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Author Archives

Robyn Sassen

A freelance arts writer since 1998, I fell in love with the theatre as a toddler, proved rubbish as a ballerina: my starring role was as Mrs Pussy in Noddy as a seven-year-old, and earned my stripes as an academic in Fine Arts and Art History, in subsequent years. I write for a range of online and print publications, including the Sunday Times, the Mail & Guardian and artslink.co.za and was formerly the arts editor of the SA Jewish Report, a weekly newspaper with which I was associated for 16 years. This blog promises you new stories every week, be they reviews, profiles, news stories or features.

Things your Mother would not approve of

THERE’S NOTHING QUITE like an errant cat, in a hat, to stir up a little madcap naughtiness when mother is out on a rainy day and there’s nothing else to do. The National Children’s Theatre hosts Dr Seuss’s The Cat in the Hat for little kids, from the […]

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Cyclic terror in a frock of red

In a moment, he takes an audience who is laughing and chatting loudly, and renders it speechless, quietly weeping and praying. This is the starting point of Albert Silindokuhle Ibokwe Khoza’s Red Femicycle, which has enjoyed a few platforms in Gauteng this year. An essay on the scourge […]

Loss’s remedy

WHAT IF YOUR most treasured relative didn’t even know they were yours? The premises of Steven Woutelood’s magnificent work, My extraordinary summer with Tess, a Dutch-language film with English subtitles and magnificent sprinklings of salsa will take you through the whole gamut of holiday romance tropes, down to […]

Ghosts in the machine

MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS ARE arguably the most complex and mysterious of objects invented. They can never just be objects. They can sing. They can laugh. They have identities and secret histories. They are beautiful and crafted and have a purpose which is about something a lot more intuitive and […]

SA satire, well below the panty line

THE FILTHY OBSCENITY of ratified apartheid legislation in South Africa put a very special and specific spin on the meaning of taboo. This was never pornography in the traditional sense, because that form of sexual gratification was deemed completely verboten. Rather, what you got under the apartheid regime […]

In love with the Big Apple

SAY THE NAME “Woody Allen” and if you’re able to remember a time before this filmmaker was branded as a sexual predator who had an affair with – among others – the child that he and his then wife, Mia Farrow adopted, you will think of the proverbial […]

How to chase pretty dragons

SOMETIMES WHEN 110% of attention is focused on the beautification of every nuance offered in every film still, something very important gets lost. Pedro Almodóvar’s long awaited semi-autobiographical film Pain and Glory resonates, in some ways with the premises of Federico Fellini’s (1963) 8½, but with too much […]