''[[Selle Ou Storie]]'', ''[[Snow White and the Special Branch]]'', ''[[Superman]]'', ''[[Tis Pity she’s a Whore]]'', ''[[A Tribute to Noel Coward– Fumed Oak and Red Peppers]]'' ''[[We Bombed in New Haven]]'', ''[[Cop Out]]'', ''[[Faces in the Wall]]'', ''[[Fortune and Men’s Eyes]]'', ''[[God’s Forgotten]]'', ''[[I’ll Ring for more Toast]]'', ''[[Just Hilda]]'', ''[[Karnaval]]'', ''[[Kitsch]]'' and ''[[Muzeeka]]''. As designer he worked on ''[[Pity About People]]'', ''[[Selle Ou Storie]]'', ''[[‘Tis Pity she’s a Whore]]'', ''[[We Bombed in New Haven]]'', ''[[Cop Out]]'', ''[[Faces in the Wall]]'', ''[[Fortune and Men’s Eyes]]'', ''[[God’s Forgotten]]'', ''[[Karnaval]]'', ''[[Kitsch]]'', ''[[Muzeeka]]'' and ''[[Ooh! La-La]]''. After his spell with [[The Space]] he became a free-lance performer. Initially a performer and playwright, he continued to make his name with bilingual realist comedies and tragedies with a strong political message, set in Cape Town, and gradually stand-up satires. These include the immensely popular and long running satire ''[[Die Van Aardes van Grootoor]]'' (lit “The Van Aardes [i.e. ‘those of the earth’] of Big Ear”) at the [[Baxter Theatre]]  and [[Market Theatre]] – where he opened the [[Laager]] in 1978, ''[[Hell is for Whites Only]]'' (19**), ''[[Adapt or Dye]]'' (1981),  ''[[Die Vleiroos]]'' (“The  Marsh Rose”, the first Afrikaans play commissioned for the [[Grahamstown Festival]]’s main festival, 198*), ''[[No Space in Long Street]]'' (a celebration of the [[Space Theatre]], performed in the [[Baxter]] 1997, published in [[SATJ]] 1997)  ***, ****. Towards the end of the 1970s he began doing impersonations of politicians and creating a number of popular characters, the most notable being [[Evita Bezuidenhout]], whose persona became so strong that she finally became Uys’s public alter ego, and has had a string of productions of her own, including a TV chat show for a while (See also Bezuidenhout, Evita). His numerous one-man shows include ''[[Farce About Uys]]'', ''[[Hell is for Whites Only]]'' (19**), ''[[Adapt or Dye]]'' (1981), ''[[One Man, One Volt]]'' (1994) , ****, ****, ''[[Tannie Evita Praat Kaktus]]'' (lit: “Aunt Evita Talks Cactus”, 19**), **,  ''[[An Audience With Pieter-Dirk Eish!]]'' (2012-13), *.
+
In August 1978 he opened The [[Laager]], a small theatre space in the [[Market Theatre]], in the venue formally known as the [[Market Café]]. The opening production was his ''[[Die Van Aardes van Grootoor]]'', directed by [[Dawie Malan]] and starring [[Pieter-Dirk Uys|Uys]], [[Magda Beukes]], [[Johan Botha]], [[Lida Botha]], [[Antoinette Kellermann]], [[Nomsa Nene]] and [[Rina Nienaber]].
In 199* he moved to the town of Darling, where he bought the old station and built [[Evita se Perron]] (“Evita’s Station Platform”), a small theatre and restarurant complex where he performs regularly.  Uys has toured extensively, nationally and internationally, to wide acclaim. He has also recorded and filmed a number of his shows, and has (as Evita) hosted his own TV show. Another facet of his work is the enormous amount of charity and community work he has done to create understanding, tolerance and health awareness. Among the many awards he has received  are the [[Fleur du Cap Theatre Award]] for Best Supporting Actor in ''[[Waiting for Godot]]'' (1980), the [[Fleur du Cap Theatre Award]] for Best Leading Actor in ''[[Adapt or Dye]]'' (1981), ***, ***, *** . In 2000, during their celebration of “women who led us into the 21st century”, the [[Womens International Center]] presented Uys with the [[Living Legacy 2000 Award]], for his contribution as “Evita Bezuidenhout”. At the 1989 [[Grahamstown Festival]] he was presented with a special award for his contribution to the National Arts Festival and to South African theatre in general by the 1820 Foundation.  