Balbesit – oor sport, mag, kleur en manlikheid

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De Klerk Oelofse (Bron: Artistsone)
Kyle Seconna (Bron: Gaenor)
Andile Vellem (Bron: Artlink)

Balbesit. Die naam van dié toneelstuk wat spoedig in die Kunstekaap afskop, klink soos rugby. Soos manlikheid. Soos mag. Drie akteurs in die toneelstuk vertel hoe húlle dit ervaar.

De Klerk Oelofse het Naomi Meyer se vrae beantwoord. Kyle Seconna en Andile Vellem* antwoord in Engels.

Waaroor gaan hierdie toneelstuk vir jóú?

De Klerk Oelofse: As 'n mens die teks lees, vang die “tagline” onder die titel jou dadelik: "'n Studie in stemme". Met dit as vertrekpunt is Balbesit (kortom) 'n studie van 24 manlike stemme in 'n hedendaagse Suid-Afrika met rugby as voertuig om die drama te dryf.

What is central to this play for you?

Kyle Seconna: The production Balbesit is very difficult to point or describe as I do feel each individual who watches the production will receive it differently. Balbesit to me is a play that says/interprets a lot of different things, be they political, social, cultural etc, and these are portrayed through one medium, which is rugby. Balbesit gives me the freedom to explore and then react truthfully to whatever situation arises in the play, especially from a male perspective.

Andile Vellem: Yes, it is indeed about rugby, manhood and power. But it also identifies a person. When you hear “rugby”, you think white, Afrikaans. It is about race. Also coloured. The same with “soccer” = “black”. There is a stigma. So, it is about skin colour.

Watter rol vertolk jy in Balbesit? Hou jy van jou karakter; verstáán jy hom?

De Klerk Oelofse: Ek is nr 9. Of dan skrumskakel. Tradisioneel is die skrumskakel die kleinste in die span; dit is dan ook gepas dat ek en Andile Vellum onderskeidelik die rolle van skrumskakel en reserweskrumskakel inneem (ons is die kortste in die span). Ek was ook my lewe lank al die kleinste in die span en het dus my hele skoolloopbaan deur skrumskakel gespeel. Soos vir enige scrummie was Joost van der Westhuizen my held en het ek vir ure met bakstene agter in ons erf gepaas om my paas so hard en vinnig soos Joost s’n te kry. Ek het ook nie twee keer gedink om sy ikoniese duikpaas te gebruik nie, selfs al was ons nie onder druk nie. In Balbesit word rugbyspelers se posisie en funksie gebruik om aan die stemme ’n konteks te gee. ’n Skrumskakel dien byvoorbeeld as die skakel tussen die voorspelers en die agterspelers; hy moet visie hê en besluit na watter kant toe die bal gespeel word. ’n Skrumskakel se grootste funksie is dus diens. Nou kan jy net dink as ’n mens daardie karaktereienskappe aan ’n manlike stem in die huidige Suid-Afrikaanse konteks toeken.

What role do you play in Balbesit? Do you like your character; do you really understand him?

Kyle Seconna: I basically play myself in a rugby position in the production. So I definitely understand my character and I think playing myself is more of a challenge in the production, as the way I react to the situations portrayed in the play is from my honest perspective, and having people see your honest perspective on issues, especially sensitive subjects, is not always things you want to share on such a platform and that’s why it is still a challenge even when playing yourself.

Andile Vellem: I am a dancer. My position is 21. I sit on the bench and am a substitute for number 11 – Bryan Habana!

Balbesit handel oor ’n klomp rugbyspelers – is almal eenders? Of hoe verskil hulle?

De Klerk Oelofse: Ek sou versigtig wees om te sê dit handel oor ’n klomp rugbyspelers. Dit handel oor ’n klomp manlike stemme; rugby is bloot die voertuig wat die fisiese landskap van die stuk bepaal. Maar ja, elke stem verskil. Baie grepe uit die teks kom net so van nuusblaaie se kommentaarseksies af, so jy kan jou net indink hoe verskillend en divers hierdie stemme kan wees.

Balbesit tells the story of a group of rugby players - are they all the same? Or how do they differ?

Kyle Seconna: They definitely differ, as every person is unique in the way he thinks. Opinions differ, so even though everyone has the same goal in mind at the end of the day, everyone’s journey to reach that goal is different and that is what makes each character individually defined.

Andile Vellem: No, they are not the same. Everybody has different roles in the team. Also as people: this cast is made up of different parts, different races – black, coloured, white – as well as different cultures.

Jan "Boland" Coetzee (Bron: Die Burger)

 

Vir baie mense in die land is rugby ’n geloof, Nuweland hulle kerk. Maar nou lees ek in Die Burger van ’n gesprek wat oor rugby plaasgevind het, waar mense vertel hoe ontnugter hulle oor dié sport voel. Was jy by daardie gesprek en wat het jy daarvan gedink?

