Saartjie Botha’s Balbesit has been one of the most significant local plays to emerge in recent years. Presented as a plain-spoken, unfiltered gaze into the minds of South African men, not only does it reveal a mixed bag of insights, but under Jaco Bouwer’s direction this Naledi-winning piece also challenges conventional methods of storytelling and constructing a narrative.

Presented as part of the kykNET Silwerskerm Festival in Camps Bay, the play now makes its highly anticipated transition from stage to screen. Free from the ephemerality of theatre and live performance, the production now, more than ever, becomes a crucial document of our time. A permanent, audiovisual catalogue of our fears, dreams, wounds, insecurities, hatred and shared experiences.

The script’s foundation was laid using actual opinions found under News24/IOL’s comment sections, as well as status updates from Facebook and other social media platforms. The result, as you’ll no doubt know from scouring these online rostrums against your better judgment, is more often than not a very distressing affair. Everyone has an opinion. And everyone wants to be heard.

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