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BOSMANíS WOMEN (article first published : 2007-08-11)

On tour after an excellent run at the fringe in Grahamstown, Bosman's Women provides an amusing, entertaining an informative look at the women in Herman Charles Bosman's life and works.

Written and produced by Barbie Meyer and directed by Bets Basson, we are taken into the life and stories of Bosman through a glimpse at some of the women in his life. Superbly performed by Barbie Meyer and Lorna Burd, there is an excellent balance of fact and fiction.

The first woman we meet is his first wife, sensitively and honestly portrayed by Barbie. We get to know the man through the eyes of his three wives as the performance continues. These three very different women give us totally different glimpses into the character of this brilliant, eccentric South African writer.

Best known for his short stories, Bosman has been well loved for many years. We are entertained by the much loved Peach Brandy story superbly narrated by Meyer and Burd as they effortlessly changed characters. The simple narration which cleverly linked the excerpts from his stories with the memories of his wives kept the audience focused and entertained for 70 minutes.

The poignant extract from Cold Stone Jug showed the depth of emotion in Bosman while his humour and clever use of words were superbly captured in the story of the young lady who returned from "Finishing School".

I have never been in favour of men being played by women and wondered how the attractive blonde Barbie would manage - but she did! With a change in vocal tone, some typical male mannerisms and a change of posture, she captured the essence of Oom Schalk Lourens without trying to "become" him. Complimented by Lorna Burd who also managed to portray the masculine characteristics convincingly, the narration moved effortlessly between the women and the men in the script using a few well chosen props( the red boa was superb)

The intimate Rhumbelow Theatre was a perfect setting for the performance I saw. The theatre was full and the audience's applause was a clear indication of how much they enjoyed this excellent production.

Bosman's Women moves to Richard's Bay for the last performances of this season. Hopefully, it will return to Durban for a longer run in the near future. - Dawn Haynes




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