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A mother of a comedy-drama

Sophie Joans and Anthea Thompson on stage together under the direction of Jemma Kahn … Wow! Dog Rose, Sophie Joans’ new play at the Baxter Studio, from May 23 to June 1 promises to be very juicy and super spicy.

Like every woman I know, Rose is overwhelmed, on the back foot, always trying to catch up, doing her best to make sense of it all … and then … she becomes a mother.

Nothing could have prepared her for the whirlwind of motherhood. Those 18 years have flashed by and now Nina is grown and Rose hasn’t worked any of it out yet. (Nor has Nina, or, for that matter, anyone in the audience.)

When a possible diagnosis of autism gives some clues to Rose’s anxieties and eccentricities, Nina hopes they have a chance to understand each other better at last.

This comedy drama about autism, neurodivergence and family promises much laughter, many gasps and some tears. We also expect a lot of murmurs from the audience “Exactly!”, “Amen!” and “Indeed!”

Dog Rose seeks to raise awareness about autism, which has historically been mis-diagnosed in women and girls. Developed in Artscape’s New Voices Programme 2022, the play debuted on the National Arts Festival’s 2023 Arena Programme.

A note from the archives about Jemma Kahn, who took We Didn’t Come to Hell for the Croissants to Riverside Studios in London this year:

Some thoughts from those who saw its debut: “Thank you for that beautiful show. So tenderly written and beautifully performed by both Sophie and Anthea … It was so fierce and heart-wrenching. What a great combo they make!” – Yvette Hardie, Theatre-maker and producer.

“There is a clever balance of mystery and understanding  throughout the play. The story combines the complexities of familial relationships, with love and compassion, deeply rooted in humour. Tears will build as you choke down a chuckle.” – Arno Cornelissen, Cue

“Hard relate from get go! The way you were able to capture the fragile dynamic of a mother-daughter relationship so perfectly! And without villainising a side. Felt everything.” – Kim Buckle, Writer & Director

It takes more than three feisty women to stage a show: Ryan Stopforth, Composer; Cameron Moodie, Set Designer; Alan Goldberg, Lighting Designer; Dara Beth, Production Manager, Producer & Writing Mentor. Produced by Spark in the Dark in association with National Arts Festival

It is on for a short run so round up your mothers, daughters, sisters and aunties. Bring the boys, too, they probably need to see it. Tickets at Pick n Pay Stores or Webtickets.

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