Louis Viljoen’s plays are not for the faint-hearted. Peppered with profanities and nudity, he calls his plays honest, direct theatre.
It’s a far cry from the cowboy life he dreamed of as a child, before turning to writing “because it was the only thing I was reasonably good at”. His choice proved to be the right one.
The 33-year-old won two Fleur Du Cap Awards, including Best New South African Script and Best New Director, for his dark psychological drama, The Pervert Laura.
He also received the honour of being The Fugard Theatre’s first playwright in residence. There’s no denying that
Viljoen’s plays are entertaining to the point of shocking, earning him a reputation as theatre’s enfant terrible.
It’s all part of being driven to create work that is honest and appeals to the audience’s intelligence, for a change. The hard part is convincing theatre managment to support challenging theatre.
Calling himself “barely educated”, Viljoen credits his craft to learning through practice, observing work he admires, watching lots of theatre, and never being satisfied with a script.
While writing may have been something he fell into, Viljoen concedes that he probably wouldn’t be alive if he wasn’t
“Don’t give the audience what they want, give them what they don’t know they want.”