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.

What Mona must carry

WHEN YOU ARE pushed so far from your comfort levels that a voice from your belly cries out with everything you’re worth and reforms you, it’s a kind of rebirth. You may have witnessed this in John Logan’s searing play Red about Mark Rothko. You will rediscover this […]

Men who are worth your tears

HE COMES INTO the 60th birthday party of his sister Solange, like a violent bull in a proverbial China shop, armed with a gift everyone knows he could not afford. The guests fear and hate him. He has an aggressive almost non-verbal approach which prickles your empathy. This […]

Greta’s value

THE STORY (SO far) of Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg is biblical in its hugeness and in the power that the voice of a youngster can have on how the world turns. On paper, Nathan Grossman’s I am Greta could be the biggest jewel in the crown of this […]

Ground control to astro mom

WHAT DO YOU tell your small daughter when you are a brilliant engineer and astronaut, and the opportunity of a lifetime comes your way? Of course, being the mother (not father) to said eight-year-old, throws the whole monster of generations of sexism to the fore. This is what […]

Holy lies, cold truths and black bread

It is 1948 and Lithuania is caught between the tail end of Hitler’s cruelty and the as yet unrevealed horror Stalin’s slippery promises. Unte (Marius Povlias Elijas Martynenko), with his sultry, almost androgynous yet somewhat mongoloid features is the ponderously gentle central protagonist. He’s a son, yet not […]

RIP Queen Linda the Only

THE IDEA OF writing a conventional tribute to Linda Givon, the founder of the Goodman Gallery, who died suddenly on 5 October 2020, at 84, seems trite. This is because she was much more than the pedestrian sum of her parts. She was born, educated, married, divorced, widowed. […]