Open uri20170929 10 1tsvr5f?format=auto&onerror=redirect&width=300

Tracey Saunders

Freelance journalist and writer

Location icon South Africa

I love words on stages and pages and the places in between. I am passionate about the performing arts, specifically theatre.
I am a social and cultural activist and am particularly interested in the relationship between the arts and activism.


Online at Weekend Special

Zolani Centre: Dance and drama | WeekendSpecial

Across the way from the bustling taxi and bus station in Nyanga East is a multi-purpose centre, one of many scattered around Cape Town. In the weeks ahead the jubilant shouts from the basketball court and the strained grunts from weightlifters in the gym will be accompanied by the sounds of actors warming up and the applause of audiences.

Review: 'Marat/Sade' at the Baxter | WeekendSpecial

MARAT/SADE. Written by Peter Weiss. Directed by Jaco Bouwer. With Mncedisi Shabangu, Charlton George, Tinarie van Wyk Loots, Bongile Mantsai, Zoleka Helesi, Richard September, Andrew Laubscher, Marty Kintu, Tankiso Mamabolo, Christelle Dreyer, Llandi Beeslaar, Sjaka Septembir, Siphenathi Mayekiso, Faith Kinniar, Grant van Ster and Luvuyo Mabuto. Designed by Jaco Bouwer.

Review: 'Johnny Boskak' sublime | WeekendSpecial

JOHNNY BOSKAK IS FEELING FUNNY. Written by Greig Coetzee. Co-Directed by Roslyn Wood-Morris and Craig Morris. With Craig Morris. Original Music by Syd Kitchen. TRACEY SAUNDERS reviews At the end of a war there are no winners, just degrees of losers, and Johnny Boskak is a high stakes loser.

Print Publications

Cape Times
Tired of the Headlines

THESE are the headlines we are confronted with on a daily basis – “Girl,8, in second rape attack; Icon’s grandson in court for rape; Cop shoots girlfriend then himself; Girlfriend sjambokked to death by ANCYL official.” Abuse, rape and murder have become staple items in the news coverage in South Africa. We don't want to read them. They evoke rage, sadness and a deep sense of despair. Penny Youngleson teaches at a school where the headlines are not only in the newspaper. Children in her...

Cape Times
Simon’s work still disturbingly relevant

IT would be simplistic to relegate this production of Born in the RSA to sheer nostalgia. It is equally unnecessary to force it to acquire a state of relevance. It is a tragedy of our time that so much of the play is disturbingly relevant without the need for any adaptation. Many of the references made to poverty, police brutality and state coercion are sadly still a feature in the current South African landscape. The simple and highly effective stage design is comprised of screens and...

Cape Times
Cocooned layers of meaning

THERE are theatre productions that you watch and hear and then there are those that you inhabit with all your senses. Samsa–masjien is an experience of the latter. More than a visual and aural experience it resonates on a sensory level. Described as a piece that is in dialogue with, rather than an adaptation of, Kafka’s Metamorphosis, the opening scene mirrors that of the first line of the novel: “When Gregor Samsa woke up one morning from unsettling dreams, he found himself changed in his...

Cape Times
Young creators are waiting in the wings

Five young women are about to make waves in Cape Town Ameera Conrad,Thando Mangcu and Nwabisa Plaatjie, Katya Mendelson and Kei-Ella Loewe are set to unleash their creative talent on stages near you. "The extracts ran the gamut from comedy to high political drama showcasing the insight and ingenuity of the new generation of theatre-makers. Don't be surprised when you see these name up in lights soon. They have a clear understanding of who they are and what they want and the value of...

Cape Times
Laughs on lookout hill

THE international rise of local comedian Trevor Noah has thrown the spotlight on South African comic talent, of which there is an abundance. Many comedians are making the annual pilgrimage to the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, but audiences staying in Cape Town need not fear. An evening of comedy to be hosted in Khayelitsha is set to warm up local audiences this Saturday. Siya Seya is one of the comics who will be joining the line up which includes comedians who have appeared on...

Cape Times
Klein Karoo Oscar highlights

THE final order of business from the recent ABSA KKNK was the announcement on Monday of the nominations for the Kanna prizes, also known as the Klein Karoo Oscars. The panel of judges watched more than 30 productions in the period and whittling down a shortlist was no mean feat. The festival is one of the highlights of the cultural calendar with many theatre productions making their successful debuts. The strength of the theatre was phenomenal, with a programme featuring new work and...

Cape Times
Among the many events to commemorate National Women's Day was a day of entertainment directed and...

AMONG the many events to commemorate National Women’s Day was a day of entertainment directed and performed mostly by women. While the event had been billed as an exclusively female event there were a few anomalies, but as the male poets and singing duo dedicated their performances to women they were given a warm reception and it appeared as if their gender was not held against them. The event was attended by approximately 200 people, and there was standing room only in the Makukhanye Art...

Cape Times
Phenomenal cast makes ‘Orpheus’ memorable

WHILE a second serving is usually indicative of an appreciation of the initial serving this version of Orpheus in Africa exceeds the initial version in depth and delivery and is an example of the benefit of allowing any work a decent period for incubation and revision. The initial production was good, but this one is splendid. In February of this year David Kramer presented the premier of his latest musical, Orpheus in Africa. The astonishing story of Orpheus McAdoo and his troupe of...

Cape Times
Explosive youthful energy lives on

THE winter of 1976 was bitterly cold in Johannesburg. In addition to the usual smoke of anthracite fires and smouldering braziers the sky hung heavy with tear gas. This is the Soweto that Stopford and her cast create with an aching authenticity on the stage. In the week in which we commemorated the protests of June 16, 1976 the production carried even more weight. Black Dog/Inj’emnyama was originally devised by Barney Simon and a cast that included James Mthoba, Gcina Mhlope, Kurt Egelhof...

Cape Times
Working in a lion’s den – entrenched misogyny

In a world where we are faced with countless tales of tragedy and abuse, Dannelene’s stands out for the strength of her faith and courage in the face of adversity and fear. Woman Alone relates the story of Dannelene Noach, a woman born in Wupperthal, who like many medical professionals, heads to the Middle East. She was appointed as a clinical co-ordinator for a hospital consortium in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia where she uncovered extensive corruption. What followed is the stuff of nightmares...

Iconic addition to theatre canon | IOL

THE INCONVENIENCE OF WINGS. Written and directed by Lara Foot, with Jennifer Steyn, Andrew Buckland and Mncedisi Shabangu. Set design by Patrick Curtis. Lighting Mannie Manim. Sound by Philip Miller. Choreography by Grant van Ster. At The Baxter Theatre until August 13.

Facebook icon Twitter icon