Thursday, January 04, 2007


Written by Janet van Eeden, Starring Thomie Holtzhausen and Directed by Ian Roberts.

He loves his women. To death.

Hannes is a human firewall. The last white male in a corporation, he has to delete obscene or unsuitable email traffic. That’s how he discovers everyone’s secret desires. Including those of his boss – the woman promoted ahead of him. He worships her from afar, obsessed with finding out her secrets. She hardly notices him. But Hannes has a plan, and soon she won’t ignore him anymore.

“Janet van Eeden’s new one-man play Expletive Deleted is directed by Ian Roberts and features a strong and compelling performance by Thomie Holtzhausen. Hannes is a human firewall operating in the basement of a large company and his job is to screen outgoing and incoming emails for obscene material. While other members of the staff flounce past him with noses in the air, like the hated Lerato, Hannes’s boss Ketiwe is beautiful, charming and apparently modest. His mother instilled in him that he should look for modesty in a woman and Ketiwe is all this and more. He lusts after her. After all, she head-hunted him from his previous position where he was doing the same kind of work on Big Brother, a clever device used by Janet van Eeden to place the audience fairly and squarely in the know.

“When Ketiwe asks him to lift the firewall from her email, he does so with alacrity. Believing that he is preserving her interests, however, he checks the contents of her correspondence. What he finds does not go down well with him and his inner fury simmers.
“Added to his irritation, his overpowering mother is on the phone every hour or so asking him if he’s enjoyed the lunch she packed, did he remember his umbrella and what is he doing at that moment? When he responds with irritation, she bursts into tears. He is reminded of his long-held belief that if his mother had roused herself from her occupation in an adjoining room, his father might not have choked to death. He’s had enough of her. Then there’s Jakes in Human Resources who spends far too much time eyeing his boss. So he needs to be dealt with too. Thus, the simmering builds to an explosion.
“In Expletive Deleted, Thomie Holtzhausen has a vehicle well suited to his dramatic abilities and allows him to show his vocal strength and passion. This is a good script packed with interesting diversions.” Artsmart Review by Caroline Smart: 2006-07-07.
“A wonderful piece of writing, directing and acting. I thoroughly enjoyed it, more so as I so relate to it. If one didn’t know better, one would be surprised to learn it was written by a woman.” Brett Beiles, Head of Live Poets Society, LiPS, Durban.
“The play was very clever, witty and insightful. It could be about masculinity. There’s also lots of interesting psychoanalytic material too.” Doctor Graham Lindegger, Professor of Psychology UKZN.
“It takes some doing for an actor to hold an audience's attention on his own for an hour. Thomie Holtzhausen does this admirably as Hannes, a human firewall, employed by a gorgeous boss, Kitiwe, to screen employee e-mails for obscenities. He describes his infatuation over her, his needy mother and the accusations of sexual harassment brought against him by another beautiful co-worker, Lerato. This strange voyeurism results in both lust and distrust which finally push Hannes over the edge. Thomie Holtzhausen gives an outstanding performance with very effective changes of pace throughout the play, as well as pitch. This variation in delivery and levels of excitement cleverly illustrates his deteriorating state of mind - or is this the case? The play was written by Janet Van Eeden and directed by Ian Roberts. All three of them know their trades and a very worthwhile piece of theatre has resulted.” – MUSHO Festival online crit.
Expletive Deleted has just been seen on the main festival at the MUSHO! Festival in Durban at the Kwasuka Theatre, January 2007. It is coming soon to the Hexagon Theatre in Pietermaritzburg and will be at the Grahamstown Festival 2007.