MY WORD! Redesigning Buckingham Palace at the Baxter Theatre is a superb one-man show and a stylish vehicle for the diverse talents of Basil Appollis, one of the nation’s finest actors.
MY WORD! is a celebration of the life and work of legendary writer Richard Rive. But at the same time it’s a salute to District Six, the heart of Cape Town ripped out because it stood in the way of grand apartheid fantasies. On the eve of the Mother City becoming World Design Capital 2014 this play shows us how important it is to redesign our skewed historic perspectives. To reflect on the contested wasteland at the foot of Table Mountain and to put District Six centre stage where it belongs. And it’s all done with humour and style.
“Buckingham Palace was the nickname for a row of mouldy cottages where you couldn’t be further removed from the Queen’s residence. And, to add to the Cape Town irony there were framed and mounted prints of the royal family hanging everywhere in these rundown tenements.
“Humour and a tenacious spirit were primary requirements for thriving in District Six and these are elements that define my show,” says Appollis.
He recently directed the hit shows Brother Love and Plekkie In Die Son. So what has made the enigmatic Basil Appollis whose performances on stage and screen are etched in our memories, come back after such a long spell in the Director’s Chair? His one-man show comes in the wake of the recent launch of the book Richard Rive A Partial Biography by Shaun Viljoen.
“I did an extract from Rive’s Buckingham Palace District Six for the launch of Shaun’s biography. It reignited my passion for being on stage again. Whether this is me wanting to get back on stage or Richard wanting his story out there once more, I’m not quite sure. He was a larger than life character who loved being centre stage at all times,” says Basil Appollis.
This brand new one-man show borrows from an earlier work co written with Sylvia Vollenhoven and performed by Appollis, called A Writer’s Last Word. This previous take on the life of Rive was commissioned by the Baxter and opened to critical acclaim at the Grahamstown National Arts Festival. And of course MY WORD! Redesigning Buckingham Palace also evokes images of Rive’s most renowned novel, an ongoing prescribed work for schools. Appollis is remembered for his electrifying portrayal of Rive in the Baxter adaptation of Buckingham Palace – District Six.
On the opening night, a few days after Rive was tragically murdered in his own home, the audience gasped as Appollis walked onto the stage. Even before uttering a word he captured the Rive presence so completely that for a moment people felt they were watching a ghost of the great man himself.
MY WORD! is on at the Baxter’s intimate Masambe Theatre, nightly at 7 pm. It’s a 55-minute performance which means theatre goers will still have time for dinner and other Mother City delights after.
Masambe Theatre at the Baxter, Main Road, Rondebosch 7700 Cape Town
Tuesday November 26th to Friday December 31st
Computicket or 0861 915 8000
BAXTER THEATRE GROUP BOOKINGS
Sharon Ward 021 680-3962 firstname.lastname@example.org or Carmen Kearns 021 680-3993 email@example.com
INFO: Sylvia Vollenhoven Tel 061 017-4466 or 021 762-4921 firstname.lastname@example.org