Ode to an orange tree



GOD’s fruit. Photograph courtesy

A parable of citrus fruit and blindness, generosity and the plight of others, this week’s Afrikaans language radio drama, Die Goue Kring (The Gold Ring) by Uys Krige draws from Radio Sonder Grense’s archives and presents a tale of a prodigal son of a village in Spain, of riddles and thievery, songs and death. It’s a beautiful work in a lyrical tradition that offers no lightning bolts and plot dynamite, but rather takes a contemplative, balladeering look at mortality.

And it is here that we meet Luis (Lochner de Kock). He’s rootless but evidently was a very beloved somebody in this small Spanish village. With Douwlina Grobler as “Moeder Maart”, poverty-stricken woman rich in orange trees and hope, the yarn is a simple one woven with dexterity and gentleness around fear, community and the value of kindness. In many respects, it evokes the gentle yet important dialogue between the Little Prince and the serpent in Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s eponymous novel.

It’s a work, also evoking the wisdom and mystery of simple village life in writers of the ilk of Federico García Lorca, which is as much about defying the inevitable as it is about understanding one’s value in the world. Something a little different and slightly longer than your regular RSG drama pickings in this slot, this work clocks in at just under 1h20min, and is poetic more than narrative driven. Ultimately, it will leave you feeling blessed by the kiss of an orange and in the knowledge that death is just another ordinary guy.

  • Die Goue Kring (The Gold Ring) from RSG’s archives, is written by Uys Krige and adapted for radio by Hermien Dommisse. Directed by Evert Snyman, and featuring technical input by Johan Chandler and Piet Moskow, it is performed by Hannah Botha, Lochner de Kock, Francois du Bruyn, Matthys du Toit, Douwlina Grobler, Frans Kalp, Dirk Kotzé, Linda Pienaar, André Stolz, Charles van der Merwe, Pieter van Vuuren, and broadcasts on RSG on Thursday, April 9 at 8pm on Radio Sonder Grense. There will be a repeat broadcast on RSG’s Deurnag programme, at 1am on April 13, and it is also available on podcast:

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