“…[theatre] gave me wings to fly…to be what I can’t be elsewhere…”

Petru Wessels has a quiet, gentle intensity. It is how she approaches life, motherhood, and every character she has performed on stage. Additionally, she has perfected every role she has played in life, including being a wife to Carel Trichardt for over 50 years.

She remembers every play with the same intensity today as when she studied the playwright, learnt the words, and shaped her roles 20 30 40 years ago. She has loved her protagonists, her directors, her audiences, her life.

Listen to this interview if only to hear of the sacrifices made by a mother wanting to be on stage. Hear insights into character development and the rewards it brings to the soul of an actor, one such was with Dieter Reible directing her in Ek, Anna van Wyk.

Hear how she and Carel developed revues, put together sketches from literature, folk lore, and poetry which they wove into two-person, husband and wife shows, and took around the country, finding queues and packed houses waiting for them wherever they went.

And then, as a pre-retirement bonus to herself, she developed Die Teaterhuisie in Sunnyside, Pretoria in order to produce smaller Afrikaans productions. This too was a success, highlighting a career she can look back on in tearful wonder and gratitude.

This interview in answered in English and Afrikaans