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Skouspel 2009

2009-10-08 14:10

Skouspel Videos:
Live Highlights I 
Live Highlights II
The Fans 
Bok van Blerk 
Chris Chameleon 

What I like about Skouspel, Huisgenoot’s deliciously over-the-top celebration of popular Afrikaans music, is that it really does the name justice. It is a huge, huge event, attracting tens of thousands of people every year for a decade. Sky-high production values and clever collaborations between everyone who’s anyone in the biz have made the show a permanent fixture on the kunste-calendar.

This year, the event turned ten years old.

Ten years is a long time to look back on. If I learned anything during the show’s finale, a lengthy parade of the treffers that defined Skouspel from its inception to the present, it’s that the artists are getting better, more practised, smarter at what they do. No one will convince me that Kurt Darren’s original monster hit, “Meisie Meisie”, is better than “Kaptein”. Likewise, Nicholis Louw has moved on from “Rock Daai Lyfie”, and is more of a pop star now than he ever was.

If you go back far enough, however, nostalgia takes over. The younger audience did not remember them, but when Ollie Viljoen, Carike Keuzenkamp and other bygone treffer icons took a bow on the Skouspel stage, people cried. Those who didn’t (and were over 40) simply clapped in amazement. Who knows what course Afrikaans music would have taken with a different generation in their stead?

Overall, the cast read like a who’s who of mainstream Afrikaans culture: Dozi, Laurika Rauch, Bok van Blerk, Juanita du Plessis, Chris Chameleon, Nianell... everyone but Steve.  Sometimes on their own, often in unlikely pairings (Laurika and Kurt sing “Af af af”, anyone?), but always perfectly coached and confident with the imperious Johannesburg Music Initiative orchestra behind them.
The highest of the highlights included a hilarious opera duel between Chris Chameleon and Jannie Moolman, a series of cameos by the wonderful Bala Broers and, there’s no denying it, the “everbody now!” version of Kurt’s instant classic, “Kaptein”.

Roll on, Skouspel 2010.
People use the word 'skouspel' far too often – as if every cabaret, three course meal or church bazaar is sure-as-hell guaranteed to blow your mind.
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