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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.

But for the grace of God, this could be you

WHEN SOMEONE LOOKS okay, you can’t always tell that they’re not. This is the central premise to Australian playwright David Williamson’s recent play Odd Man Out, currently on the boards in Johannesburg. It’s a work which is not only brilliantly conceived of and written, but it is one […]

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Paean to Biko, man of the people

SOUTH AFRICAN ANTI-APARTHEID activist Stephen Bantu Biko (1946-1977) remains arguably one of the most urgent and compelling voices for South Africa’s contemporary youth. He was everything that a young intelligent man with moral fibre and passionate beliefs should be. And the horrible trajectory of his premature death at […]

Ode to the life of a barn owl

IN 1970, AN extraordinary poem by South African poet Douglas Livingstone saw light of day. Gentling a Wildcat is a profound contemplation of the meaning of life as observed through a feast, conducted with frenzy by insects on the body of an animal. It’s about death viewed through […]

Stolen beauty that gives back

MEDITATIVE ENERGIES CAN be found in the most unexpected of places and often one needs just to still one’s inner noises and there it is, before you. There’s just one day left of Tamlin Blake’s extraordinary current solo exhibition, but it’s certainly worth changing your plans for. A […]

Where music seeds get sown

CLASSICAL MUSIC IS not necessarily something that the average child imbibes with their mother’s milk. Serious composers of the ilk of Benjamin Britten, Camille Saint-Saëns and Sergei Prokofiev, amongst others, were proactive in their day, addressing this scenario, in ways that filtered boldness and magic, humour and fantasy […]

Ode to a broken swan

LIKE BEETHOVEN’S FIFTH Symphony or Van Gogh’s ear, Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake has become iconic in a very broad understanding of what western culture is. Go to anyone in the street and competently whistle the tune of the Song of the Cygnets and they will know what you’re on […]