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Nadia Davids' Cissie Playscript Published by Junkets

Cissie GoolNadia DavidsAlert! The script for Nadia Davids’ play commemorating the life of Cape Town icon Cissie Gool, Cissie, has been published as part of the Junkets Publishers Playscript Series.

The play, starring Rehane Abrahams as Gool, is on at the Baxter Theatre in Cape Town until 26 July, where copies of the Junkets edition are on sale – in the theatre foyer, before and after performances – for just R30.

Cissie is as much about District Six as about anything biographical or political, says the playscript blurb – for Gool’s life was inextricably tied in with her community and her city. She was a Cape Town City Councillor for 25 years – the first black woman in the country to serve in local government – from 1938 until her death in 1963. Aspects of her life were profoundly transgressive; despite this, she was loved and valued, known as the “jewel of District Six”.

Junkets LogoCissie is No. 5 in the the Junkets series, which is a project of Robin Malan’s, whose latest book is Cheesecutters and Gymslips, out from Umuzi. The Junkets imprint has a very interesting – etymology? derivation? what’s the term for an imprint’s conceptual history? – to do with John Keats: click over to the Junkets blog to read more about it.

For those who can’t make it to see the play, Cissie is available at Clarke’s Bookshop in Cape Town and Thorold’s in Johannesburg. You can also order directly from Malan: write to

Watch out for two more Junkets playscripts to come out this year:

No. 6: Rajesh Gopie: Out of Bounds (before its back-by-popular-request season at the Theatre on the Square in Sandton, Johannesburg, in October-November 2008)

No. 7: Ashraf Johaardien’s stage adaptation of K Sello Duiker’s The Quiet Violence of Dreams after its successful run in Grahamstown ( “… a triumphal success … In its searching intensity and gentleness, this work attains a performance space that is holy.” – review in Cue)

The Junkets Playscript Series
No. 1 Robin Malan: The boy who walked into the world
No. 2 Karen Keynes: Everybody Else (is f*#king perfect)
No. 3 Juliet Jenkin: The Boy Who Fell from the Roof
No. 4 Omphile Molusi: Itsoseng and For the Right Reasons
No. 5 Nadia Davids: Cissie

Author photo courtesy UCT’s Monday Paper


Recent comments:

  • <a href="" rel="nofollow">Rustum Kozain</a>
    Rustum Kozain
    July 16th, 2008 @11:00 #

    I went to see "Cissie" last Friday and feel compelled to plug it. Although the play is about Cissie Gool, it is indeed, also, a play about District Six and, in my book, the play that District Six finally deserves.

    Like "At Her Feet", the play is multi-layered and never allows one perspective to dominate; but this doesn't mean it is nothing but solid. What impresses me is not the historical research done by the playwright in itself, but how that research allows the playwright to inhabit her subject. In a way, the playwright becomes Cissie, and this process is worked into the play: research (reading, interviewing people) is used as a framing device throughout the play. The latter (interviews), especially, are used as transitions between a number of strong dramatic sequences from Gool's life and present the audience with various characters, at different time periods, who reflect on Gool. But there is no interviewer, and so the audience is placed in that questing position.

    But I don't want to give away too much. Go and see it!


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