The Good Dad/Die Goeie Pa by Gail Louw

Performer: Erika Breytenbach-Marais
Director: Paul du Toit
Where: Baxter Masambe Theatre, Cape Town

The Good Dad (English) – February13 to 18, 2024
Die Goeie Pa (Afrikaans)- February 20 to 24, 2024  

Producer: Unlikely Productions 
Age advisory: PG 16 – Mature content GBV

The Good Dad (English) by Gail Louw, will be performed at the Baxter’s Masambe from February13 to 18, 2024 and will be followed by Die Goeie Pa (Afrikaans) – February 20 to 24, 2024. The performer is Erika Breytenbach-Marais and the director is Paul du Toit. Louw is a South African born playwright, living in the UK. She has received international acclaim for her work. The play was inspired by a horrifying true story of abuse in England. When writing the play,Louw worked with the notes by a psychiatrist on the case. The play was first performed in South Africa, in Afrikaans, as Die Goeie Pa, with the translation by director Paul du Toit and premiered in 2022 at the Drama Factory. Breytenbach-Marais received her second Fleur du Cap Theatre Award nomination for that season. The English version, The Good Dad, premiered at the Drama Factory in 2023. When translating the play into Afrikaans, Du Toit localised aspects of the play, to frame it subtly in a South African context. With the Good Dad, the South African flavour was retained. Du Toit worked from his Afrikaans translation in taking the play, into English. Fascinating. The multi-language season at the Baxter Masambe season, includes a performance with a South African Sign Language interpreter: The matinee on February 17, of the Good Dad. I saw the Good Dad in 2023 and look forward to seeing this powerful drama, superbly performed by Breytenbach-Marais, with tender direction by du Toit and an ambient sound design by Jahn Beukes.  Here is my review of The Good Dad: Read on for more. Info as supplied:

Critically acclaimed drama THE GOOD DAD / DIE GOEIE PA FOR THE BAXTER

Cape Town now has the chance to catch the new, South African production of Gail Louw’s internationally acclaimed play THE GOOD DAD in both English and Afrikaans (DIE GOEIE PA).

The different language productions will run at The Baxter’s Masambe Theatre in February. THE GOOD DAD will be performed from February 13 to 18, with DIE GOEIE PA presented from February 20 to 24.

Bookings can be made at Webtickets.

DIE GOEIE PA is created by the award-winning creative team that brought us THE UNLIKELY SECRET AGENT, which was nominated for eight Fleur du Cap Theatre Awards, with Paul du Toit winning Best Director.

Presented by Unlikely Productions, the play features Erika Breytenbach-Marais, who received her second Fleur du Cap Theatre Award nomination for DIE GOEIE PA following its premiere at The Drama Factory in 2022.

Paul du Toit translated the text into Afrikaans for DIE GOEIE PA and once again collaborates with Erika to direct her in this play.

Comments about the South African production include, ‘An exceptional piece of gritty story-telling…must-see theatre’ (Broadway World), ‘Erika Breytenbach-Marais is verbysterend in haar vertolkings’ (Litnet) and ‘Bravo to Erika Breytenbach-Marais….this carefully crafted play, scrapes deep into the emotional journey of the protagonists’ (The Cape Robyn).

A happy family. A good father. Everyone thought they were a lovely family. But every family has something to hide and drawn curtains hide dark secrets.

DIE GOEIE PA explores the dramatic journey of three characters, a mother and her twin daughters, and the psychological effects of their abuse: denial, guilt, jealousy and Stockholm Syndrome.

The play is a powerful but gentle telling of a devastating story,  a moving account of survival and redemption.  

We are proud to be presenting this first full-length Cape Town run of The Good Dad at The Baxter,” says actress and producer Erika Breytenbach-MaraisThe timing is also fitting, as it coincides with the start of a London season at the Playground Theatre, dedicated to honouring Gail Louw’s work.”

The play is based on a true story in England and was derived from actual notes of a psychiatrist, so it also has enormous educational and therapeutical value,” says Breytenbach-Marais.

The London production of The Good Dad was nominated three times for an Off West End Award.

“We are also delighted to be making this production accessible to Deaf audiences, with a South African Sign Language interpreter at the matinee performance on February 17.

Presented by Unlikely Productions, THE GOOD DAD is written by Gail Louw, performed by Erika Breytenbach-Marais and translated as DIE GOEIE PA and directed by Paul Du Toit. Sound design is by Jahn Beukes. 

Forming a dynamic and powerful partnership, Unlikely Productions is collaborating with Matla a bana for this run of THE GOOD DAD / DIE GOEIE PA. A portion of the proceeds from the run will be donated to the organisation.

Matla A Bana – A voice against child abuse is an award-winning NGO founded by Monique Strydom after her four-month ordeal as a hostage of an Al Qaeda group in the Philippines.  Currently the organisation reaches more than 30 000 children every year with their projects. Matla A Bana has implemented 42 child friendly reporting facilities in 7 provinces, packs thousands of comfort packs for little girls every year, has trained more than 6000 officers of the law and doctors in special skills needed to help abuse victims and also hosts a child protection school education program.  

We are so honoured to be part of this project. It is such a difficult topic and people do not want to talk about it. But if you dig deeper, you will discover that each one of us were affected or knows someone who was affected by abuse.  We need more people to stand up and let their voices be heard – by realising that silence is not golden and acting on it, we can stop abuse,”   says Matla A Bana founder Monique Strydom.

PG 16 – Mature content GBV

THE GOOD DAD will be performed at The Baxter Masambe Theatre from February 13 to 18.

Performance times are:

Tues to Sat at 19h30

Sat 17 and Sun 18 February at 14h30

*The 14h30 performance on Saturday February 17 will be interpreted by a South African Sign Language interpreter.

