What’s all the Voss about?

2010-05-29 00:00

ONE of South Africa’s sharpest satirists, Ben Voss, is currently unleashing his famous alter ego, Beauty Ramapelepele, on unsuspecting Britons at the Oval House Theatre in London.

It’s the first staging of Voss’s new stage show, Bend It Like Beauty, and places the rich, black, opinionated businesswoman of the year in London, where she is opening a new branch of her company, Yebo Fabrics — and helping British fans headed to South Africa for the World Cup to learn some survival tips.

Beauty is also celebrating winning the largest fabric contract in South African history — the manufacture and supply of all costumes for the opening ceremony of the World Cup — and getting her shiny new British passport.

Asked how his three-week gig at the Oval House Theatre had come about, Voss said: “I was invited to stage the show by Ben Evans, who saw me perform at the Harare International Festival of the Arts.”

In the new show, Voss tackles the issue of people emigrating to the UK, a hot potato for Britain’s new coalition government and most of its people, who would like to see immigration better regulated.

Since creating Beauty, Voss has enjoyed great success, even sharing the stage with South Africa’s legendary satirist Pieter- Dirk Uys during the latter’s show at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre last year, in which Evita interviewed local personalities.

Aside from his new show, which can be seen at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre from June 15 to June 27, Voss will be doing radio sketches on Radio Jacaranda and East Coast Radio, in which Beauty will be taking footballers around the country ahead of and during the World Cup.

He and longtime friend and collaborator, John van de Ruit, author of the Spud novels, are also working together on a new project, a cartoon series called Freaks of Nature.

The two men recently worked together on Spud, the movie, in which Voss plays the role of Spud Milton’s U14 D/E rugby coach, Mr Lilly.

Asked if he had encountered John Cleese, who plays English teacher The Guv on set, he said: “We chatted about comedy and he asked me about staging a show in South Africa and where the best venues would be.

“I suggested the Playhouse in Durban, so it’s possible he’ll bring his one-man show to KZN.”

Bookings for Bend it like Beauty at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre can be made through Computicket.

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