Theatre interview: Amanda Bothma talks about staging “the Blommeland’s beloved little witch, Liewe Heksie”, at the Baxter, 2021
|What: Liewe Heksie
Where: The Baxter Golden Arrow Studio When: September 28 to October 9, 2021
Times: First week: September 28 to October 1 at 3.30pm; September 2 at 11am and 2pm. Second week: October 5, 6, 8 at 11am; October 7 at 3pm; October 9 at 11am and 2pm
Duration of show: 60 minutes Target age: 4-12 years Language: Afrikaans
Direct booking link: http://www.baxter.co.za/event/liewe-heksie-blommeland-se-geliefde-heksie-0
Tickets: R80 and R50 for schools and block bookings. For block bookings, call Amanda Bothma on 082 524 4449 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Performers: Cast of 14 – includes Cara Roberts, Daniel Anderson, Brian Hiles, Kerry Hiles, Chris Van Rensburg and Pieter-Schalk Bothma; performers from schools in the Cape
Director: Amanda Bothma of Wela Kepela Productions Musical director: Tersia Harley
✳ Seating is limited as per current Covid lockdown requirements. Arrive early for temperature checks, signing in, sanitising. Masks must be worm at all times.
Amanda Bothma of Wela Kapela Productions is excited to present Liewe Heksie, with award-winning actress, Cara Roberts as the little witch and cabaret artist, Daniel Anderson as Blommie Kabouter. It is a new production, with a cast of 14. Cara Roberts, Daniel Anderson, Brian Hiles, Kerry Hiles, Chris Van Rensburg and Pieter-Schalk Bothma, will be joined on stage by “young kabouters (gnomes)” from schools, in the Cape.
Liewe Heksie is performed in Afrikaans but a great deal of the story is conveyed through physical theatre, movement and song and and may be understood, by Afrikaans challenged audiences. Liewe Heksie, the loveable little witch character, created by Elsa Kranz, premiered in 1978 as a TV series and 52 episodes were made. This Liewe Heksie story, staged by Wela Kepela Productions was written by Verna Vels for radio in the early 60s and later published and screened on TV. Bothma: “Elsa Kranz and Braam Cilliers adapted these stories for theatre. Elsa Kranz was not involved with the TV productions. As per our arrangement with Dalro we bill it as Liewe Heksie -written by Verna Vels, adapted by Elsa Krantz and Braam Cilliers.” This is Bothma’s “third Heksie”. She says: “As a student I played Heksie under the direction of Elsa Krantz. In the early nineties, I directed a production of Heksie at the Guild Theatre in East London, but Liewe Heksie, by Wela Kapela Productions is a brand new show for Cape Town audiences.” Bothma says that, prior to her 80th birthday author Verna Vels, described the Liewe Heksie character as “a witch who was a little bit stupid,” created to make children laugh, instead of scaring them. Vels said: “Heksie was really not written to educate children, but to make them laugh.”
There is a fabulous cast for Wela Kapela’s Liewe Heksie. Cara Roberts enthralled Cape audiences, when she reprised her role in The King of Broken Things at The Drama Factory in August 2021. Anderson dazzled in This Moment, at The Masque, in 2020. Liewe Heksie’s musical director is Tersia Harley and she pulled off an exceptional piece of musical theatre in Cape Town in June 2021, as musical director of a Boarding Line, at the Masque. Bothma is delighted to working again with Harley. They last worked together just under ten years ago, in East London. Bothma: “For many years, Tersia was the musical director for every production that I did. Then she relocated to Cape Town and now, at last, we can work together again. Daniel Anderson is a third year film student but with Covid and online studies, Daniel spent more time in East London than in Cape Town and we got the opportunity to work together. Cara Roberts and Brian Hiles (ex East London) are both based in Durban, but they work in East London from time to time. Brian directed Romeo and Juliet (Cara as Juliet) for the Arts Theatre in June 2021. We came together and decided to do Heksie. On their way back from their shows at The Drama factory, of The King of Broken Things, they stopped off in East London and on August 23 and we started with rehearsals for Liewe Heksie. The rehearsals for the little people of Cape Town are well on its way. Times are tough, spirits are low, and young children are in dire need of hope and joy. Come and meet all your beloved characters in your favourite Liewe Heksie story in the Golden Arrow Studio.”
|Liewe Heksie – produced by Wela Kapela Productions at the Baxter, Cape Town, September-October 2021
This theatre adaption written: by Verna Vels, adapted by Elsa Kratz and Braam Cilliers
Cara Roberts as Heksie
Daniel Anderson as Blommie
Brian Hiles as Kwaaitjie Kabouter/Groen Heks/Gifapple
Chris Van Rensburg as Koning Rosekrans
Pieter-Schalk Bothma as Karel Kat
Kerry Hiles as Geelheks
The cast is assisted by an ensemble of young kabouters (gnomes) from schoola in Cape Town
Director: Amanda Bothma of Wela Kepela Productions
Musical director: Tersia Harley
Info: Amanda Bothma 082 524 4449 or e-mail welakepelaproductions.com
Synopsis – supplied by Amanda Bothma:
Chaos reigns in Blommeland. King Rosekrans has disappeared and Blommie Kabouter cannot find him anywhere! Poor old Kwaatjie Kabouter has been tasked with teaching Liewe Heksie to read while guarding the Silver Rose, for it has come to light that the evil Yellow Witch has a cunning plan to steal the Silver Rose and kill off all the flowers in Blommeland. There is a transformation scene, a little song, a little dance and a little magic! We are pulling out all the stops to celebrate the story of Liewe Heksie.
✳ Seating is limited as per current Covid lockdown requirements. Arrive early for temperature checks, signing in, sanitising. Masks must be worn at all times. This interview has been marginally edited for length and clarity. Images supplied.