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.

Paean to excellence onstage: RIP Dawn Lindberg

A THEATRE OPENING event in Johannesburg never felt complete before the arrival of Des and Dawn Lindberg, arguably one of South African theatre’s First Couples. When they entered the auditorium to take their places in a production’s audience, it felt as though a precious parental blessing had been […]

The cross Beatrice carries

WHAT DO YOU tell the mother of a special needs child who has to face a medical challenge way beyond her means, emotionally or otherwise? Die Masjientjie by Joe Kleinhans is a subtle tale of hypocrisy and heartbreak and offers caveats that tease open some really complex moral […]

Lessons in Being There: RIP Shirley Sacks

“BE READY FOR anything. Expect nothing!” was one of the unforgettable pearls offered by thespian Shirley Sacks to generations of performance students over a 33-year teaching career at the Tshwane University of Technology in Pretoria. Teaching in the creative arts is unquestionably a vocational blessing of the highest […]

Things that go bump in the night

IN AN ERA rotten with cynicism and broken dreams, the pristine magic of true supernatural horror almost feels anachronistic, and it takes a strong directorial wisdom to be able to re-establish a sense of the scary without slipping into spoof. This is what you can expect in the […]

My ticket out of here

WHAT DO YOU do when you are itchy for adventure and the boring farm in which you have been raised is simply that: boring, in its politics, its values, its chances for love and its ordinariness? If you’re Gisela (Christine Voorendyk), you simply look out the window. This […]

Mantoa: Forgotten by Death

AS THIS FILM begins to unfurl, there are moments, from a cinematographic perspective that will leave you with your mouth hanging open. Devastatingly beautiful washes of colour and light conveying men on horses and a community broken by discontent permeate this work like swathes of poetry. This film, […]

A rose by any other name

THE UNQUESTIONABLY JOY that mixes a Tennessee Williams classic with a touch of Italian local colour and immerses it into Afrikaans is the complex deliciousness that you can anticipate in this week’s radio drama on Radio Sonder Grense. Drawing from the radio station’s archives and broadcasting at 8pm […]

The secret life of green tea

A FRISSON OF sacredness mixed with a patent sense of physical uncertainty accompanies you as you enter the hallowed space which contains the result of three years of fine art research by Leora Farber. Her installation, Intimate Presences, Affective Absences (or, the snake within) is on show in […]