Thursday, June 01, 2006


By Janet van Eeden
Directed by Ian Roberts
Designed by Peter Mitchell

The only person you can trust with a secret is a dead one.

Synopsis: Two women from the city break down in a small town where people are apparently naiíve. They stay the night with two brothers whose unhealthy relationship explodes during a drunken game of Truth and Consequences. The consequences revealed by the truth are more than anyone can handle: a body, a saw and bin bags on the pavement. The secrets of the past are beginning to smell. And the bin men are late... and the sun is getting hot... and the dogs are beginning to gather. It is only a matter of time…

Written in 1999, A Matter of Time was short-listed out of 1100 entries into the BBC World’s Write Around the World Radio Play Competition. It was then optioned as a film by two different film companies, and finally went into development with a UK producer. When the film script turned into something completely different, Van Eeden asked for the rights of A Matter of Time to revert to her. This stage play version is the first time the play will be produced.

The play is directed by Ian Roberts, one of South Africa’s best loved actors, who is also a writer and director. The set is designed by renowned director of the Hexagon Theatre, Peter Mitchell. Original music is composed by veteran Blues guitarist, Larry Amos. Original music also includes the work of Radio Kalahari Orkes, the renowned Joburg band which has been making a name for itself, fronted by Ian Roberts.

The large cast stars Thomie Holtzhausen, well-known as a professional actor in Durban, and whose one man show, Dawie’s Big Night In, was very successful at Grahamstown two years ago. He has just completed a run in KZN playing Gloucester in Garth Anderson’s highly praised production of King Lear. The cast also consists of Louise Buchler, last seen in Grahamstown in Van Eeden’s The Savage Sisters, and James Aitchison, who has appeared in numerous student productions at the festival. The cast also features Nathan Mitchell and newcomers Danté Kemp and Amandla Maphalala. Janet van Eeden plays a cameo role. Johann Hymann is the stage manager.

Janet van Eeden is a freelance journalist and script writer and occasional poet. She writes regular features for the Pietermaritzburg based The Witness and The Weekend Witness, although she continues to publish in most national print media, especially Screen Africa, as well as a few British magazines, including Scripwriter UK.
Van Eeden has written ten screenplays and one of them, No Going Back, is in development with a British production team. Her latest screenplay, White Lion, is currently being filmed in Gauteng. A rough cut of this film has just been to Cannes 2006 where it attracted much attention. She has written numerous stage plays, produced three and directed two for the Grahamstown Arts Festival with funding from the National Arts Council. Her third play in her Savage trilogy, The Savage Sisters, premiered in Grahamstown in June 2005. The contemporary South African murder mystery A Matter of Time premieres in Grahamstown 2006, again with funding from the National Arts Council.

Performances are at MASONIC ONE Thu 29 June 14:30; Fri 30 16:30; Sat 1 July 21:30; Sun 2 14:30; Mon 3 16:30; Wed 5 10:00; Thu 6 22:00; Fri 7 12:00; Sat 8 19:00.