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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.

All is garish in love and war

IN 1984, DAVID Jones directed a delicate little film called 84 Charing Cross Road. It starred Anne Bancroft opposite Anthony Hopkins. It was a low key work which got critical acknowledgement but not a great deal of audience love, simply because the closure it embraces is death, rather than […]

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Weighing, wanting and kneading

A YOUNG SOUTH African man will reveal his soul at the National Gallery of Namibia, on August 5. He will be armed with a heavy industrial chain, a broken telephone, an old-fashioned scale, and woman’s stocking, amongst other things. He will also be armed with the fire of self-belief. […]

A broken train passed this way

AS SHE APPEARS on stage brokenly and almost distractedly singing words and phrases from the Christian hymn which begins “Immortal, Invisible, God only wise…”  Jenna Dunster in the role of Hazel Smith hauntingly sets the scene. The set of Immortal is sparse, but for some large stones and a […]

Broken Bird, Fly Free

A DANCER WHO was capable of provoking guttural fear in his audience and critics because of the unstinting quantity and quality of beauty, bravery and intensity he was able to give his performances, South African choreographer and performance artist Elu, passed away suddenly after a six-week illness, on July 17. […]

Iron fists in knitted red gloves

FORTY YEARS AGO the Market Theatre was established in Johannesburg. It was the same year as the Soweto Uprising. South Africa was suppurating in a mire of apartheid, to the backdrop of sanctions, disinvestment and states of emergency. Terrible people were doing terrible things. This period was the incubator […]

Of goosebumps and brokenness

THERE’S A CLINICALITY to this intense body of photographic work that repels your inner being and makes you want to turn away and then run away really quickly before you encounter the works in detail. But that same inner being of yours knows that if you do this, you […]