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Mary Watson.

Mary Watson’s “Jungfrau,” winner of the 2006 Caine Prize, is being adapted for stage for South Africa’s National Arts Festival. Adapted by Ameera Patel, the production will be directed and designed by Jade Bowers, winner of the 2017 Naledi Award for Best Director and the 2016 Standard Bank Young Artist for Theatre, and presented in partnership with the German group Festival Theaterformen.

“Jungfrau,” about a girl who discovers secrets kept from her by her father, appears in Watson’s collection Moss (2004). The play will be “a meditation on families and the secrets they hide.”

Here is part of the announcement:

Based on the Caine prize-winning short story from Mary Watson’s collection Moss, this is a performance work about families and the secrets they hide. Set in Redhill, Cape Town, before the forced removals, we take a look behind ‘closed doors’ and uncover one family’s secrets. The characters strive to live by their own unique versions of morality but matters are complicated by their reliance and desperate need for each other. Evelyn, a young girl desperate for her mother’s attention and time, idolises her aunt and desperate tries to please her father, Stephen. When they try to comfort her, lines get crossed and emotions spill over.

The National Arts Festival is a major South African cultural event. The 11-day festival, held in the small university city of Grahamstown, will begin in June and end in July. In addition to drama, it will feature dance, comedy, opera, music, jazz, visual art exhibitions, film, lectures, craft fair, workshops, and a children’s arts festival.

Mary Watson’s third book, the Young Adult novel The Wren Hunt, will be out this year.

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About Otosirieze Obi-Young

View all posts by Otosirieze Obi-Young
Otosirieze Obi-Young is a writer, an academic, literary journalist, and Deputy Editor of Brittle Paper. His fiction has appeared in The Threepenny Review, Transition, and in an anthology of the Gerald Kraak Award for which he was shortlisted. His work has further been shortlisted for the Miles Morland Writing Scholarship in 2016 and a Pushcart Prize in 2015. He attended the 2018 Miles Morland Foundation Creative Writing Workshop. He is the curator of the ART NAIJA SERIES, a sequence of themed e-anthologies of writing and visual art exploring different aspects of Nigerianness. The first, ENTER NAIJA: THE BOOK OF PLACES (October, 2016), focuses on cities in Nigeria. The second, WORK NAIJA: THE BOOK OF VOCATIONS (June, 2017), focuses on professions in Nigeria. He studied History and Literature at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, is currently completing a postgraduate programme in African Studies, and teaches English at Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu. He has completed a collection of short stories, YOU SING OF A LONGING, and is working on a novel. He is represented by David Godwin Associates literary agency. When bored, the boy just Googles Rihanna.

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I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

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