Pieter-Dirk Uys

Pieter‑Dirk Uys was born in Cape Town in 1945 and has been in the theatre since the mid‑1960s. Closely associated with both the Space Theatre in Cape Town and Johannesburg's Market Theatre during the 1970s and 1980s, he has written and performed 20 plays and over 30 revues and one‑man shows throughout South Africa and abroad.

His plays Paradise is Closing Down, Panorama, God's Forgotten, Auditioning Angels, Faces in the Wall and Just Like Home have been performed internationally, and his one‑man shows Adapt or Dye, One Man One Volt, You ANC Nothing Yet, Truth Omissions, Live from Boerassic Park, Dekaffirnated, Foreign Aids, Evita for President, Elections & Erections and Desperate First Ladies have been presented in the United Kingdom, Denmark, Germany, Holland, Switzerland, Australia, the USA and Canada.  His performance of Foreign Aids at La Mama received the Obie Award in New York in 2004.

Pieter-Dirk Uys has been doing this sort of thing for so long that people now refer to it as a career.  Officially unemployed since the early 1970s, he writes, directs, acts, produces and does everything else, including the making of dresses and the wearing of them!  Having survived the mediocrity of apartheid kultuur, it is his therapy and his joy to expose the bones of that dinosaur for the entertainment of democratic audiences worldwide.  He is delighted to still have a government that on a daily basis writes his best material!

Most of Uys’s satirical work was available in South Africa on video (and still is, on DVD) and so, in spite of government censorship during apartheid, he built up a very large multiracial audience.  Members of the present democratic parliament remember seeing his videos while in exile and in prison!  He has been seen on SABC since the late 1970s in a variety of programmes, including An Uys up my Sleeve; One Man One Volt, which was to be screened prior to the 1994 election, but was held back for ten months; You ANC Nothing Yet in 1996; and The Great Comedy Trek in 2004.  The series Going Down Gorgeous, featuring Nowell Fine in a saga from 1976 to 2004, was screened towards the end of the last century.  Foreign Aids has been broadcast for Aids Day, 1 December, and in 2007 SABC2 presented Dinner with the President, a 13-part talk show hosted by Evita Bezuidenhout.  Ten of Uys’s shows are currently available on DVD.

A prolific writer in many genres, his novel, Trekking to Teema, was South Africa’s first internet book in 2000, before being published in tree-format.  He has also written Evita Bezuidenhout’s biography, A Part Hate A Part Love, as well as a book based on his12-part 1994 MNET television series, Funigalore, in which Evita Bezuidenhout, his most famous creation, interviewed the new democratic government’s leaders, including Nelson Mandela.  In 2003, Uys premiered a new play, Auditioning Angels, and published his first volume of memoirs, Elections and Erections.  A second volume of memoirs, Between the Devil and the Deep, became a bestseller throughout South Africa in 2005.

Both of Uys’s memoirs are now available as eBooks, as is his ‘autobiography’ of Evita’s younger sister, Bambi Kellermann, Never too Naked.  Uys’s biography of Evita Bezuidenhout, A Part Hate A Part Love, long out of print, was released as an eBook in 2012.  His novel, Panorama, published by Missing Ink in 2013, is also available as an eBook.

Pieter‑Dirk Uys was awarded South Africa's prestigious Truth and Reconciliation Award in 2001. He has received honorary degrees from Rhodes University (D.Litt.Hon. 1997), the University of Cape Town (D.Litt.Hon. 2003), the University of the Western Cape (D.Edu.Hon. 2003), the University of the Witwatersrand (D.Litt.Hon. 2004) and University of Kwazulu Natal (Doctor of Literature honoris causa 2014). As well, Pieter‑Dirk Uys's celebrated alter‑ego, Evita Bezuidenhout, proudly received the Living Legacy 2000 Award in San Diego, USA.  In 2011 Uys was honoured with a lifetime achievement Teddy award at the Berlin International Film Festival, and in 2012 he received both the FW de Klerk Goodwill Award and the German-Africa Award.

Since 2000 Pieter‑Dirk Uys has been travelling around South Africa, visiting over 1.5 million school children, as well as prisons and reformatories, with a free AIDS‑awareness entertainment called For Facts Sake!. He has also released a corporate AIDS‑information video, Having Sex with Pieter‑Dirk Uys, as well as the family‑friendly video, Survival Aids, and Just a Small Prick!, a treatment of the fears surrounding testing for HIV.

Recent successes include Evita for President, Elections & Erections, Desperate First Ladies, and F.A.K. Songs and Other Struggle Anthems, a cabaret revue featuring Bambi Kellermann with her Bokkie Band.  During 2012 Uys launched his latest one-man onslaught, Adapt or Fly, throughout South Africa, with extended seasons in Durban, Johannesburg and Cape Town, and later toured it to Namibia, while in 2013 he added An Audience with Pieter-Dirk EISH! to his repertoire, and premiered a new Bambi Kellermann cabaret, 50 Shades of Bambi, at the Fugard Theatre in Cape Town.  Highlights of 2014 included sold-out seasons of Adapt or Fly in Cape Town and Johannesburg and a two-week run of An Audience with Pieter-Dirk Uys at London’s Soho Theatre.

In April 2009, Uys directed Macbeki, his first new play since 2003, at the Market Theatre, Johannesburg.  His newest play, The Merry Wives of Zuma was premiered in late 2012.

In 2010 Uys published a cookbook, Evita’s Kossie Sikelela, which was followed in 2011 by Evita’s Blackbessie, her diary-journal and back-up for cellphone information, as well as the autobiography of Evita’s younger sister, Bambi Kellermann, Never too Naked.  A second cookbook, Evita’s Bossie Sikelela, appeared in 2012, and Uys’s novel, Panorama, was published in 2013.

