2012 Huisgenoot Skouspel below par

2012-10-08 12:27
Some hail 13 as a very unlucky number. This curse might have set the 13th Huisgenoot Skouspel up for a bit of a failure.

I have only attended the Skouspel Plus in Cape Town in 2011 and watched the broadcasts on KykNet, so when I heard that I was to attend the Huisgenoot Skouspel in Sun City, my hopes and expectations were set pretty high. Before leaving for Sun City, I was assured by many that I would not be disappointed; that Skouspel actually lives up to its name: a feast and gala event of fantastic Afrikaans artists and music.

Yet, I now sit behind my computer screen very disappointed and let down.

Evoking nostalgia?

Looking back at the show, I feel a mixture of anger and sadness. Let me start off by saying that this year's Huisgenoot Skouspel was not the best and has me asking: Is the magic of Skouspel fading away?

With the theme being "Nostalgia", the show attempted to bring the concertgoer an experience of hits through the ages. Immediately my reaction was: Isn't that what they do every year? As presenters Lizz Meiring and Riaan Cruywagen explained, this year's Skouspel aimed to evoke feelings of nostalgia.

I am not that young anymore and caught all of the quips, jokes and references to memories long gone, but there were only a few moments which made me nostalgic: During Chris Chameleon’s story about how he remembers Wielie Walie as a child, when Haas Das appeared on the screen to welcome guests and Riaan to the show, and Lizz Meiring’s dress made out of old Huisgenoot covers. They could have made much more effort with the theme. Compared to previous years' themes, this was certainly no match.

X-factor was missing

Lizz and Riaan did not have any chemistry as presenters. Whilst Riaan was stiff and formal and professional as always, he dragged the bubbly Lizz down and held her captive as an unnatural actress on stage. When Lizz appeared on stage by herself, I was entertained and loved her. But as soon as Riaan stood next to her, I felt uncomfortable about the lack of chemistry between them. Previous presenters, such as Wikus van der Merwe and Dowwe Dolla at the Skouspel Plus a year ago, had unbelievable chemistry and seem natural together.

Throughout the entire show, I had this eerie feeling that something was missing. And no, it was not Bobby van Jaarsveld or Theuns Jordaan whom did not appear this year, but the x-factor that makes Skouspel what it is – a gala event that gets better every year.

Yet, this year, it seemed that it had lost its oomph and that the producers themselves were stuck in a rut. The addition of a skit by the cast of 7de Laan made one feel that the producers were desperate to find a showstopper. I was annoyed by the fact that the cast of 7de Laan made the Skouspel seem more like a Sunday School concert than a top-notch gala event.

I had a big problem with some artists who had three performances, whilst some fan favourites only appeared once or twice. Artists such as Nicholis Louw and Kurt Darren went on to rule the stage, whilst others only sang once, despite entertaining the crowd wanting more.

Originality goes a long way

Also, originality comes in to play when looking at Kurt’s performance of the old classic,Heidi. Many other artists find themselves guilty of covering old songs, but this is where I want to grab most of them by the ears and ask: "Do you have any originality left?" A little originality does indeed go a long way here...

However, I have to give credit where it is due.

I have to congratulate the producers of the show for their match-ups. I found the selections of artists performing with each other quite entertaining and at times unexpected. To name a few: Rina Hugo and Katlego Maboe's tribute to Christa Steyn, Karen Zoid and Die Heuwels Fantasties as well for Sonja Heroldt and newbie Charlize Berg.

Hitting the pitch with the theme, I enjoyed the performance by Coenie de Villiers, Sonja Heroldt, Rina Hugo and Laurika Rauch on stage. To me, this captured the theme of nostalgia, as they must have performed together so many time ages ago and were "reunited" on stage. I would have loved to see other older artists perform. The four of them overshadowed the youngsters by far.

Skouspel's concept will always remain a hit. No where can one find a concert where famous and beloved artists will perform an accolade of songs set to a different beat, tone or genre. This concept still remains mind-blowing and has people coming out to experience it live.

Skouspel had so much potential

Emo Adams certainly had the best stage personality, and his skit involving Steve’s son Armand Hofmeyr and the famous line "Who's your daddy?", was one for the books. Emo and his quirky attitude kept me in stitches.

Best duet of the evening has to go to Nianell and Andre Schwartz’s rendition of Phantom of the Opera’s Music of the Night. With Nianell’s superb voice and the original South African Phantom, it felt naturally perfect.

Overall, I feel that the Huisgenoot Skouspel 2012 had the potential to do so much more. Listening to fellow concertgoers afterwards, most people shared my feeling. One woman hailed it as "bland", whilst I overheard some people say they "were waiting for the real Skouspel" to begin.

Here's hoping that Skouspel 2013 won't be as big a disappointment.

*Do you agree? Were you at the 2012 Huisgenoot Skouspel? Send us your pics and reviews.

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