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BY Drama Seasons

The Production – RETURN OF THE MOON – A glimpse of Sara Baartman

The world premiere of the play ‘RETURN OF THE MOON – A glimpse of Sara Baartman’ written and directed by Robert Lourens will take place at The Barn Theatre, Port Elizabeth Opera House from 20 to 23 June 2018.

What if the world believed everyone was equal? What would happen if a European icon was paraded around Africa as Sara Baartman was paraded around Europe? What if Sara Baartman never travelled to Europe? What if we knew who Sara Baartman was, stripped of her iconic ‘Hottentot Venus’ image.

The play is about the prejudices of Europe juxtaposed against the good reports of Europeans visiting Southern Africa. This is seen through quotes and comments made by prominent European people of the age. This is then contrasted by an African view as seen through the speech given at the funeral of Sara Baartman. We follow Sara though her crossing the ocean and her display in London as The Hottentot Venus. We hear Sara’s voice as she speaks to the London legal fraternity – possibly the only time we have her recorded voice. We follow her on her journey on the fair circuit and finally her time in Paris. The play exposes truths and insights gained through extensive research. Interwoven are the stories of the Khoi-Khoi, the indigenous peoples and how they relate to the Euro-centric world view. This is not the story of the Hottentot Venus, but rather a small glimpse into who Sara was, what she went through and how she felt. It is an insight into the world she lived in from the limited information we have. The question still remains – Who was Sara Baartman?

A quote from the play:

The stroke of a pen, the mark of print, the authority of science, silenced Sara Baartman’s life story of travelling across South Africa, of loving, of giving birth, of suffering. It did not, could not, account for her journeys across the Atlantic, through much of England, the woman baptised in Manchester, the Sara working at Palais-royal, the story of the woman who braved a Europe of industry and revolution and who died alone at the centre of European pleasure and politics.

‘RETURN OF THE MOON – A glimpse of Sara Baartman’ is written and directed by Robert Lourens. Cast – Bennie Gerber, Kehly Windvogel, Marcia Ntoni, Marianah Lourens, Nina Fillis & Phillip Cowie.

 June 12, 2018
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