Tears of Laughter

you now.. like tears when you laugh yourself sick? happened friday during Rooikoppetjie – that sold out sought after KKNK pantomime of lots & lots of South African fun –  when Rooikoppetjie had to ask Ouma: ” Ouma, hoekom is Ouma se tande dan so groot?” But just as she was about to ask, the sound system gave off a boom – like an ill timed visit of a nasty ghost, and Rolanda Marais, who is such a reliable and talented actress found that the real Rooikappie in her could not subdue the laugh. the boiling fun within her spilled over her lips into a sweet yet powerful phffff and a second, and a third, as the whole audience folded. all of a sudden we were not players and onlookers any more: theatre itself took a sidestep to allow for a simple and washing human laugh.. we and our funny technologies.. The coincidence of that did not help poor Frank Opperman who played the bad woolf. His line – shortly after our laugh – was to address the violinist next to me saying: “Hierdie is MY scene!! Die horror scene!! Bloed en hare, nie viool en snare!!” (the violin played along with the amorous entrance of Kap van der Byl – Rooikoppetjie’s saviour). But now Mike, the violinist, pulled a prank on Frank by colouring his teeth to look as menacing as the woolf’s. And so, as Frank looked at him with “Hierdie is MY scene..” he gave him a grin. Already wobbly, this sudden meanness was too much for Frank. His whole body convulsed with shakes of laughter as his head tried to maintain a semblance of anger. He came through his lines, but in such a way as to only worsen the shaking state of everybody. the band (facing the stage) must have looked like we’re dancing on our chairs as we couldn’t contain ourselves. tears and tears and tears flowed down my cheeks for minutes after.  now if you know Frank Opperman..

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