UYS, Pieter-Dirk. His ''[[Pity About People]]'' was staged at the [[Blue Fox]] in 1975. His ''[[Selle ou Storie]]'' starring [[Christine Basson]] was staged at the [[Chelsea Theatre]] in 1975. His bilingual ''[[God’s Forgotten]]'', co-starring [[Christine Basson]], [[Magda Beukes]] and [[Lynne Maree]] was staged at [[Upstairs at The Market]] in 1976. He wrote and directed ''[[Paradise is Closing Down]]'' at [[Upstairs at the Market]] in 1978. He was the artistic director of the [[Laager Theatre]] upon opening. His ''[[Die Van Aardes van Grootoor]]'' directed by [[Dawie Malan]] and starring himself, [[Magda Beukes]], [[Johan Botha]], [[Lida Botha]], [[Antoinette Kellermann]], [[Nomsa Nene]] and [[Rina Nienaber]] was the opening production at the [[Laager]] in September 1978. He directed [[Mannie Manim]]’s production of [[Larry Gelbart]]’s ''[[Sly Fox]]'' starring [[Patrick Mynhardt]], [[Graham Armitage]] and [[Peter J. Elliott]] for [[The Company]] at the [[Market]] in 1979. His ''[[Die Van Aardes]]'' moved into the main theatre at [[The Market]] in 1979. His ''[[Info Scandals]]'' directed by [[Dawie Malan]] was staged at [[The Laager]] in 1979. Together with his sister, [[Tessa Uys]], and [[Thoko Ntshinga]] he starred in ''[[Uyscreams with Hot Chocolate Sauce]]'' at the [[Laager]] in 1980. He starred in [[Beckett]]’s ''[[Waiting for Godot]]'' together with [[Winston Ntshona]] and [[John Kani]]. It was directed by [[Donald Howarth]] and staged at the [[Baxter]] and at the [[Market]] in 1980 before leaving for the USA and Britain. His ''[[Karnaval]]'' was directed by [[Dawie Malan]] and starred [[Magda Beukes]], [[Lida Botha]], [[Dale Cutts]] and [[Joey de Koker]] at [[Upstairs at the Market]] in 1981. His ''[[Adapt or Dye]]'' was staged at the [[Market Café]] in 1981. His ''[[Farce About Uys]]'' starring himself, [[Thoko Ntshinga]] and [[Chris Galloway]] was staged at the [[Market]] in June 1983. His ''[[The Rise and Fall of the First Empress Bonaparte]]'' was staged by [[PACT]], directed by [[William Egan]] and starring [[Jacqui Singer]], [[Ron Smerczak]] and [[Michael McCabe]] was staged at the [[Alexander]] in 1983. His ''[[Selle ou Storie]]'' starring [[Christine Basson]] was staged [[Wits University Theatre]] in 1983. His ''[[Beyond the Rubicon]]'' was staged at the [[Market]] in September 1986. He co-presented ''[[Panorama]]'' with [[Basil Rubin]] at the [[Alexander]] in 1987. He presented ''[[Rearranging the Deck Chairs on the S.A. Bothatanic]]'' with [[Chris Galloway]] in 1987 and in December of the same year they joined forces again in Uys’ ''[[Cry Freemandela – The Movie]]''. His ''[[Just Like Home]]'' was the opening production of the newly refurbished [[Laager]] in 1989. His ''[[Scorched Earth]]'' was staged in 1989. [[Janice Honeyman]] directed him in ''[[A Kiss on Your Koeksister]]'' at the [[Warehouse]] in 1990. He starred in and wrote the satire ''[[An Evening with Evita Bezuidenhout]]'' which was staged during the festive season in 1990.  A reworking of ''[[Paradise is Closing Down]]'' saw Uys starring together with [[Chris Galloway]] at the [[Wits University]] in 1992. His ''[[The Poggenpoel Sisters]]'' was staged in 1993. His ''[[One Man, One Volt]]'' was staged in April 1994. * ''[[Same Old Story]]'' (2004) ''Darling: The Pieter-Dirk Uys Story by Pieter-Dirk Uys''. A film. First produced in 2007 dir: Julian Shaw (www.darlingmovie.com.au)
 
