I properly cried in the car on the way home. I cried in the dark, and drove, and remembered my dad, who would have been three years younger than Jeremy Taylor, if he was still alive.
Jeremy Taylor has come to The Kalk Bay Theatre for a three week run of a show that is strange, funny, sad, incisive, delightful and mostly totally, shatteringly moving. Everybody remembers Ag Pleez Deddy, but it’s the other ones that my dad used to sing as well. Going Up, Northern Suburbs, Safe My Mate are all hilarious observations of Seffeffrica in the seventies. The more serious stuff though is totally chilling. The Story of Steve Biko (I don’t know what it is officially called) left me shattered, as well as the touching informal story of the Afrikaaner policeman in Broederstroom.
Jeremy Taylor is old to be on stage. He seems frail, which only adds to that raw nostalgia that he conjures with an accent or stress in just the raaght playce. The show is long (maybe a song or story too long). But it is unmissable. I wish that Kuli Roberts could see this show, to understand proper satire, real commentary and acute and detailed observation. Jeremy Taylor gives an extraordinary lesson in Apartheid and its effects, its weirdness, those that followed it, and those that deviated from it. His song The Immorality Law is a classic example (and one my father particularly delighted in).
Jeremy Taylor was banned by the Nats in South Africa. His music, including his most famous encore, Ag Pleez Deddy, was banned in South Africa. And yet, even though he isn’t even South African, he made me feel, taste, smell and cry my white South African childhood.