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.

Of mice and ants, and being in the world

THEATRE TEASER: THE ADVENTURES OF MANIE THE ANT. JOHAN ‘SWANNIE’ SWANEVELDER is an alchemist. He has the potent ability to change objects as idiosyncratic and evocative, but also as commonplace, as a pair of socks, into sensate beings that can tell beautiful stories of great wisdom, humour and […]

Things in madam’s fridge

RADIO DRAMA REVIEW: DIE LYK. WHAT DO YOU do when you kill your impossibly annoying husband in error? This is the quandary that besieges Trudie (Elzabe Zietsman) in this week’s Afrikaans-language radio drama, by Karin du Toit, which debuts tonight, 11 June, at 8pm on Radio Sonder Grense. […]

Predicaments of kingship

TEASER FOR A FILM: THE MADNESS OF GEORGE III. SOMETIMES A THEATRICAL production sails through your values like an absolute tornado. It tickles all your funny bones and gets the intellectual cogs in your head whirring. Mark Gatiss takes the lead of the 2018 Nottingham Theatre production of […]

RIP Ventura Rosenthal: Heavenly harpist

TRIBUTE TO VENTURA ROSENTHAL RESEARCHED BY MISHKA OLIVIER. NONA VENTURA ROSENTHAL, a brilliant musician and a true treasure to everyone who met her, gave a friendly and popular profile to the notoriously difficult-to-play harp. She succumbed to breast cancer, which she had battled since 2014, on 6 November […]

Ode to a city of kites and crows

FILM REVIEW: CORIOLANUS. THE UNCOMFORTABLE MYTH which sees a greatly loved hero get vilified and banished with the ebbs and flows of societal energies is one of the streams of narrative that infuses Shakespeare’s Coriolanus. But like his works of the ilk of King Lear, there is so […]

Song to Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

RADIO DRAMA REVIEW: AS ‘N KIND KOM KUIER. FILTERED THROUGH WITH botanical references and the best of African jazz, the trajectory of Zelda Bezuidenhout’s Afrikaans-language radio drama As ‘n Kind Kom Kuier, which debuts this evening on Radio Sonder Grense, is one that sings to the wisdom of […]

How to pinch the uncling knight

FILM REVIEW: MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR. HE’S FAT, HE’S lecherous and full of wind and his own sense of potency. This is Sir John Falstaff (Pearce Quigley), who takes centre stage in Shakespeare’s Merry Wives of Windsor, the Globe’s free youtube offering this fortnight. It’s a veritable soap […]

Honourable members, football hooligans

FILM REVIEW: THIS HOUSE. YOU DO NOT need to be an expert in the shenaginans of British political history to be swept away on the current of caustic cynicism and dead pan humour that sutures together this beautiful piece of theatre. James Graham’s contemporary work aligns Tory values […]

True selves, dervishes and calabashes

DANCE REVIEW: AMAWETHU. THE STRATA OF South Africa choreography run rich and deep and are about education and values as much they are about tradition and magnificence. We have in this country a plentiful culture of dance companies which have stretched their members to take authority on what […]