Entertainer, Margit Mayer-Rödenbeck is certainly not one to sit on her laurels. It was during the Covid-19 lockdown that The Citizen reported about her decision to retire from her all-consuming, comic role as Dowwe Dolla.
Now, she has swapped her bright red lollipops for the broom of many parents’ favourite childhood character, Liewe Heksie.
Yes, Heksie’s broom has been dusted off and Margit and her fellow actor, Deon van Zyl are touring across the country with the famous children’s production once again.
Deon van Zyl plays three roles in the production: Karel Kat, Koning Rosekrans and the yellow witch (Geel Heks).
“Dolla was a large part of my life for a very long time. She was good for me in many ways. I got a platform from which I could do satire, to think critically and she gave me a long career. Still, there is a time for come and go,” Margit Meyer-Rödenbeck says.
Margit told Maroela Media that it is fun to tour again, especially with a children’s production, which is creating a lot of dialogue nationwide.
They did the same production ten years ago and Liewe Heksie had initially been part of Margit’s life almost just as long as Dowwe Dolla was.
Years later, Liewe Heksie is just as relevant on television, on stage and in books and the production, Liewe Heksie en die Rolskaatse has recently even won a KANNA Award for Best Children’s Production.
Margit has a special place in her heart for the character of Liewe Heksie. “Verna Vels created a jewel of a character,” she says.
“Not just Heksie, other characters too.” Margit says Vels was ahead of her time and absolutely hit the nail on the head with the story of Liewe Heksie. “Heksie is humoristic. Her forgetfulness makes others love her and makes her human. Children can identify with that.”
In fact, Margit says adults often take part in the interactive parts of the production with as much enthusiasm as the children.
According to Margit, the children watching the production often guide the flow and direction of the story.
She told Maroela Media that when you do children’s theatre, you shouldn’t underestimate the children in the audience.
“The child must feel as if he is part of the performance. Then, of course, the good must always triumph over the bad, because that is the lesson we are teaching them.”
If you grew up with Liewe Heksie on your tellie and want to share the memories and lessons with your kids, you can bump into the friendly witch from Blommeland on roller-skates at various theatres across the country over the next couple of months, including:
28 May: Atterbury Theatre, Pretoria
29 May: Ettienne Rousseau Theatre, Sasolburg
11, 16 and 18 June: Die Boer Restaurant-Theatre, Durbanville