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.

The Shining, dulled

DO THE THINGS that go ‘boo!’ in the night still have fresh value of their own to curdle your blood and populate your nightmares? This is a question you may ponder when you see Doctor Sleep, a film marketed with horror novelist Stephen King’s name, which turns out […]

What poetry is for

OF RAIN AND curiosity, the personality of mountains, love and loss, this week’s Radio Sonder Grense drama slot is filled with the sound and fury of beautiful poetry. Born in 1871, Afrikaans poet Eugène Marais was to become one of the language’s most mysterious and romantic characters in […]

How to be at home in the world

WHEN YOU ENCOUNTER the crisp freshness in John Crowley’s Brooklyn, a filmic interpretation of Colm Toibin’s novel of the same name, you will realise that it is all pervading. From the use of dress to the understanding of light, colour, narrative and performance, this 2015 film is nothing […]

The size of truth

MURDER MOST FOUL is a very well trodden field in storytelling. But under Adelle van Wyk’s pen, with Makkie Onthou, the story is a lot richer with heart, the texture of society and love, than most whodunnits. You can hear this beautiful work tonight, 29 April on Radio […]

Where Fortune smiles (and weeps)

WELCOME TO THE Oasis, where bad feelings lie in everyone’s heart, and money is too tight to mention. No whores, no drugs, no gambling, this club is a ‘rite of passage’ jazz venue for many young people, and it values its squeaky clean reputation, but everyone, it seems, […]

Itchy foot, generous flukes

YOU’RE NEVER TOO small for great big adventures, is one of the empowering messages in Max Lang and Daniel Snaddon’s completely gorgeous animation, The Snail and the Whale, recently released on Showmax. But more than just a lovely story with a lump-in-the-throat truism as its moral, it’s a […]

Nothing to be frightened of

ENGLISH WRITER, JULIAN Barnes did it. As did American film director Nora Ephron. Now, as close as your wireless, is a yarn cast by Philip Nolte about the biggest mystery of all: death. Morgenster is a delightful work with a twist of truisms that will give you courage […]