Mothers’ Grimm premieres at vNAF 2020

Mothers’ Grimm presented by Jade Bowers Design & Management in partnership with UJ Arts & Culture has been re-envisioned for the Curated Programme on the Virtual National Arts Festival 2020.

This enchanting new children’s tale from the acclaimed theatre team; director Jade Bowers and writer Ameera Patel. With the vNAF2020 establishing its platform as 11 days of curated online creativity that spans the South African and international arts scene, Mothers’ Grimm has moved from the stage to the screen. Bowers teams up with a stellar cast of Carla Classen, Cheraè Halley and Tshego Khutsoane with the musical genius Yogin Sullaphen and the videography of Jessica Denyschen to create this exciting theatrical series, which will broadcast during the festival.

Mothers’ Grimm is a coming of age play for children and pre-teens which tells the story of Goldi, an eleven old going through life changes. With the imminent arrival of a new sibling, Goldi begins to feel out of place and disregarded. Goldi uses her vivid imagination and the power of storytelling to process the changes she is going through.

Mothers’ Grimm weaves together well-known fairytales with pop-culture social media to create a modern-day family sitcom through the eyes of Goldi. The six-episode theatrical series commissioned for vNAF2020 is aimed at children between the ages of 8 and 12, however, this fantastic tale is suitable for all. Mothers’ Grimm Online serves as prequel to the live theatre experience, which young and old can enjoy at UJ’s Conwan Theatre in 2021.

Taking inspiration from a multitude of different fairy tales from around the world such as Russia’s Baba Yaga, 1001 Tales / Arabian Nights, and of course the beloved tales from the Brothers’ Grimm. Mothers’ Grimm explores a rich world of storytelling and creativity. What sets Mothers’ Grimm apart from these classic tales, however, is that it doesn’t aim to reveal a big life lesson at the end of the story, telling everyone how to live their lives. Instead, the play is about representation and talking about family situations that aren’t always ideal.

Carla Classen – known for her work in the Afrikaans films Stroomop and Brett Michael Innes’s Fiela se Kind, as well as her numerous theatre roles – plays the lead in Mothers’ Grimm as Goldi, a down in the dumps child who has a wild imagination. Joining her as the storyteller Sherezaad and the maternal Malefi – Goldi’s mothers – are seasoned theatre performers Cheraé Halley from Scorched and Tshego Khutsoane from No Easter Sunday for Queers.

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About Jade Bowers

Jade Bowers specialises in directing, designing and production management for the stage. Jade Bowers Design and Management has co-ordinated the SA Theatre Season 2011 and WALE 4.0. Jade Bowers has been recognised by The Presidency as one of South Africa’s Young Achievers; was named one of AfriPOP’s Top Five Female Theatre Makers in South Africa, and the 2014 Arts and Culture Trust ImpACT Award winner for Theatre. She has received the Naledi Award for Best Director, a Standard Bank Ovation Award for her production of Neil Coppen’s Tin Bucket Drum, a Silver Standard Bank Ovation Award for Rehane Abrahams’ What The Water Gave Me and Wajdi Mouawad’s Scorched received 7 Naledi award nominations, coming home with 3 in 2017. For more information find Jade Bowers Design and Management on Facebook, follow @jadeherself on Twitter and Instagram.

About UJ Arts & Culture

UJ Arts & Culture, a division of the Faculty of Art, Design & Architecture (FADA) produces and presents world-class student and professional arts programmes aligned to the UJ vision of an international university of choice, anchored in Africa, dynamically shaping the future. A robust range of arts platforms are offered on all four UJ campuses for students, staff, alumni and the general public to experience and engage with emerging and established Pan-African and international artists drawn from the full spectrum of the arts. In addition to UJ Arts & Culture, FADA offers programmes in eight creative disciplines in art, design and architecture, as well as being home to the NRF SARChI Chair in South African Art and Visual Culture, and the Visual Identities in Art & Design Research Centre. For more information, please visit