WILHELM SNYMAN schreef 20 mei 1997 in Cape Times (Zuid Afrika)
This clever cabaret should inspire
HUGS, kisses and a standing ovation from the audience indicated the popularity of Dutch cabaret artist Herman Van Veen,
who gave a one-off performance in a filled to capacity Nico Opera House.
With most of the show in Dutch, with sprinklings of Afrikaans, English French and German, Van Veen had the audience
enraptured with sheer charm and artistry. And, to create intimacy in an opera house is no easy feat.
In true cabaret fashion Van Veen
conveyed a love for humanity and being alive without ever patronising his audience.
He penned most of the songs himself, with occasional and very successful forays into Brel (M'n Vlakke Land, Marieke)
and Schubert and Bach.
Backed by superb musicians - Nard Reinders on saxophone and clarinet and Erik van der Wurff on piano - Van Veen is a
mean violinist, lending a haunting and mystical element to his show.
He was also inspiring to watch for his brilliant sense of timing, (he doesn't flog an idea to death, he stops when he
has made his point)
and the clever manner in which he transformed himself and the mood.
From social comment including Fatima Morgana and Ben All Libi he lightened the mood again with playful tongue-in-cheek
sketches and put his own stamp onto that Marlene Dietrich evergreen Wenn ich mir was wunschen dürfte and Erich Karstner's Duet.
One can only wish that Van Veen comes to Cape Town again soon and also, that his show inspires audiences to appreciate
the talents of South African cabaret artists to the point where they too can fill the Nico Opera House to capacity.