DEURnis / Uzwelo - Group 1

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Language: English
Company:  Thearerocket in partnership with The Windybrow Arts Centre

Theatre between a single actor and a single audience member at a time

DEURnis / Uzwelo comprises of several plays specifically written for a space. Each play lasts about 20 minutes, and the audience member moves from one room to the next to experience the different performances. Plays are grouped (see descriptions below), and a ticket gives an audience member access to three plays. The whole experience, including short breaks in between performances, lasts for around 90 to 100 minutes. 

In Group 1, audience members will see:

  • KOUD / COLD: A schoolboy with a secret. Forbidden love that should be kept secret at all costs. How long can you keep that, which may not be, from the world, before it overtakes you? With Leroux van Diemen. Written and directed by Henque Heymans. Language: Afrikaans
  • KGOHO / CHICKEN: A man sells chickens in the basement of a building in Joburg city. The SPCA is not happy. He goes overboard to prove he cares for the chickens. He has an unhealthy relationship with the chickens, naming them and treating them like his children, reading to them and preparing them candle-lit dinners. With Vusi Nkwenkwezi. Written by Vusi Nkwenkwezi . Directed by Matthews Rantsoma. Language: Sesotho
  • KWAS: Esther is a model and loves posing for artists. But she has difficulty staying put and keeping quiet. Between art and reality, some humorous and dark histories are bared. With Candice Botha. Written by Braam van der Vyver. Directed by Èmil Haarhoff. Language: Afrikaans

Other plays in the series are listed below. Book for them under their group – ie DEURnis / Uzwelo Group 2, 3, or 4.


DEURnis one-on-one is an award-winning, exciting new immersive theatre experience and a first for South Africa. As site-specific theatre, solo plays are performed in different spaces in a house or building for a single audience member at a time, making for a groundbreaking and very intimate experience.

The title of the project – DEURnis / Uzwelo – is derived from the words ‘deur’ (door) and ‘deernis’ and ‘Uzwelo’ (compassion and empathy). Behind the door that leads an audience member to the performance lies an experience that takes an honest, stripped-down and often sober look at emotional and everyday issues.

DEURnis won the 2018 kykNET Blue Fiësta Award for most innovative theatre, the 2017 ATKV-Woordveertjie Award for Best New Script, the Best production (Freestate) at the 2018 Freestate Arts Festival, and was nominated for Best Overall Production at the 2017 Aardklop National Arts Festival. Its actors were nominated for Best New Actor (Dewald van der Merwe for Rou, 2018 kykNET Fiësta Awards and 2017 Aardklop Awards) and Best Actor (Ben Pienaar for Net, 2019 WoordTROfees).

“I was bowled over. The substance is in the writing, the performance and the direction.It’s going to be exciting to watch how this develops, reaches out, expands and crosses genres, ages and cultures all over the country. It can work anywhere.” – Diane de Beer, The Star Tonight

For the first time, Theatrerocket’s award-winning DEURnis artists will be collaborating with the Windybrow Art Centre and Market Theatre Laboratory’s Kwasha! group at the National Arts Festival, presenting 12 plays on the Main Programme.

DEURnis / Uzwelo is presented by Theatrerocket in partnership with the National Arts Festival, KWASHA! Theatre Company, the Windybrow Arts Centre and the Market Theatre Laboratory.

Supported by AK21 and NATi (Nasionale Afrikaanse Teaterinitiatief)


DEURnis / Uzwelo Group 2
Womb – With Thulisile Nduvane
Gone – With Renos Nicos Spanoudes
Isiqhelo / Cleansing With Aaliyah Matintela

DEURnis / Uzwelo Group 3
CTRL – With Sibahle Mangena
Rou / Raw – With Dewald van der Merwe
Legodimong / Heaven – With Molatelo Maffa

DEURnis / Uzwelo Group 4
Bang / Scared – With Mia-Anne O’Kennedy
Omnibus – With Sinenhlanhla Mgeyi
Dream – With Ignatius van Heerden



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