Storyteller, theatre warrior, Helen Heldenmuth


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

By Suzanne Belling

Helen Heldenmuth

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BELOVED teacher with an astute eye and a big heart: the late Helen Heldenmuth. Photo supplied.

After fighting leukaemia for over 20 years, actress, TV producer/director, comedienne, children’s poet, drama coach, teacher and grandmother Helen Heldenmuth succumbed to the side-effects of treatment and the disease itself on August 5. She was 78.

There were so many facets to her that one could write her biography instead of a word-limited obituary. She had a lasting influence on the thousands of children – now adult – who passed through her hands at the various schools, from HA Jack to Red Hill and King David, where she taught English and Afrikaans.

She was once told by a stranger in a lift that she had a golden aura and would spend the rest of her life working with children. She did, but that is not all.

To her uncountable friends she gave of herself unstintingly and had the ability to keep them in stitches.

Helen wrote and produced children’s musicals and…

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