De Klerk Oelofse: Ek was daar, ja. Die gesprek was fantasties! Ek moet beken ek was 'n bietjie verbaas oor hoe negatief die meeste sprekers was oor die stand van rugby. Ek stem saam dat rugby as skouspel in die moeilikheid is – dit verklap die leë stadions naweek op naweek. Waar ek egter met die ouer garde verskil, is dat hulle sê hedendaagse rugbyspelers speel nie met dieselfde passie as die spelers in die amateur-era nie. Om 'n sukses van enige loopbaan te maak (en sport is ook 'n beroep) verg passie, moed, droom en dissipline.

For a lot of people in the country rugby is a religion, Newlands their church. But now I’ve read a report in Die Burger about a discussion on rugby where people were saying how disillusioned they are with the sport. Were you at that discussion? What did you think?

Kyle Seconna: Yes, I was at the discussion and what surprised me was the honesty with which the rugby legends answered the questions posed, as well as the way they see South African rugby today, which was the way most of us saw it – on a very fast decline. I was in total agreement with the rugby legends that the teams are playing a very unattractive brand of rugby and the sport is losing its impact due to many new rules and regulations, referees and technology that take away from the simplicity that makes rugby such a beautiful and well-watched sport. I think rugby has become so technical on the field that it’s at the point where it doesn’t only affect the players on the field but also the spectators off the field and that is where rugby is losing the impact it once had as a major sport.

Andile Vellem: I was at the event, but unfortunately there was no interpreter, so I couldn't follow.

Het mense in hierdie land regtig nodig om so ernstig oor rugby te raak, of kan hulle maar net bietjie ontvlug?

De Klerk Oelofse: Vir Suid-Afrikaners is rugby volksbesit, soos vleisbraai. Almal eet nie hulle vleis ewe gaar nie, maar almal geniet die vuurtjie en almal geniet die samesyn. Dit is die magic van enige sportsoort, daardie gevoel van gemeenskap. Dit laat my dink aan iets wat oudpresident Nelson Mandela gesê het: “Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. Sport can awaken hope where there was previously only despair. Sport speaks to people in a language they can understand.”

Do we really have to be so serious about rugby in South Africa, or could or should it be seen just as a bit of escapism?

Kyle Seconna: I don’t feel it is just a form of escapism. I do feel it is a very proud patriotic game, especially for South Africa, as it is a sport in which the country excels and is known as one of the best in the world, so in that sense I do feel a certain seriousness to the game. But then again, what makes the game enjoyable is having fun with it. So a certain seriousness is in order, but not to the extent where the game becomes a burden.

Andile Vellem: It doesn't have to be serious, really. We must find a solution for the separateness and move beyond it. Do we have to be serious about sport? It's not necessary; I don't believe so. Sport is fun, enjoyable. It might be a career for some, but it must be a fun career.

Balbesit het ’n advertensie op YouTube wat draak steek met ’n bekende rugbyspan se advertensie. Is die Balbesit-advertensie vir jou grappig, of is dit dodelik ernstig?

De Klerk Oelofse: Ek en ’n paar spanmaats het een Saterdag ná rehearsal ’n paar biere gaan drink en rugby gekyk, toe die oorspronklike Cell C Sharks advertensie tydens halftyd opkom. Ons het daaroor begin joke en gesê dit sal snaaks wees as ons een doen, maar in stede van rugbyhelde se name noem, noem ons akteurs se name. Jaco (Bouwer) en Eva (Du Preez wat betrokke is by die verfilming van die stuk) het gesê: “Kom ons doen dit! Julle skryf ’n script en ons sal dit skiet en edit.” Ek het gewonder of ons dit actually gaan deurvoer, maar ek is so bly ons het. Die advertensie is veronderstel om 100% grappig te wees en gehore na die vertonings te lok. Ons neem ons wérk ernstig op, nie onssélf nie. Ns. Daar is ’n tweede een op pad, so hou julle ore op die grond.

Balbesit has an ad on YouTube that takes the mickey out of a well-know rugby team’s ad. Do you find the Balbesit ad amusing, or is it dead serious?

Kyle Seconna: I find it extremely funny, as it does not to any extent disregard the original or take away from it. I find it done very tastefully, so there is nothing offensively imposed from the original to the Balbesit ad.

Andile Vellem: It's beautiful and interesting. I love it! It is very funny. I felt that it created a connection between the professional rugby players and the Balbesit team. Wow!

Het jy nog altyd van rugby gehou? Noudat jy in Balbesit speel, hou jy meer of minder van rugby?