Darling!  The Pieter-Dirk Uys Story (http://pdudarlingmovie.wordpress.com/), a documentary about Uys’s Aids-awareness presentations, directed by New Zealander Julian Shaw, is being shown worldwide.  This DVD, as well as a wide range of Pieter-Dirk Uys’s books, plays and other DVDs, is sold in Evita’s A and C at the Perron.

In 2015, Pieter-Dirk Uys turns 70.  To celebrate, a new collections of his Afrikaans plays, Stukke Teater, will be published by Human & Rousseau in February, and his new play, African Times, will be premiered at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown in July.

Pieter‑Dirk Uys lives in Darling, where he has converted the old railway station into a cabaret venue called EVITA SE PERRON, famous for its satirical garden, Boerassic Park, and the domain of Evita Bezuidenhout, the 'most famous white woman in South Africa'. The unique museum/nauseum of apartheid artifacts there, reflecting the madness of the past, is arguably the only satirical exhibition of South Africa’s recent past.






(this info correct as of 28.1.2015)


Vir twee stemme

Pieter-Dirk Uys Stemme | Voices | Amazwi 2023-08-31

Vir Stemme, LitNet se dialoogprojek saam met die Suidoosterfees, NATi en die ATKV, is tien dramaturge genader om kort dialoë te skryf. Twintig akteurs is gevra om daarin te speel en tien regisseurs het elkeen ’n stuk afgerond. In Pieter-Dirk Uys se dialoog Vir twee stemme vertolk Elzabé Zietsman en Dean Balie die rolle. Oscar Petersen was in die regisseurstoel.

A Christmas present to all LitNet readers ...

Pieter-Dirk Uys, Evita Bezuidenhout Lifestyle and entertainment 2021-12-20

... with compliments of Evita Bezuidenhout and Pieter-Dirk Uys. One Man Shows: the result of months of lockdown. Free to download.

Press release: Lockup/lockdown by Pieter-Dirk Uys

Pieter-Dirk Uys Teater 2021-10-18

"At least now, after what felt like a life of Tuesdays, I can start filling in my dairy – but in pencil, only to be inked-in 24 hours before the event, just in case! The elections are looming. Send in the clowns.  The theatres are open again."

Artfluence Human Rights Festival, 5 May 2021: Keynote address

Pieter-Dirk Uys Opinion 2021-05-11

"Even today, 27 years later, it is still hard to find a vaccine against the virus of racism, because of those many daily new variants."

Game of groans – a reaction by Pieter-Dirk Uys

Pieter-Dirk Uys Opinion 2021-01-19

"So, thanks for the laughs, Donald. May all our dreams also come true."

Reguit met Robinson: ’n Podsending met Pieter-Dirk Uys

Freek Robinson, Pieter-Dirk Uys Onderhoude 2020-10-14

Die satirikus Pieter-Dirk Uys vier vanjaar sy 75ste verjaarsdag, tannie Evita haar 85ste. Freek Robinson gesels met Pieter-Dirk oor korona, korrupsie, Afrikaners en tannie Evita.

’n Onderhoud oor Evita Bezuidenhout se Unmasking Evita

Pieter-Dirk Uys, Evita Bezuidenhout Onderhoude 2020-08-07

Evita Bezuidenhout haal haar masker tydens COVID-19 af. Sy praat oor Unmasking Evita, wat op Vrouedag gestroom is. Pieter-Dirk Uys het op ’n afstand met Tannie Evita die onderhoud gevoer.

Kwarantynketting: "Jan Tuisbly se karretjie" deur Evita Bezuidenhout

Pieter-Dirk Uys Kwarantynketting 2020-04-22

"Jan Tuisbly se karretjie gaan nog staan tot 30 April. Skatties? Daar’s tyd vir heelwat snoepgereggies!"

Dag 7: Kwarantyn-ketting – "Van Pieter-Dirk Uys in Darling"

Pieter-Dirk Uys Kwarantynketting 2020-04-02

"Tannie Evita het al maande gepraat van haar nuwe kalender: Eens op ’n tyd was daar 365 dae in haar jaar. Nou is dit twee: vandag en môre."

Weerklink van ’n wanklank: ’n onderhoud met Pieter-Dirk Uys

Marli van Eeden, Pieter-Dirk Uys Onderhoude 2018-12-11

"‘Moenie dat hulle jou bangmaak nie, maak hulle belaglik.’ Daardie woorde het my lewe verander. Lag vir jou vrees en maak dit minder vreeslik. En dít is wat humor vir my beteken."

Pieter‑Dirk Uys se woord van die jaar 2015

Pieter-Dirk Uys LitNet se Afrikaanse woord van die jaar 2016 2015-11-29

Wat is Pieter‑Dirk Uys se #litnetwoord2015?

'n Brief aan die redakteur van Pieter-Dirk Uys

Pieter-Dirk Uys SêNet-briewe 2015-06-17

Waarde Kameraad

Die Stem van Taalfeesjaar, 1975

Pieter-Dirk Uys Poësie 2015-05-13

"Uit die blou van ons toneelkuns ..."

Athol Fugard en Pieter-Dirk Uys gesels met Paula Fourie

Pieter-Dirk Uys, Paula Fourie, Athol Fugard Teater 2015-05-07

"Everything in South Africa has always been political. It’s still the oxygen of our daily breath."

From Jy-is-’n-drol to Je-suis-Charlie

Pieter-Dirk Uys 2015-01-11 "Censorship now happens in many subtle ways. The bigger concern is self-censorship where the fear of violent retaliation, no matter how small, mutes the voice and cripples the word."