Love and promises in a time of war


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 and was formerly the arts editor of the SA Jewish Report, a weekly newspaper with which I was associated for 16 years.
Robyn Sassen


IT IS THE 1960s, the time of the border war that saw the South African Police head to head with cadres of SWAPO, in what is today Namibia. Simon (Dawid Minnaar) and his wife Mia (Gretha Brazelle) are fugitives on the road to safer, less war-torn pastures in this gripping piece of Afrikaans-language radio theatre, which broadcasts on Radio Sonder Grense this Thursday evening.

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It’s a violent tale of apartheid heavies and a lack of compassion, where the terrain is rotten with thugs and suspicion. We don’t know what this couple are fleeing from, but we do understand the Acapulco in question is not a Mexican destination. Rather it is a place cast into a Beckettian trope. It’s a utopia which promises a normalcy that is missing in the desperation central to their lives right now.

The story is crafted around a haunting piece of guitar music – evocative in a sense of the beautiful cavatina that enfolds the violence in Michael Cimino’s 1978 film The Deer Hunter – and it…

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