Celebrating life with the end in sight

deur  Diane de Beer
Produksie: Routrip
Foto’s: Verskaf

Elzabé Zietsman is on a roll.

Femme is Fatale is a hard act to follow, but in her new partnership with writer Johann Slabbert, they wisely went a very different route – yet sticking to a text that’s edgy and in this instance, funny.

The approach is lighter and Zietsman has 90 minutes to play, to hold the audience close to her heart and to show her skills in full colour.

The text deals with a woman, who was discovered by a friend that saved her from dying. Only problem is: she didn’t want to be found. This was her way out. Life had stopped having meaning and she knew it was time to go.

She decides it’s time to do a road trip with another suicide attempt as the end game. But she’s going to take leave in style, doing everything her heart desires as she travels the country.

We meet her stuck on a desolate road, waiting for a tow truck to bring roadside relief. In the meantime, she tells her story.

She is surrounded by her life’s baggage, all packed in cardboard boxes, which she wants to share with the world. Things don’t quite go her way and it’s tough to think that someone, with her knack of always finding herself in the wrong place at the wrong time, not always with disastrous results, should not want to experience more.

As I suspect in Zietsman’s real life, Helena is also someone who jumps in where angels fear to tread. She’s appealing, finds soul mates everywhere she goes and generally has a life worth talking about, which she does with grand abandon.

Zietsman has worked hard and planned well to constantly evolve her stage career. This is working well and it’s going to be exciting to witness the growth in texts and performances as time goes by. The scope is endless and these are early days. But these two adventurous artists with Maralin Vanrenen wisely brought on board as director, are laying the right foundation.

Routrip is fun, with enough depth in the text to have both the actor and the audience engaged.