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Kobus Moolman

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

Stone Angel

A notice on my play Stone Angel that recently appeared in the press. Stone Angel deals topically with issues of nationalism and cultural identity. The play examines the ways in which cultural groups use history in order to justify their sense of identity.

It focuses on the mythology that Afrikaner culture has built up around several of its key historical moments (the so-called Great Trek and the Anglo-Boer War of 1899-1902), and how these events are used to create a particular kind of national identity: one that suppresses certain activities or identities and highlights others.

A key point in this argument of the play is that while it uses Afrikanerdom as its subject, it is by no means exclusive. Rather, it is hoped that the play raises these issues in order to alert all South Africans to the various ways in which all cultures are in fact practicing this.

On a personal level, the play is also my attempt to confront and understand my ‘shared’ cultural upbringing: the consequences of having an Afrikaans father and an English mother, and the complex web that has drawn these two cultures together historically.

Here’s the notice:

KOBUS Moolman’s award-winning play Stone Angel will have a short season in Durban from September 23 to October 5 at the Square Space Theatre on the University of KwaZulu-Natal campus.

The play is presented by Diplomatic Corpse Productions and was joint winner of the 2007 NLDTF/Pansa Festival of Contemporary New Writing. This is the second time Moolman has won the award, having received the Jury Prize for Full Circle in 2004.

Stone Angel is a lyrical and moody two-hander, which is part historical drama and part ghost story. It is acted by Janna Ramos-Violante and Josette Eales, and directed by Clare Mortimer. Ramos-Violante plays Poppie, a damaged young woman who is a car guard at a Boer War cemetery. She is fascinated by a stone angel that stands over the grave of a Boer woman, who, as a ghost, visits Poppie and tells her the story of her life in the war, and her death.

 
 

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