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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, journalist, & Deputy Editor of Brittle Paper. The recipient of the inaugural The Future Awards Prize for Literature in 2019, he sits on the judging panels of The Miles Morland Writing Scholarships and of The Gerald Kraak Prize. He is Nonfiction Editor at 14, Nigeria’s first queer art collective, which has published volumes including We Are Flowers (2017) and The Inward Gaze (2018). He is Curator at The Art Naija Series, a sequence of e-anthologies of writing and visual art focusing on different aspects of Nigerianness, including Enter Naija: The Book of Places (2016), which explores cities, and Work Naija: The Book of Vocations (2017), which explores professions. His work in queer equality advocacy in literature has been profiled in Literary Hub. His fiction has appeared in The Threepenny Review and Transition. He has completed a collection of short stories, You Sing of a Longing, is working on a novel, and is represented by David Godwin Associates literary agency. He has an M.A. in African Studies and a combined honours B.A. in History & International Studies/English & Literary Studies, both from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He taught English in a private Nigerian university. Find him at otosirieze.com, where he accepts writing and editing offers, or on Instagram or Twitter: @otosirieze. When bored, he Googles Rihanna.

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