Oom Schalk Strikes Back

Oom Schalk Strikes Back

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The Garden Boys present: Oom Schalk Strikes Back

This rollicking family comedy is about the life and work of Herman Charles Bosman. Oom Schalk Lourens, Bosman’s most famous character, has amazingly been brought back to life, dazzling audiences with his hilarious take on modern foibles.

Where: Wits Downstairs Theatre

Date: 27 March – 2 April

Time: 8pm (Sunday 3pm and 8pm)

Duration: 60 mins

Booking: Computicket (+27 11 340 8000)

Written, Directed and Performed by: Tim Sandham and Angus Douglas

A portion of profits to be donated to the arts (see www.ditoro.org.za)

Patrick Mynhardt: “Laugh-out-loud hilarious”

Die Burger: “Skreeusnaaks”

Cape Times: “A fitting tribute to a masterful storyteller”

Cue Newspaper: “Hilarious performance by two brilliant actors”

Argus: “It is delightful to hear these hilarious anecdotes in such an intimate setting”

Prof Stephen Gray (editor of the Anniversary edition of Bosman’s works): “I haven’t seen parody like this for years”

Santa van Baart (Organiser of the Herman Charles Bosman Literary Festival): “Oom Schalk Strikes Back has become a festival classic”

Prof. Craig MacKenzie (Head of English at the University of Johannesburg, co-editor of the Anniversary Edition of Bosman’s works): “Bosman comes to life in a highly imaginative play that combines comedy and pathos in a vintage Bosmanesque manner”


Oom Schalk Strikes Back is a comedy about the life and work of Herman Charles Bosman. Through the character of Oom Schalk Lourens, amazingly brought back to life in the 21st century, we get a rather unusual and original take on the modern world.

Oom Schalk waxes on about war in the middle-east: “…you must negotiate with these people; and Tony Blair: “….Blêêêêêr, soos die skaap wat agter die judasbok aantros.”

After doing the talk-show circuit, Oom Schalk becomes a sort of Mike Lipkin of the Bushveld, punting his homespun philosophy “Back to Bushveld Basics”, and extolling the virtues of such products as the Dorsbult Doepa, and Oom Schalk’s Unique Stress Release Video containing the soothing footage of genuine Marico labourers toiling on genuine Marico fields.

But, ultimately, Oom Schalk is “really Shakespearian in his style”, and so ensues a duel whereby “Cry havoc let slip the dogs of war” becomes “vat hom fluffie”.

From here the play focuses on Herman Charles Bosman, placing him in an imaginary scene with Steven Spielman who is turning “Mafeking Road” into a film. As Spielman explains to the frustrated Bosman, who is perturbed by the gratuitous sex and violence of the film script, “if you look up Hollywood in the dictionary, you’ll see it says sex and explosions.”

In the final scene a bewildered Bosman finds himself in a hospital ward, wondering why he’s got his street clothes on. When the “hospital clerk” reveals that this is not a hospital, but in fact the afterlife, Bosman is faced with an interrogation about his rather chequered past. But ultimately good art redeems all, and Bosman is allowed into heaven by St. Peter…or is it St. Peter?

Tim Sandham (B.Bibl. Hons.) wrote for Vrye Weekblad and contributed to various magazines. He won the Melrose House award for the Boer War story “The Abridged Life of Ambrose Arendse”. He is a writer/director for a television company.

Angus Douglas (BA Hons.) has been involved in theatre as an actor, writer, director and teacher for fifteen years. Now he divides his time between writing/directing for television and producing plays.

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