Despite being polar opposites, the ladies – both alter egos of Pieter-Dirk Uys – have a way of highlighting sticky topics.
Bambi is Evita’s younger sister, born and raised in the quiet Free State town of Bethlehem. Seeking more to life, the blonde Afrikaner moves to Europe, where she sets out to do everything that was “never spoken of” back home.
Years later, returning to an apartheid South Africa, she tells and sings, through husky cabaret, of her raunchy escapades as a stripper and sex worker. Said to have graduated from the “University of Sex, Cum Laude”, Kellerman knows how to keep her audience gasping for air, from shock as much as laughter. Sex is the focus, and Uys’ approach is blatant, using words, music and toys.
Leave the kids at home, as there’s no subject too sordid for Bambi Kellerman.
Uys plays the role of Bambi with great precision. Wearing fake eyelashes and red lipstick, he is convincing throughout. Godfrey Johnson’s musical direction functions to remind audiences of an old South Africa, with sing-alongs straight out of the eighties. He and Uys are always in sync, covering topics such as relationships, trust, desire and fidelity.
And behind the superficial tastelessness, there’s an important message. Bambi exposes the tragic effects of a generation’s reluctance to discuss sex openly with their children and talks about the destructiveness of the HIV pandemic.