  
After the first democratic elections in South Africa (1994), Uys wrote his first scripted play since 1991, ''[[Auditioning Angels]]'' (2003).
+
In 1995 he moved to the town of Darling [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darling,_Western_Cape], 75 km from Cape Town, where he bought the old station and built [[Evita se Perron]] (“Evita’s Station Platform”), a small theatre and restaurant complex where he performs regularly, often as [[Evita Bezuidenhout]]. Over the years Uys has toured extensively, nationally and internationally, to wide acclaim. He has also recorded and filmed a number of his shows, and has (as Evita) hosted his own TV show.
 +
 
 +
Another facet of his work is the enormous amount of charity and community work he has done to create understanding, tolerance and health awareness.
  
 
=== Plays and Monologues written by Uys ===
 
=== Plays and Monologues written by Uys ===
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'''''[[MacBeki]]''''' ([[Little Theatre, Cape Town]], 2009; [[Market Theatre]], 2009)
 
'''''[[MacBeki]]''''' ([[Little Theatre, Cape Town]], 2009; [[Market Theatre]], 2009)
 
 
 
 
  
 
=== Revues and Cabaret Shows written by Uys ===
 
=== Revues and Cabaret Shows written by Uys ===
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'''''[[Die Poggenpoels Praat]]''''' (South African tour, 2011)
 
'''''[[Die Poggenpoels Praat]]''''' (South African tour, 2011)
  
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=== Filmography ===
 +
==== As screenwriter ====
 +
1978: ''[[Die Spaanse Vlieg]]'' (feature film)
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1981: ''[[Screenplay]]'' (TV series)
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 +
1983: ''[[Farce About Uys]]'' (TV)
 +
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1991: ''[[Screenplay]]'' (TV series)
 +
 +
==== As actor ====
 +
1974: ''[[Tant Ralie se Losieshuis]]'' (feature film) as the estate agent
 +
 +
1977: ''[[Kootjie Emmer]]'' (feature film) as P.P. Levine
 +
 +
1983:  ''[[Farce About Uys]]'' (TV) as De Kock Bezuidenhout
 +
 +
1985: ''[[Skating on Thin Uys]]'' (feature film) as [[Evita Bezuidenhout]] and all the members of her family
 +
 +
1991: ''[[Screenplay]]'' (TV series) as [[Evita Bezuidenhout]]
 +
 +
==== As himself ====
 +
1985: ''[[Skating on Thin Uys]]''
 +
 +
1987: ''[[Across the Rubicon]]''
 +
 +
2004: ''[[The Sunday Programme]]''
 +
 +
== Books and Autobiographies ==
 +
''Saga of'' ''[[Selle Ou Storie|Die Selle Ou Storie]]'' (1978) ''Speak'', 1(2):53-57.March-April.
 +
 +
''Farce about Uys : A Legal Assembly in Two Riotous Acts'' (1983) Jonathan Ball and Ad. Donker Publishers
 +
 +
''Selle ou storie: A play'' (1983) Ad. Donker, Johannesburg
 +
 +
''No-one’s Died Laughing'' (1986) Harmondsworth: Penguin
 +
 +
''Paradise Is Closing Down and Other Plays'' (1989) Penguin Books Ltd
 +
 +
''Funigalore: Evita's Real-Life Adventures in Wonderland'' (1995) The Penguin Group (SA) Pty Ltd
 +
 +
''The Essential Evita Bezuidenhout'' (1997) David Philip Publishers, Cape Town
 +
 +
''A Part Hate a Part Love: The Legend of Evita Bezuidenhout'' (1994) Hond, Groenkloof
 +
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''No space on Long Street ; Marshrose : two plays'' (2000) ComPress, Cape Town
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 +
''Trekking to Teema'' (2001) Compress, Cape Town
 +
 +
''Elections & Erections: A Memoir of Fear and Fun'' (2003) Zebra Press, Cape Town
 +
 +
''Between the Devil and the Deep: A Memoir of Acting and Reacting'' (2005) Cape Town: Zebra.
  
