The Madonna of Excelsior stage production

Kobus Moolman and Dutch theatre director, Roel Twijnstra









I was commissioned by the Performing Arts Council of the Free State (PACOFS) to adapt the novel, The Madonna of Excelsior, for the stage. The novel is by the celebrated South African writer Zakes Mda, and is about the infamous cross-racial sex scandal that took place in the tiny Free State town of Excelsior in 1971. The production was directed by talented Dutch theatre director and designer Roel Twijnstra. The show ran to full houses at the PACOFS theatre in Bloemfontein in July this year, before transferring to the Windybrow Theatre in Johannesburg. The production will also be staged at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown in 2013.

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Franschhoek Literary Festival

View from the B&B window - Franschhoek

Wine, Words and Mountains:  The beautiful Franschhoek valley is the ideal setting for a weekend of lively conversation and debate with many of South Africa’s leading writers.

At the recent Franschhoek Literary Festival I was fortunate to participate in two exciting panel discussions.

In the first one, Can you Teach Writing, chaired by Leon de Kock, Finuala Dowling, Kei Miller and myself teased out the many preconceptions around the teaching of creative writing. Inspiration? Or perspiration? Talent or disciplined practice? Or both?

L to R - Melinda Ferguson, Kobus Moolman, Leslie Swartz and chairperson Fiona Snyckers

Then in the Challenging Lives panel with Melinda Ferguson (author of Smacked), Leslie Swartz (Able-Bodied) and chairperson Fiona Snyckers, we talked about writing about disabilities and challenges, and the complexities surrounding writing that deals with difference. 

I also gave a moody and moving reading of my poems from Light and After, accompanied by gifted Steinway Pianist, Christopher Duigan, in the atmospheric NG Church in the centre of town.

NG Church Franschhoek

 For more about the Festival visit:

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