The Gospel According to Jan Coetzee

Drama • Running Time: 70 mins
Written & directed by Wessel Pretorius | Starring David Viviers, Emma Kotze & Wessel Pretorius | Stage Manager: Wicus Louw
Warning: Brief smoking | Profanity and Religious themes

“You can rest assured that the things you were led to believe are completely reliable.”

The Gospel is a reworking of the Afrikaans play Al Julle Volke, which debuted in 2015 at the Klein Karoo National Arts Festival. It is a "soortvan" Passion Play that tells the story of a rural Afrikaans boy who believes he’s been called upon by God to lead the Afrikaner to salvation. Three performers unravel Jan Coetzee’s story by piecing together half-remembered scenes and testimonies that chronicle Afrikaner history and myth making. We get to know some of his so-called disciples, including the woman he fell in love with. The Gospel is a portrait of lost faith, changing times and a search for new identities.

 Pretorius is joined by two exciting young actors - David Viviers (Macbeth, Klara Maas Se Hart is Gebreek) and Emma Kotze ( Oh Baby I'm A Wild One, Fototstaatmasjien) in this darkly comedic foray into political and historical satire.

"The Gospel According to Jan Coetzee, directed by Wessel Pretorius cannot be understated, it is a truly brilliant and fascinating example of South African theatre. An absolutely captivating story is propelled by the excellence of its actors all of whom injected exceptional talent into one of the best theatre anyone can find this fest." - Cue, NAF

The Gospel According to Jan Coetzee began life as an Afrikaans play written for KKNK 2015 (then titled Al Julle Volke). When writer/director Pretorius was approached by the Cape Town Edge team to submit a show for the National Arts Festival Fringe 2019 as part of their curated venue, he thought it would be a good time to revisit the project. After translating the piece, however, Pretorius decided to rewrite the play entirely as a satire on nationalism.

Wessel Pretorius received a degree in Drama from the University of Pretoria in 2008 and went on with post-graduate studies in Acting at the University of Stellenbosch. In 2011 he debuted with his solo-piece Ont- which, along with its English translation - Undone - travelled South Africa and abroad for several years (winning four KykNet Fiësta-awards and the NAF Fringe Gold Ovation). Pretorius is also a published playwright (Die Dag is Bros/Sandton City Grootdoop) and director (Die Ontelbare 48, Klara Maas Se Hart is Gebreek, ensomeer: Die Vloeistof Trilogie, Fotostaatmasjien). Other highlights include Balbesit (written by Saartjie Botha and directed by Jaco Bouwer), Wie's Bang vir Virginia Woolf (translated by Saartjie Botha and directed by Christiaan Olwagen) and Twelfth Night (directed by Geoffrey Hyland). He currently lives in Cape Town as a freelance actor, writer, and theatermaker. 

David Viviers is a film and theatre actor. He graduated in 2014 from UCT (Theatre and Performance). In 2016, David was the recipient of the Brett Goldin Bursary award which allowed him to study with the Royal Shakespeare Company for a month in Stratford-upon-Avon. For theatre, David has received two Fleur du Cap Nominations, two Kanna nominations and two Fiesta nominations. He won none of them. Career highlights include playing an overly enthusiastic mime in the Afrikaans comedy Klara Maas se Hart is Gebreek (written and directed by Wessel Pretorius), playing Lady Macbeth in Fred Abrahamse 's Macbeth and playing the virile virus Rabies in Jemma Kahn's Cellist with Rabies (directed by Jacu Bouwer)

Emma Kotze completed her studies in Theatre and Performance at UCT in 2013, where she worked with director’s Christopher Weare, Luke Ellenbogen and Sandra Temmingh. After completing her studies, she was nominated for the 2014 Fleur Du Cap award for Most Promising Student. She made her professional theatre debut in the premier of Wynne Bredenkamp’s Salt at the 2014 National Arts Festival. Between 2015 - 2017 she performed in The Incredible Journey, written and directed by Stefan Erasmus. 2016 also saw her starring in Bredenkamp’s Warrior Green. In 2016 and 2017 she performed in a one-woman production, Oh Baby, I’m A Wild One, written and directed by acclaimed playwright Louis Viljoen. During this time she also performed in Ameera Conrad’s Reparation, In 2017 and 2018 she performed in Bredenkamp’s At The Edge of The Light, 2018 saw her starring in Bibi Slippers’ Fotostaatmasjien under the direction of Wessel Pretorius. In 2019 she also performed in Mercy Kannemeyer’s Die Bul Hy Wil Nie. Recently Kotze has filmed the second season of Fynskrif for kykNET under the direction of Nina Swart. Her other film credits include work on international series Strange New Things in 2016 and the second season of the international series ICE. She has also worked alongside Tinarie van Wyk Loots, Antoinette Kellerman, David Minnaar, Cintaine Schutte and Stian Bam in a stop animation film based on N.P. van Wyk Louw's Raka, produced by Ysterfang, Puppetry and Animation Company. She has also studied film acting under Bonni Rodini.  

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