It is arguably true that time spent in national service has receded in the memories of many in South Africa. However, Borderline brings it back in vivid colour – the loss of home and loved ones, the indoctrination and deliberate obliteration of individuality during basic training, the fear and horrors experienced in action, and, yes, the intense camaraderie which flourished in such adverse circumstances. Somewhat tongue in cheek, this piece takes an entertaining look at one naive young man’s journey through this rite of passage and how the infectious and inspirational music of the Beatles kept his heart and soul together as his perceptions of the world changed.
Borderline, directed by Vanessa Harris of Followspot Productions, was inspired by her father Dr Steve Harris’s experiences during basic training in the 70s. These were captured in a segment of his book Impimpi which was published in 2014.
At the National Arts Festival the Cue newspaper said “It might seem a little strange; a musical about serving in the old South African army set to Beatles music. But the combination works, mainly because of the goofy charm and spectacular singing voice of Pierre van Heerden. He can swing from singing a ballad to belting out a rock ‘n roll number that gets the audience on their feet, all the while dressed in troopie browns and army boots”. Pierre added “People come to me after the show, guys in their 50s and 60s, and tell me how this was just the way it was. Everything in this show, it happened to them.”
Performances: Wed – Fri @ 8pm, Sat @ 4pm & 8pm, Sun @ 3pm
Tickets @computicket.com or Theatre Box Office (011) 511 1818