Portrait of the cat with shooting stars

FELINE wisdom: Christo Compion plays Servaas (aka Serve).

FURKIDS. IT’S A strange and saccharine construct that has crept into common discourse almost surreptitiously, giving your pet that leap into the intimacies of your family. But what if he really took that leap himself and offered you something more to being in the world? This is one of the questions that Hendie Grobbelaar ponders in her radio drama Sterrereën, which broadcasts on Radio Sonder Grense at 8pm on 22 April.

It’s a nifty and tightly constructed play which offers insight into student concerns – and features some very young performers to beef up the authenticity of young voices – as it plays with the blurry lines between superstition, smoking weed and other potentially mind-altering things young people get up to. Above all, in a deeply understated way, it deals with loss and love and how to make sense of it all. Or how to try to in the face of a sarky cat who knows more than you do.

With a sophisticated directorial hand that offers an understanding of how an elderly cat would present himself into the context of human dialogue, if he could, the work is very funny but doesn’t stoop to silliness. It respects the idea and dignity of cathood as it reflects on the blustering and somewhat irritating miens of young people, but lends a sense of narrative which is thoughtfully constructed and excellently entertaining.

The meshing of young voices with Christo Compion’s much more experienced approach lends the work a satisfying sense of balance and a powerful denouement. In short, it’s a beautiful made piece that is well worth your listen, as it touches on the poetry of meteoric showers, but never becomes too heavy handed in the schmaltz department. A very fine work, indeed. Don’t miss it.

  • Sterrereën (Rain of Stars) is written by Hendie Grobbelaar. Directed by Duncan Johnson, and featuring technical input by Bongi Thomas and Evert Snyman, it is performed by Christo Compion, Luan Jacobs, Claudia Jones and Donovan Pietersen. It broadcasts on RSG at 8pm on 22 April and will be available on podcast through the radio station’s website:

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