 +
== Awards and honours ==
 +
1997: Doctor honoris causa from [[Rhodes University]]
  
 +
2000: Mrs [[Evita Bezuidenhout]] was awarded the Living Legacy 2000 Award in San Diego
  
 +
2001: Reconciliation Award [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reconciliation_Award]
  
== Autobiographical Works ==
+
2003: Doctor honoris causa from the [[University of Cape Town]]
[[Pieter-Dirk Uys|Uys, Pieter-Dirk]] 1978. Saga of the ''[[Selle Ou Storie|Die Selle Ou Storie]]''. ''Speak'', 1(2):53-57.March-April.
 
  
[[Pieter-Dirk Uys|Uys, Pieter-Dirk]] 1986. ''[[No-one’s Died Laughing]]''. Harmondsworth: Penguin.
+
2003: Doctor honoris causa from the [[University of the Western Cape]]
  
[[Pieter-Dirk Uys|Uys, Pieter-Dirk]] 1995. ''Funigalore: Evita’s Real-life Adventures in Wonderland''. London: Penguin.
+
2011: [[Theatre Managements of South Africa|TMSA]] [[Naledi Theatre Awards|Naledi Theatre Award]] - Lifetime Achiever Award for [[Evita Bezuidenhout]]
  
[[Pieter-Dirk Uys|Uys, Pieter-Dirk]] 2002. ''Elections and Erections: A Memoir of Fear and Fun''. Cape Town: Zebra.
+
2011: Special Teddy Award at the Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale)
  
[[Pieter-Dirk Uys|Uys, Pieter-Dirk]] 2005.  ''Between the Devil and the Deep: A Memoir of Acting and Reacting''. Cape Town: Zebra.
+
The lifetime achievement award from the Cape Tercentenary Foundation [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Cape_Tercentenary_Foundation]
  
== Awards, etc ==
+
2018: He was awarded the [[Hertzogprys]] for Drama for ''Stukke Teater'', taking into account his complete oeuvre.
  
 
== Sources ==
 
== Sources ==
Pieter-Dirk Uys website [http://pdu.co.za/index.html]
+
Pieter-Dirk Uys's homepage [http://pdu.co.za/index.html]
  
 
Evita se Perron website [http://www.evita.co.za/]
 
Evita se Perron website [http://www.evita.co.za/]
Line 182: Line 260:
 
[[ESAT Bibliography Tra-Tz|Tucker]], 1997.
 
[[ESAT Bibliography Tra-Tz|Tucker]], 1997.
  
Go to [[ESAT Bibliography]]
+
[[LitNet]] [http://www.litnet.co.za/] (re Hertzogprys 2018).
  
 
== Return to ==
 
== Return to ==
  
Return to [[ESAT Personalities  A]]  
+
Return to [[ESAT Personalities  U]]  
  
 
Return to [[South_African_Theatre/Personalities|South African Theatre Personalities]]
 
Return to [[South_African_Theatre/Personalities|South African Theatre Personalities]]

Latest revision as of 16:34, 31 October 2020

Pieter-Dirk Uys (1945-) is a South African actor, director, dramatist, impersonator, comedian, political satirist and author.

Also found as Pieter Uys in early programmes.


Biography

He was born in Cape Town on 28 September 1945 and grew up there. He matriculated from Nassau High School in Mowbray, Cape Town after which he completed a BA degree at the University of Cape Town Drama Department. His university lecturers included Rosalie van der Gucht, Mavis Taylor and Robert Mohr. In the late 1960s and early 1970s he studied at the London Film School [1].

He began working as a freelance playwright, actor and stage director in Cape Town in the 1970s. His early plays, like Popcorn (1973), Selle Ou Storie (1974), Pity About People (1974), God's Forgotten (1975) and Karnaval (1975) all premiered at the Space Theatre in Cape Town. Over the years he continued writing, directing and often acting in his own material all over South Africa and abroad. While at film school in London he played a role in drag for the first time, as a milkmaid in an advertising film he produced as a student project and he later became particularly well-known in South Africa for the character Evita Bezuidenhout (also known as Tannie Evita), a white Afrikaner socialite and political activist, which he created and plays himself on stage, television and film. He later settled in Darling, in the Western Cape, where he converted the old, disused, railway station into a cabaret venue called Evita se Perron ("perron" is Afrikaans for "station platform") [2], where he stages productions and performs himself regularly.