DIE GOEIE PA will be performed at The Baxter Masambe Theatre from February 20 to 24.

Performance times are:

Tues to Sat at 19h30

Sat February 24 at 14h30

Tickets cost from R100 – R150.

Bookings can be made at Webtickets.

About Gail Louw – writer

Gail is an award winning playwright who has her plays performed throughout the world. Twelve professionally produced plays have been published in three collections by Oberon Books. Her play Blonde Poison has been performed in eight productions throughout the world including Sydney Opera House, LA and Berlin. It won an Argus Angel award for Artistic Excellence at Brighton Festival. Duwayne won Best New Play at Brighton Festival and Miss Dietrich Regret won a Naledi award in South Africa. Being Brahms won an award by Radio Sussex and Surrey. Other plays which tour extensively are And This is My Friend Mr Laurel, and Shackleton’s Carpenter.

Erika Breytenbach-Marais – performer

After studying drama at the University of Pretoria, Erika initially did educational theatre and puppeteering programs, with a special focus on the disadvantaged communities of the Mamelodi Township. She has also spent several years teaching drama at Amoyo Performing Arts, situated in Imizamo Yethu Hout Bay.

She has starred in various short films during the span of her career, including KARNAVALTYD, which formed part of KykNet ‘s “Ons Stories” series.

Her theatre credits include THE WISDOM OF EVE, INSPECTOR DRAKE AND THE BLACK WIDOW, THE HOUSE GUEST, SUNSHINE BOYS and THE BARRETTS OF WIMPOLE STREET. Erika performed her first one-woman show, JAM EVERY OTHER DAY, which she was also responsible for writing, along with Celia Musikanth, from the memoir of Emmaleen Kriel. The show toured to the National Arts Festival and Hermanus FynArts in 2018. She has also co-written and performed in YOUR PERFECT LIFE which won a Standard Bank Ovation Award at the National Arts Festival in 2019 and again in 2021.

Last year, Erika performed the role of Eleanor Kasrils in THE UNLIKELY SECRET AGENT, for which she received a Fleur du Cap Theatre Award nomination for Best Actress. As the founder of Unlikely Productions, she also produced the play, which was nominated for a total of eight awards, with Paul du Toit winning Best Director.

Paul du Toit – director/translator

Paul became a household name to South African television audiences after playing Malan Koster for 9 seasons of BINNELANDERS. He also co-hosted and co-produced ROUGH OR SMOOTH through his production company Fanagalo Films.

He was recently seen internationally as Dewalt in BULLETPROOF 3 for the BBC as well as evil Commander Lazarro in SYFY Channel’s VAGRANT QUEEN. Other global projects have seen him do everything from pilot berg choppers in MAZE RUNNER 3, to hunting big fish in SHARK KILLER to performing top secret FBI experiments in TREMORS: COLD DAY IN HELL. His local film credits include BEYOND THE RIVER, NOEM MY SKOLLIE, BLOODLINE, SEMI SOET, LIEFLING die Movie, SKILPOPPE, TROUVOETE, FRENCH TOAST, MOSSIE and STIEKYT.

On stage he won the 2022 Fleur du Cap as Best Director for THE UNLIKELY SECRET AGENT. He was awarded the 2018 Fiesta for Best Actor and Best Actor at Aardklop 2017 for MELK EN VLEIS as well as the 20017 Fleur Du Cap as Best Actor in a Musical for HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH. He also won the 2001 FNB Vita for Best Supporting Actor playing Cassio in OTHELLO. Other notable performances saw him as Biff in DEATH OF A SALESMAN (Best Supporting Actor nomination Kyknet Fiestas), John Merrick in THE ELEPHANT MAN, Stephen in OLD WICKED SONGS (FNB Vita nomination for Best Actor), Orlando in AS YOU LIKE IT, Edgar in KING LEAR, Pieter Dirk Uys’s AUDITIONING ANGELS, IN GLAS, STRANGERS ON A TRAIN, SKIN TIGHT, INTO THE WOODS, HONK! (Vita nomination, Best Performance in A Musical) and George in SAME TIME NEXT YEAR winning an Ovation Award at the National Arts Festival in Makhanda (formerly Grahamstown). He spent 19 months in fishnets playing Frank N Furter in THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW (Naledi nomination, Best Performance In A Musical) and was also in the Fugard Theatre’s production of “ROCKY” as Bradearning him a Fleur du Cap nomination for best lead in a musical. He also starred in UIT DIE BLOUTE, AUNTY MERLE THE MUSICAL, TWO TO TANGO and played Roelof in the acclaimed stage production of HEMELRUIM.

Paul was one of the creators of the long-running OFFBEAT BROADWAY series, which earned him a FNB Vita nomination for Best Performance In A Musical as well as a nomination for Best Musical. His one man show, ARE YOU KIDDING? played to sold out houses and rave reviews at the 2014 National Arts Festival in Makhanda (formerly Grahamstown) and  at the Hilton Arts Festival .

On local TV he played Albert Hugo in Kyknet’s DIE WATERFRONT, Gert Grobler, the butcher of Merweville in DIE BOEKKLUB, commanded a pirate posse in BLACK SAILS, went legal in FYNSKRIF, was suspicious in DIE BYL, got murdered in season two of BOLAND MOORDE and camped it up in KOM ONS KAMP.

He has an honours degree in Drama, trained in Opera technique at the Stellenbosch University Conserve and has sung in venues both dubious and illustrious from Alberton to Zanzibar.

He currently spends his time between Vancouver, Canada and Cape Town, South Africa. He has a mortgage in one and a heating bill in the other, but they’re both beautiful places to live and work.

✳ Featured image: Erika Breytenbach-Marais in The Good Dad/Die Goeie Pa. Photo by Jeremeo Le Cordeur. Sponsored content.