Press: Award-winning team present poetic exploration of history and memory with Red Aloes

August 8, 2017

An award winning team present the premiere of an exciting new production with the run of Red Aloes. Red Aloes is performed by the award winning actors, Richard September and Iman Isaacs. It melds poetic text and image-based language to explore a rarely documented time in South Africa’s history.  


Written and directed by Themba Stewart and devised in collaboration with the performers, Red Aloes will run at Magnet Theatre from the 4th - 12th of August at 8pm.


The play follows a young man who discovers a box containing an assortment of letters, police reports, statements and murder diaries that relate to his mother’s death in 1993. He digs through the paper to find evidence of a person he once knew. When a dormant memory surfaces, he is faced with the question of whether to continue, and potentially remember something buried deep, or to stop.


Once known, it is hard to forget.

Red Aloes is drawn from the writer’s life as a child, caught in the wake of political violence in the early 90’s. It traces a social amnesia connected to ‘those murky in-between times, in a forgotten part of the country’, where memories are buried in the shadows of Red Aloes. Does the absence of a memory mean we have overcome the trauma connected to it? Is it worth tarnishing our memories with facts that have long been forgotten? Should these memories be left untouched?


The stellar cast has been working together for seven years, forging a strong connection as performers and theatre makers. In Red Aloes, they bring together their talents to create a world that evokes the senses, to tell a compelling story.


The play Red Aloes has been brewing over the years and fed from contact with the many creative processes Stewart has been involved in. Finally, with generous support from the National Arts Council and dedicated performers, the show has found its space to be realised.


“Palimpsest. Thats what memory feels like sometimes. Erased and written over. Erasing pain to write an new story; but the indentations still remain.”


Written and directed by Themba Stewart (Sunflower Eyes; Imperfect Draft 1), devised and performed by Richard September (Rondomskrik; Voices made night; The Rabble) and Iman Isaacs (Fullstops on your face; Nat; The Rabble). Music created by composer and sound designer Jannous Aukema.  Set and lighting design created by Ryno Keet, Themba and Puleng Stewart; with creative input from Juanita Ferreira. Production managed by Ryno Keet.


The play will be performed at Magnet Theatre, Observatory (Cnr. Lower Main & St. Michael’s road) on the 4th - 12th of August, for a short run of six days - with no shows on the 6th - 8th (Sunday - Tuesday). Tickets cost R90 (Thurs – Sat), R70 (Wed), R60 Students and pensioners. Tickets can be booked at


Ample parking is available next to the Theatre.



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