De Klerk Oelofse: Ek is nog altyd vreeslik lief vir rugby. Ek was van kleins af met sport behep, gereeld slae gekry oor ek met balle in die huis speel. Ek het elke middag die grasperk natgelei en die tuinslang soos 'n doelstreep laat lê, dan het ek gejol tot die son ondergaan. Ek het later ook uitgefigure dat ek met oorfone my pa se hoëtroustel as 'n mikrofoon kan gebruik en het dan sommer ’n klomp "post-match interviews" met myself gevoer. Dalk is dit waar die toneelspelgogga my gebyt het! Buite ons erf was my rugbyloopbaan effens minder suksesvol, ek was (op my beste) ’n A-span-reserwe en my onder 10-afrigter se woorde steek nou nog by my vas: "De Klerk, jy't die hart van 'n leeu, maar die bou van 'n gemmerkat." So vir my is Balbesit die naaste wat ek gaan kom aan (om soos die Springbokke) ’n volkslied saam met my span voor ’n skare te sing en ek leef my in, hoor!

Have you always liked rugby? Now that you're in Balbesit, do you like rugby more or less?

Kyle Seconna: I have always loved rugby and played the game throughout my school and university career. I don’t necessarily like what rugby has evolved to in modern times, but I don’t love the game any less.

Andile Vellem: I love it. I've played it with white friends before. But I was really introduced to the sport by my friend Malcolm Black, who understands it fully. I really love it now.

Is rugby vir jou ’n wit sport? Is hierdie vraag nie juis een van die vrae waarmee die toneelstuk probeer handel nie? Betrek die toneelstuk dus kwotas, kleurbeheptheid, die verlies van mag van die wit man?

De Klerk Oelofse: Wat is 'n "wit sport?" My jaargroep (gebore in 1988) is die eerste groep wat van graad 1 tot matriek in 'n demokrasie skoolgegaan het. Soos oud-Springbok Charl Marais nou die aand tereg gesê het: "Sport gaan oor vriendskap en broederskap” – nie oor kleur nie. Die stuk handel bring sonder twyfel die verlies van mag van die wit man ter sprake, maar soos prof Giliomee tereg gesê het, dit is nie net die wit man wat verlies aan mag gely het nie. Volgens hom is dit mans van alle rasse as gevolg van die rol wat die vrou in die moderne era inneem. Nou ja, in Balbesit speel daar net mans, en dit sê ook iets.

Do you think of rugby as a white sport? Is this question one that the play tries to address? Also: quotas, colour obsession, the loss of power by the white man?

Kyle Seconna: Rugby to me is by no means a sport that is tagged by one race. The play does touch on the subject of rugby being for one race, but it asks questions more than giving answers. My belief since I could play was that rugby is a universal sport. For all shapes, sizes, ethnicities and even, in modern times, genders.

Andile Vellem: Before, it was. But now there is a mixture. It is slowly transforming, but I wish there could be more colour.

Foto: Hans van der Veen

 

As jy nie in Balbesit gespeel het nie, sou jy daarna wou gaan kyk het? Hoekom, of hoekom nie?

De Klerk Oelofse: Vir seker! Dis min dat 'n mens 24 akteurs in 'n stuk te sien kry, wat nog van 24 mans wat vir 80 minute saam op die verhoog is. Soos ons flank Brendon Daniels sal sê: "Dis madness!" Buiten dit, is dit altyd vernuwend om Jaco Bouwer se werk te sien en die sukses van sy vorige projekte saam met Saartjie Botha spreek boekdele!

If you weren't in the Balbesit cast, is this a play you would have wanted to go and see? Why, or why not?

Kyle Seconna: The fact that the play is not just about rugby, but rather that rugby is the metaphor used to drive different issues, that alone would interest anyone. This is definitely a play I would want to see, as it is such a unique concept and the way things are portrayed is of such a nature that no matter who you are, you will be able to understand what the point of the production is and you’ll be able to draw some emotions and conclusions from the questions the play asks, no matter if the feeling is good or bad. You will have a reaction after the curtain closes.

Andile Vellem: Yes, it definitely is something I'd watch.

*Andile Vellem is doof. Frieda le Roux het die vrae aan hom oorgedra en sy antwoorde help neerskryf.

Balbesit speel by die Kunstekaap vanaf 19 tot 28 Junie 2014.

 

Die Kunstekaap gee vyf dubbelstelle kaartjies weg vir Saterdagaand 21 Junie 2014 om 20:15. Om een dubbelstel kaartjies te kan wen, stuur teen 17 Junie 2014 'n e-pos na [email protected] met die titel "Balbesit" as opskrif. Die wenners sal in kennis gestel word en kan hul kaartjies by die Kunstekaap se kaartjieskantoor afhaal 'n halfuur voor die vertoning. Hierdie kompetisie is nou gesluit en die wenners is in kennis gestel.

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