Benny Bushwhacker: Human Nature will be on stage at The Studio Theatre at Montecasino from Thursday, 3rd – Sunday, 20th October for a strictly limited season.
Joburg audiences loved Ben’s previous shows, including Green Mamba, Black Mamba, Mamba Republic, Bend it Like Beauty and Beauty and the BEE to name but a few. Now they get the chance to see this award winning actor, comedian, writer and producer back on stage in his brand new show with an all-new alter ego!
Benny Bushwhacker : Human Nature kick-started a fabulous tour when it won two Standard Bank Ovation Awards at the National Arts Festival Makhanda in Grahamstown in July – the very first staging of the show.
The Republic of South Africa proudly welcomes home Benny Bushwhacker (aka Ben Voss), the world’s funniest conservationist. The legend returns to share what it takes to survive the African bush … and for the African bush to survive.
The genial South African, who recently trended worldwide for banging heads with swashbuckling British survivalist Bear Grylls, is touring South Africa’s theatres and festivals with an hilarious yet sobering look at the collision between man and environment.
For somebody who has spent more time away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life than a hibernating Arctic wood frog, Benny Bushwhacker brings untainted humanity and delicious humour to his performance that will have you laughing out loud and wondering why, when it comes to the bush, the most uncommon human trait is common sense.
Whether it be his opinion on how to spot a know-it-all in Kruger, or the relative chances of his estranged wife, Brenda, replacing the buffalo in the Big 5, Benny delivers time and again with his unique sense of humour and classic bush logic.
Benny Bushwhacker’s stories and experiences have been translated from bush to page by his unofficial biographer, John van de Ruit, (of Spud fame) and directed from page to stage by the lioness of theatre, Janice Honeyman.
When asked about the project, Director Janice Honeyman said, “I have worked with Ben before and have always enjoyed it. He’s a good actor, and a thinking actor. His Mamba series impressed me, so I chose to direct his alter ego, Beauty Ramapelepele. Ben then worked with me last year on the Snow White Pantomime as Evil Queen Hildagonda, in which he was fantastic. The opportunity to work with him again as Benny Bushwhacker is great fun. The concerns of the content are very close to my heart and putting it into a less didactic, preachy context feels good for me.”
Writer of the piece, John van de Ruit, expressed his feelings on the show. “Ben and I have been friends and collaborators for over twenty years. In that time, I have had the best seat in the house to witness his talent and versatility as a comedic actor. He has the unique ability to capture reality and extremity, often simultaneously, with hilarious consequences. It does help that he was born with a rubber face, a razor-sharp mind and the body of Frankenstein. This made him the perfect fit for Benny Bushwhacker, a celebrity conservationist with a big heart and little education to speak of.”
John continues, “Historically, Ben Voss and I have collaborated on both scripting and performance, but this time we have made a deliberate decision to separate ourselves into writer and actor. This means I won’t steal Benny’s favourite lines on stage, and he won’t tamper with my favourite lines in the script. I think that’s called collaborative uncoupling. It’s been a terrific time developing the idea of Benny Bushwhacker with Ben Voss, although of late it’s been rather difficult to tell the pair apart.”
While touring South Africa, Benny Bushwhacker is raising awareness and Moola for the Lebombo Leopard – Human Conflict Survey. And while leopards are not known to change their spots, through this initiative, Benny will try to help humans to do so.
Hello Freaks of Nature!I recently spent a week in the Mkuze bush looking for little funny tidbits. Just got my tech whizz to upload one from the back of the cruiser. Check it out. Will be posting all those snippets over the next few weeks.By the way, (or is it FYI?), only three weeks until "BENNY BUSHWHACKER – HUMAN NATURE" opens at National Arts Festival Makhanda. Then on to the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre from 30th July. All bookings can be done through my website www.benvoss.co.za – on the home page.HandshakeBenny BushwhackerSophie Thompson Berniece Friedmann Collett Dawson Poetry in McGregor Baxter Theatre Hexagon Theatre Playhouse Theatre Somerset West George Arts Theatre Pieter Toerien's Montecasino Theatre & Studio Savoy Theatre, Port Elizabeth
Posted by Benny Bushwhacker on Wednesday, June 5, 2019
Ben says, “I am closely involved with the Lebombo Leopard Human Conflict Survey in Mkuze, Northern Zululand.
A big part of this project is to raise money to set cameras to monitor leopard movement in the area after two children were taken by these cats on the reserve boundary. My interest is not so much conserving pristine bush, as conserving the line between humans and nature. These boundaries are critical. As a roving species, Leopard are under constant threat from humans, and communities are under threat from Leopard. So this conflict seemed like a “natural” fit for my show.
I care about nature, I care about humans and if the leopard is to survive we are going to have to create more green spaces, and keep communities healthy and happy.
Voss continues; “The theme of the show is even based around saving the leopard and there are donation boxes for the project at every show. Every single cent in those boxes goes towards the initiative. At the moment we are raising on average R1000 a show and I have nearly 100 shows this year. So R100 000 is my target!”
Book your seats soon for this wonderful look at life on the wild side, because, like the rhinos of Africa, you never know if you will get the chance to see it again.