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

As a drama student

As a student at UCT Pieter-Dirk Uys (under the name Pieter Uys or Peter Uys) played a part in Little Malcolm and his Struggle against the Eunuchs by David Halliwell at the Little Theatre in 1967 with Peter Kruger and Wilson Dunster and directed by Mavis Taylor. While at the London Film School he wrote and produced Faces in the Wall.

Space Theatre in the 1970s

He returned to South Africa to join the Space Theatre as a very active actor, writer and stage director.

As playwright at The Space

While working fulltime at The Space he wrote Popcorn, Pity About People, Selle Ou Storie, Snow White and the Special Branch, God’s Forgotten, Just Hilda!, Karnaval and Kitsch, and did an adaptation of The Happy Prince.

As actor at The Space

As actor he appeared in People are Living There, Skyvers/Jollers, 'Tis Pity She's a Whore, A Different Shade of Grey, Don't Walk About with Nothing On, I'll Ring for more Toast, Just Hilda!, Karnaval, The Maids, A Man Hanging, Muzeeka and Ooh! La-La.

As director at The Space

He also directed Pity About People, Popcorn, Selle Ou Storie, Snow White and the Special Branch, Superman, 'Tis Pity She's a Whore, A Tribute to Noël Coward: Fumed Oak and Red Peppers, We Bombed in New Haven, Cop Out, Faces in the Wall, Fortune and Men's Eyes, God’s Forgotten, I'll Ring for more Toast, Just Hilda, Karnaval, Kitsch and Muzeeka.

As designer at The Space

As designer he worked on Pity About People, Selle Ou Storie, 'Tis Pity She's a Whore, We Bombed in New Haven, Cop Out, Faces in the Wall, Fortune and Men's Eyes, God’s Forgotten, Karnaval, Kitsch, Muzeeka and Ooh! La-La.

As a Freelancer

After his spell with The Space he became a freelancer in the performing arts in South Africa and abroad. Initially a performer and playwright, he continued to make his name with bilingual realist comedies and tragedies with a strong political message, set in Cape Town. He gradually started focusing on stand-up satires. These include the immensely popular and long running satire Die Van Aardes van Grootoor (lit “The Van Aardes [i.e. ‘those of the earth’] of Big Ear”) at the Baxter Theatre and Market Theatre – where he opened the Laager in 1978, Adapt or Dye (1981), Hell is for Whites Only (1982), Die Vleiroos (the first Afrikaans play commissioned for the Grahamstown Festival’s main festival, 1992), No Space on Long Street (a celebration of the Space Theatre, performed in the Baxter in 1997.

Towards the end of the 1970s he began doing impersonations of South African politicians and creating a number of popular characters, the most notable being Evita Bezuidenhout, whose persona became so strong that she finally became Uys’s public alter ego. Evita has had a string of productions of her own, including a TV chat show for a while. (See also: Evita Bezuidenhout).

Over the years Pieter-Dirk Uys has performed a large number of one-man shows, including Farce About Uys, Hell is for Whites Only, Adapt or Dye, One Man, One Volt, Tannie Evita Praat Kaktus, An Audience With Pieter-Dirk Eish! and others.

In August 1978 he opened The Laager, a small theatre space in the Market Theatre, in the venue formally known as the Market Café. The opening production was his Die Van Aardes van Grootoor, directed by Dawie Malan and starring Uys, Magda Beukes, Johan Botha, Lida Botha, Antoinette Kellermann, Nomsa Nene and Rina Nienaber.

In 1995 he moved to the town of Darling [3], 75 km from Cape Town, where he bought the old station and built Evita se Perron (“Evita’s Station Platform”), a small theatre and restaurant complex where he performs regularly, often as Evita Bezuidenhout. Over the years Uys has toured extensively, nationally and internationally, to wide acclaim. He has also recorded and filmed a number of his shows, and has (as Evita) hosted his own TV show.

Another facet of his work is the enormous amount of charity and community work he has done to create understanding, tolerance and health awareness.

