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.

Rain on my heartache

SONG REVIEW: WASHED AWAY. A TALE OF frustration and confusion, to say nothing of gender bewilderment in a desperate quest for love, young South African performer Yahto Kraft’s second single, Washed Away, released on 1 August 2020 brings together lyrical story telling that is a perfect vehicle for […]

Tripped up by my genes

PODCAST REVIEW: LOUISE. WHAT IS THE worst kind of news to hear when you are at the very cusp of the responsibilities of adulthood? For Louise, it isn’t something that has happened to her. Rather, it is a definitive understanding of what is wrong with her sister, Jill. […]

How to avoid doing the done thing

PODCAST REVIEW: SALLY. SALLY HAS JUST broken up with James. He was the boyfriend everyone, including herself,  has deemed completely lovely. This is her brief, crisp tale, beautifully delivered by Zara Day reflecting on what a young woman faces in a traditional heterosexual relationship. In just over 10 […]

Spin and the mechanics of evil

FILM REVIEW: INFLUENCE. AN ELDERLY WHITE man in a cardigan sits and smokes with his back to the camera, in the opening scene of Richard Poplak and Diana Neillie’s exceptionally slick piece of filmic journalism Influence. Lord Timothy Bell may look benign but with his amorality on his […]

Ties which bind us all

PHOTOGRAPHIC EXHIBITION REVIEW: IKHAYA LIKAYMOYA. A WOMAN’S FACE is drenched with baptismal fluid. Her expression is serene. Her eyes closed. Another woman holds her peer from behind, a call of fierceness on her lips, fervency in her posture. A child peeks solemnly through the fabric and drapery surrounding […]

Haunted by Maluna

RADIO DRAMA REVIEW: DIE NAG VAN LEGIO. WHEN YOU GET so immersed into a radio play that you feel at once transfixed and terrified to your very core, you know that you are in the presence of real greatness — from the perspectives of writing, directing and performing. […]

Of rude vessels, mediocrity and gods

FILM REVIEW: AMADEUS AT THE NATIONAL THEATRE. THE CURIOUS FLAW in this almost mythic tale of maverick talent, jealousy and the celebration of mediocrity, is how it is hinged on ostensible fact. Peter Shaffer’s 1979 play Amadeus took some fuzzy hearsay around the life and death of 18th […]