Culture vulture

 

20 July 2009

I’ve been so fortunate to have met some of my readers. Last year, some of the grade eleven students of Jan van Riebeeck High put on a stage adaptaption of my first book, The Goblet Club, called Gif. I saw them again at the launch of my second novel.

These kids, Danika, Anushka, and Fanie, now about to finish Matric, invited me to come and see their new play, Die Diensmeisies, which they conceptualised, acted in and directed all by themselves.

I can tell you, it blew me away.

The play is about two chamber maids who have a twisted relationship with their employer. Each night the girls take turns to pretend to be her, trying on her clothes, her wigs, her perfume. The performance ends with the maid lashing out and striking against her would-be mistress. The elder of the two girls tells the other that they need to be rid of their madam for good, and convinces her to put sleeping pills in the madam’s tea. The next morning they arrive to find the tea undrunk and the bitter resentment they feel emerges in a ruthless fight between them. That night the play acting continues with the younger of the two pretending to be the mistress. With a cold smile that sent ripples through the entire audience, the older maid gives her the same poisoned cup of tea, and watches triumphantly as she drinks it.

I can’t wait to see these young talents develop into stars.

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