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.

Ode to all the Poppies in our midst

CLEMENTINA MOSIMANE SHIMMERS with magnetism in Poppie Nongena, Christiaan Olwagen’s beautiful and rich translation of arguably one of South African literature’s more important novels. Die Swerfjare van Poppie Nongena was crafted by Elsa Joubert in 1978, and in bringing to life a character who becomes an evergreen black […]

Just me and some smashed lasagna

THE DEEP VALUE of The End of the Line, a series of fictional monologues on podcast, focused on women’s decisions to have — or not to have — children, comes to its fulsome self with this, its 14th episode. Here, you are privileged to hear Dame Harriet Walter […]

Three chords and the truth

THE INCENTIVE TO follow the wild road that your dreams may offer you, regardless of your commitments or bank balance, is the stuff that ignites the passion of many a youngster. It’s also the stuff that makes the hero myth such a compelling one, for everyone. Tom Harper’s […]

The boy with a snake tattoo

LUCK CAN BE a double-edged sword: it can give and take in batches and in ways that may make your self-belief feel as though it is falling through the floor. Debut theatre work by 21-year-old Stellenbosch University student, Adriaan Havenga, Hulle noem hom Mamba is a tale of […]

Adolescent dreams of being a mum? Not!

CONTEMPORARY SCIENCE IS such that women, with the appropriate levels of hormonal commitment, can now have what Sarah in the 13th episode of the Ink Jockey podcast series The End of the Line, directed by Mark Heywood, refers to as her ‘lady eggs’ frozen for perpetuity. More of […]

Rebel with a blind date

THE PLEA TO the universe to allow you to “fuck up” your own life, is a provocative and tearful one, in the words of ‘Claire’, played by Siobhan Athwal in the twelfth episode of the Ink Jockey podcast series The End of the Line, directed by Mark Heywood. […]

Death and the initiate

THE POWDER KEG of young men on the cusp of adulthood is the culturally messy and politically dangerous one that filmmaker John Trengove and his team grasped with both hands and many hearts in Inxeba (the Wound), which first saw light of day in 2017. It proved to […]

What your ‘plus one’ says to the world

WHEN YOU’RE DRAWN to a person by their idiosyncrasies and their charm, rather than by what it is their underpants hold, according to society, you’re indecisive. Bisexuality comes under the loop with an angry and articulate response of ‘Dawn’ played by April Kelley, in the eleventh episode of […]

Good luck and many babies!

PODCAST SERIES REVIEW: HIGH SCHOOL TEACHERS can touch one’s life quite deeply. They can inspire you and make you realise the wings you have. But they can also look at you as a 14-year-old and taint you with their own bitterness and unrealised dreams. They can break your […]