Plays and Monologues written by Uys

Faces in the Wall (London Film School, 1969; Space Theatre, 1973; Market Theatre 1980)

Popcorn (Space Theatre, 1973)

Pity About People (Space Theatre, 1974; The Company, 1974)

Selle Ou Storie (Space Theatre, 1974; The Company, 1975; Johannesburg Civic Theatre, 2004)

God's Forgotten (Space Theatre, 1975; Market Theatre 1976)

Karnaval (Space Theatre, 1975; Market Theatre 1981)

Skote! (Jan van Riebeeck High School, Cape Town, 1976)

The Rise and Fall of the First Empress Bonaparte (UCT students, 1977; PACT, 1983)

Paradise is Closing Down (Grahamstown Festival, 1977; Market Theatre 1977)

Die Van Aardes van Grootoor (Baxter Theatre 1977; Market Theatre 1978)

Hell is for Whites Only (aka ’’Beyond All Reason’’) (Market Theatre 1982)

Appassionata (Pretoria, 1982; Baxter Theatre 1982; Market Theatre 1982)

Farce About Uys (Baxter Theatre 1983; Market Theatre 1983)

Panorama (Grahamstown Festival, 1987; Pretoria 1988; Johannesburg 1988; Cape Town, 1988)

Just Like Home (Baxter Theatre 1989; Market Theatre 1989)

Scorched Earth (Market Theatre 1989)

Die Vleiroos (Nico Malan Theatre 1992; Johannesburg Civic Theatre, 1995)

Paradise is Closing Down (Revisited) (aka "Going to Heaven") (Grahamstown Festival, 1992; Johannesburg, 1992)

Tannie Evita Praat Kaktus (A monologue, Evita se Perron, 1996)

Ouma Ossewania Praat Vuil (A monologue, Evita se Perron, 1997; KKNK 1997)

No Space on Long Street (Baxter Theatre, 1997)

Going Down Gorgeous (Evita se Perron, 1998; on tour, 1998)

Noël & Marlene (Evita se Perron, 1998; on tour, 1998)

Tannie Evita’s Crystal Balls (A monologue, Evita se Perron, 1998)

The Marshrose (1999)

Tannie Evita’s Cooksisters (A monologue, Evita se Perron, 2000)

Auditioning Angels (Grahamstown Festival, 2003; Pieter Toerien's Studio at Montecasino, 2003; Theatre on the Bay, 2003)

Same Old Story - English translation of Selle Ou Storie (Johannesburg Civic Theatre, 2004)

MacBeki (Little Theatre, Cape Town, 2009; Market Theatre, 2009)

Revues and Cabaret Shows written by Uys

Just Hilda! (Space Theatre, 1974)

Snow White and the Special Branch (Space Theatre, 1974; Labia Theatre, 1976)

Strike Up The Banned (Space Theatre, 1975; Grahamstown Festival, 1976; Market Theatre 1978)

Info Scandals (Pretoria, 1979; Baxter Theatre 1979; Market Theatre 1979)

Uyscreams from the Wimpy Archipelago (Market Theatre 1980)

Uyscreams with Hot Chocolate Sauce (Market Theatre 1980; Baxter Theatre 1980)

Adapt or Dye (premiere production 1981)

Total Onslaught (Pretoria, 1984; Baxter Theatre 1984; Market Theatre 1984)

Beyond the Rubicon (Market Theatre 1986; Nico Malan Theatre, 1986)

Rearranging the Deckchairs on the SA Bothatanic (Market Theatre 1987; Baxter Theatre 1987)

Cry Freemandela – The Movie (Market Theatre 1987; Nico Malan Theatre 1988)

A Kiss on Your Koeksister (Market Theatre 1990; Baxter Theatre 1990)

An Audience with Evita Bezuidenhout (Market Theatre 1990; Baxter Theatre 1990)

An Evening with Pieter-Dirk Uys (Baxter Theatre 1992)

The Poggenpoel Sisters (Cape Town, 1993; Johannesburg, 1993; on tour, 1993)

An Audience with an African Queen (1993)

One Man One Volt (Tour of South Africa, 1994)

