Fugard at The Playhouse

Darryl Spijkers and Annelie van Zyl tackle the roles of Johnnie and Hester Smit, in Athol Fugards compelling play, Hello and Goodbye, which is on this weekend at The Playhouse Theatre in Somerset West.

Athol Fugard’s Hello and Goodbye, first performed in the 1960s, explores the relationship of two down-and-out siblings who haven’t seen each other in several years.

Johnnie and Hester Smit are estranged siblings who haven’t had contact since Hester left their family home. Their mother died when they were both young and their father had his leg blown off in a dynamite explosion.

Johnnie has since become his father’s primary caregiver while Hester has been seeking her fortune in the big city, desperate to escape the poverty of her family home.

Unaware that their father has recently died, she returns to home for the first time in many years.

Hello and Goodbye was last performed at Somerset West’s The Playhouse in 2005, under the direction of Molly Mohr, and the theatre is again presenting the play, but with a twist.

The script has been edited in order to exclude references to a specific era or time in order to focus on the relationship between the siblings and to explore the universal issue of the human condition.

Organist Winand Grundling, one of the newest music teachers at Parel Vallei High School, has specially composed the music for this production

Darryl Spijkers, known for his inspired directing and dazzling productions at The Playhouse, will be moving offstage to tackle the role of Johnnie (in between directing his own shows, teaching English at Hottentots Holland High School, coaching drummies and performing duties as chairman at the Playhouse).

Annelie van Zyl, drama teacher and head of culture at Parel Vallei High School, will be performing opposite Darryl as Hester Smit.

Annelie is also known for writing and directing her own plays for Parel Vallei’s busy drama department.

Yanou Pienaar, English and drama teacher at Parel Vallei High School, is the director. The play is on from Thursday April 27 to Saturday April 29. Tickets cost R80, available at Computicket or at the door.