‘Binnelanders’, a soap opera homecoming for Marlee van der Merwe


Marlee van der Merwe does not hesitate to admit that she is crazy about soap operas. This is precisely why her appearance in Domestics is at the same time a refreshing career change for her and a wonderful homecoming.

This 42-year-old actress is currently in the kykNET soap opera, Domestics, as the twins, Marissa and Ella. This storyline is a first of its kind for Afrikaans television, and has, moreover, great excitement on the Domestics– set taken care of.

“Everyone at Domestics made me feel very safe. Taking on something as big as this storyline is definitely easier at a place like Domestics,” Marlee told RNews.

Although viewers can only see Marlee’s face on the box, there is a second seasoned actress who has lent her skills to acting. When the back of Marissa or Ella’s head can be seen, it is as it were Zetske van Pletzen who is standing and watching Marlee. These two actresses played opposite each other in every twin scene, and only changed places and costumes when Marlee moved from one twin sister to the other.

So each scene was filmed twice, and later by Domestics ‘s editors processed it so that it looks like Ella and Marissa are talking to each other.

“It was not only nice to have a very good friend with me on set,” says Marlee, “but also an incredible actress who could take on the process with me.”

Marlee gets carried away when she talks about soap operas, because this is where she can go a long way with a character. This is precisely why today she still feels homesick when she wears Married to rugby¸ which she has been a part of for years, think. This kykNET soap came to an end in 2022, a sad period for her and her fellow actors.

It was not only the steadfast rhythm and routine that she had to say goodbye to after the soap opera came to an end, but also close “family and friends”, as she called her Married to rugby-colleagues refer.

However, she also knows today that there were opportunities that came her way that she would never have been able to seize if she had still worked full-time at a soap opera.

“With every door that closes, another one opens,” she says.

Some of these doors include her roles in kykNET’s medical drama, Heart beatand the musical, Lisa’s piano, in. For Marlee, who studied musical theater at the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT), it is wonderful to put on her theater shoes again, and that too with one of her former colleagues, Altus Theart.

Although she gets nervous about the scenes where she will have to play the piano on stage, she is looking forward to taking on a new challenge.

“It’s so nice to see Altus flourish; to see him and say: ‘Hey buddyhere we are again’, only this time with a different storyline.

“For once, we bring a completely different dynamic to the table, or rather to the stage. I’m very excited about it.”

Lisa’s piano can be seen from Friday 3 November to Sunday 12 November in the State Theater in Pretoria. Read more about this production here on RNews.

Tickets cost between R230 and R300 and are available at Webtickets.