Bambi Sings the FAK Songs (A "Cabaret") (Cape Town, 1995; Johannesburg, 1995; on tour, 1995)

You ANC Nothing Yet (Baxter Theatre 1995; on tour, 1995)

Truth Omissions (Baxter Theatre 1996; on tour, 1996)

Live from Boerassic Park (Baxter Theatre 1997; on tour, 1997)

Bambi’s Xmas Kêrels (Evita se Perron, 1998)

Dekaffirnated (Market Theatre 1999; Baxter Theatre 1999; on tour, 1999)

Concentration Camp - a cabaret (Evita se Perron, 2000; Grahamstown Festival, 2000)

For Facts Sake (Evita se Perron, 2000; on tour, 2000)

Symbols of Sex and State (2000)

Foreign Aids (Evita se Perron, 2001; on tour, 2002)

The End is Naai (Evita se Perron, 2004; on tour, 2004) (Known as Elections and Erections for the tour of the UK and Australia)

Icons and Aikonas (Evita se Perron, 2005)

Pieter-Dirk Eish! (Market Theatre, 2006)

Hello Darling (Evita se Perron, 2005)

Evita for President (Spier Amphitheatre, 2007; Market Theatre, 2007; Baxter Theatre, 2007; Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre, 2007)

Fe-Fa-Fo-Fum (Evita se Perron, 2010)

Desperate First Ladies (Evita se Perron, 2010)

FAK Songs and Other Struggle Anthems - a cabaret (Cape Town, 2000)

Die Poggenpoels Praat (South African tour, 2011)

Filmography

As screenwriter

1978: Die Spaanse Vlieg (feature film)

1981: Screenplay (TV series)

1983: Farce About Uys (TV)

1991: Screenplay (TV series)

As actor

1974: Tant Ralie se Losieshuis (feature film) as the estate agent

1977: Kootjie Emmer (feature film) as P.P. Levine

1983: Farce About Uys (TV) as De Kock Bezuidenhout

1985: Skating on Thin Uys (feature film) as Evita Bezuidenhout and all the members of her family

1991: Screenplay (TV series) as Evita Bezuidenhout

As himself

1985: Skating on Thin Uys

1987: Across the Rubicon

2004: The Sunday Programme

Books and Autobiographies

Saga of Die Selle Ou Storie (1978) Speak, 1(2):53-57.March-April.

Farce about Uys : A Legal Assembly in Two Riotous Acts (1983) Jonathan Ball and Ad. Donker Publishers

Selle ou storie: A play (1983) Ad. Donker, Johannesburg

No-one’s Died Laughing (1986) Harmondsworth: Penguin

Paradise Is Closing Down and Other Plays (1989) Penguin Books Ltd

Funigalore: Evita's Real-Life Adventures in Wonderland (1995) The Penguin Group (SA) Pty Ltd

The Essential Evita Bezuidenhout (1997) David Philip Publishers, Cape Town

A Part Hate a Part Love: The Legend of Evita Bezuidenhout (1994) Hond, Groenkloof

No space on Long Street ; Marshrose : two plays (2000) ComPress, Cape Town

Trekking to Teema (2001) Compress, Cape Town

Elections & Erections: A Memoir of Fear and Fun (2003) Zebra Press, Cape Town

Between the Devil and the Deep: A Memoir of Acting and Reacting (2005) Cape Town: Zebra.

Awards and honours

1997: Doctor honoris causa from Rhodes University

2000: Mrs Evita Bezuidenhout was awarded the Living Legacy 2000 Award in San Diego

2001: Reconciliation Award [4]

2003: Doctor honoris causa from the University of Cape Town

2003: Doctor honoris causa from the University of the Western Cape

2011: TMSA Naledi Theatre Award - Lifetime Achiever Award for Evita Bezuidenhout

2011: Special Teddy Award at the Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale)

The lifetime achievement award from the Cape Tercentenary Foundation [5]

2018: He was awarded the Hertzogprys for Drama for Stukke Teater, taking into account his complete oeuvre.

Sources

Pieter-Dirk Uys's homepage [6]

Evita se Perron website [7]

Wikipedia [8]

Afrikaans Wikipedia [9]

Tucker, 1997.

LitNet [10] (re Hertzogprys 2018).

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