The magic flickers in ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’


In the documentary J K Rowling: A Year in the Life, the author of the wildly popular Harry Potter series says something becomes true for her only once she writes it down. Upon reflection, I’ve found that this was also true for me: I always avoided fan-fiction stories based on the second generation of characters because there was no canon that recorded their dimensions from which my imagination could proceed; it felt fraudulent from the first, a misgiving that entirely missed the irony that I write stories based in a universe created by another writer. Continue reading


A Student of the Arts Is Evolved, Not Born

dikgang 2 (from left_ first-year student Wilf Mahne, third-year student FP Engelbrecht, honours student Carla Taute)

If you are a drama student at the University of Pretoria, you must crawl before you can crouch. And you must crouch before you can walk.

The drama department has devised a graduated system of roles for its students. First-year students work behind the scenes as part of a technical crew managing the audio and lights. Second- and third-year students can audition for parts in shows at the Krêkvars Student Arts Festival. And honours students who take a module in directing sit in the proverbial director’s chair. “Everything links.” Continue reading

Krêkvars Puts More Bums on Seats


Students put up show posters at the Masker Theatre at the University of Pretoria. (Supplied)

The Krêkvars Student Arts Festival is growing every year. In its humble beginnings there were a mere dozen shows. There are 52 shows this year each playing three times, putting the total figure at 156 productions on show at the festival. Continue reading

Krêkvars: Lights, iPhone, action!

Huis Ma(n)delein2
Poster for Huis Ma(n)delein, a short film shot by film students on smartphones

The day on which three film students had to pitch a film to an illustrious panel including Malinda Nel of 7de Laan actor/director Kaz McFadden, they had nothing to put forward.

But Zoë Ras, Lara Lourens and Tharina Viljoen had a brainwave. Continue reading

‘Side Effects’ (film review)


Tentatively put, a psychological thriller with director Steven Soderbergh’s signature plot twists, Side Effects seems to switches genres as often as Soderbergh pulls in tight into Jude Law, who plays Emily’s (Rooney Mara) psychiatrist. Little more than mid-way through, the film switches protagonists as the ugly head of the—if you will—pharmaceutical-industrial complex is reared and examined. The film turns from an intimate, heartstring-pulling drama about depression to a story of a doctor who decided to stray a little and become ambitious at the wrong time – which is to say, at the wrong patient. Continue reading