Theatre Productions


Womb of Fire (2017 - 2019)

Conceptualised by Rehane Abrahams and Sara Matchett

Written & Performed by Rehane Abrahams

Directed by Sara Matchett

Performed at:  

National Arts Festival (Main Programme), Makhanda, PACE Exchange, Bloemfontein, Institute for Creative Arts’ Third Space Symposium (UCT Hiddingh Campus), International Theatre Festival of Kerala (ITFOK), Trissur School of Drama in Kerala, India, Woordfees, Stellenbosch

The Baxter Theatre, Cape Town, South African Women’s Arts Festival (Playhouse, Durban), Afrovibes Festival (Amsterdam)

“Unutterably beautiful, inexorably painful, it’s a production that leaves one floundering for breath after its startling conclusion” – Weekend Special – 20 April 2018

The play intricately weaves together the lives and journeys of three dynamic and complex women in history and Hindu mythology. It takes from the ancient Sanskrit epic, the Mahabharata, as well as the little-known struggles of two women from the founding years of the Cape Colony in 17th century South Africa. Abrahams performs all three.

Womb of Fire won three awards at the 2018 Woordtrofees in the categories of Best Play, Best Director and Best Performer. Additionally, in 2019 it won Fleur du Cap awards for Best Performer in the category for Best Performance in a Review, Cabaret or One Person Show, and Best Sound Design, Original Music Composition or Original Score. 

Brandbaar (2020 - 2021)

The Afrikaans version of Womb of Fire

Translated by Jason Jacobs and Rehane Abrahams

Directed by Sara Matchett

Performed at Toyota Woordfees 2020, Suidoorsterfees 2021 and KKNK Online Festival 2021 (

Walk (2014 - 2019)

Curated by Sara Matchett, Genna Gardini and Koleka Putuma   

Performed and conceptualised by Koleka Putuma, Genna Gardini, Siphumeze Khundayi, Rosa Postlethwaite, Sara Matchett, Rehane Abrahams, Stembiso Sibanda, Lukhanyiso Skosana, Nolufefe Nthutnshe, jackï job, and Vathiswa Nodlaliya

Performed at:

UCT Hiddingh Campus Women’s Playwrighting Festival (Hiddingh Hall)

Drama for Life Sex Actually Festival (Wits University, Johannesburg)

Institute for Creative Arts Live Art Festival (Cape Town City Hall)

National Arts Festival (Main Programme), Botanical Gardens, Makhanda

International Theatre Festival of Kerala (ITFOK)

“This is a stark, deeply moving and absolutely vital addition to the discourse about the levels of sexual violence in this country and others” – Cape Times – 23 September 2014

Walk, a performance piece made by a group of South African artists in response to Maya Krishna Rao's The Walk. Rao created 'Walk' as a response to the gang-rape and murder of Jyoti Pandey. We decided, with Rao's permission, to create Walk as a response to the gang-rape and murder of Anene Booysen. The company conceptualised a performed response to gender violence in South Africa. What emerged was a series of performed installations that involved the audience walking. The performed responses combined live and recorded performance and sound.



Written and performed by Siphumeze Khundayi
Directed by Sara Matchett

Performed at Artscape Women’s Festival 

Ngangelizwe is a one woman show about the construction of a woman’s identity, taking into account issues of culture, sexuality, and sexual orientation. Traditional culture often plays a huge role in the construction of identity and it can often prove complicated to separate this aspect from the rest of your life, and it becomes tricky when you explore it in relation to sexual orientation. This piece uses Xhosa storytelling tools, projected media, movement, and song to tell a Xhosa intsomi about a girl called Ngangelizwe who is lives with her Grandmother, Grandfather, and their daughter. Set in rural Eastern Cape, the story explores Ngangelizwe’s experiences of love,  betrayal and sexual abuse and the importance of marriage amongst abaXhosa.


Written and performed by Sara Matchett
Directed by Namatshego Khutsoane

Performed at Freedom and Focus Conference, Vancouver, Canada

This 20-minute piece is the beginning of an exploration into breath as catalyst for generating material for the making of autobiographical performance. The piece has its origins in the solo performance Sara performed for her Fitzmaurice Voicework® certification exam in January 2012. She returned to Cape Town in February that year and began working with a friend/shaman/theatre-maker, Sue Kiel, on developing the piece. This process culminated in a script, which Sara reworked into the 20 min adaptation.


Written and performed by Mbali Kgosidintsi
Workshopped by Mbali Kgosidintsi and Sara Matchett
Directed by Sara Matchett

Nominated for a National Arts Festival Silver Ovation Award 

Performed at: The Lab, Market Theatre, National Arts Festival, Makhanda, The Wits Nunnery for the 969 Festival, Out the Box Festival, Cape Town, The State Theatre, Pretoria

Tseleng: The Baggage of Bags is inspired by Mbali’s personal narrative. She grew up traveling from city to city and as a young adult she travelled the world. To her, home has transcended into a concept and not a physical place. The memories of her childhood are filled with images of packing and unpacking bags. This memory inspired the making of this play. The metaphor of bags containing lived experience was the starting point. Stories contained in bags of all shapes, styles and sizes soon began to write themselves. The production is interwoven by a mythical narrative that echoes the book of stories, which Mbali’s mother passed down to her. These stories keep her grounded and remind her that no matter how far she goes, home seems to get closer. Tseleng: The Baggage of Bags is about journeying to re-discover and re-member the magic of myths that shape us.

WASHA MOLLO (2009 – 2010)

Conceptualised and created by Makgati Mokwena, Sara Matchett, Mary Mazole and Kiswigu Mpyanga

Myth written by Makgati Mokwena

Performed by Makgati Mokwena, Mary Mazole and Kiswigu Mpyanga 

Directed by Sara Matchett

Performed at: The Wits Nunnery, Bagamoyo Arts Festival, Tanzania, The Lab, Market Theatre, National Arts Festival,  Makhanda, Out the Box Festival, Cape Town

“The three women performers are beautiful… There is an earthy sense of the feminine in this piece…. Washa Mollo is a compelling and significant piece of work”. – Cue - 29 June 2010

Washa Mollo was a collaboration between four Southern African women between the ages of 38 and 50, namely Makgati Mokwena (South Africa), Mary Manzole (Zambia), Kiswigu Mpyanga (Tanzania), and Sara Matchett (South Africa). Washa Mollo is a combination of seTswana and kiSwahili. Washa in kiSwahili means to iginite and Mollo in seTswana means Fire. The production made extensive use of storytelling and physical theatre as it explored the personal narratives of the three performers in relation to the collective narratives of loss and grief that they had all experienced. Their various journeys towards healing were traced in parallel to a myth which took the form of an African Heroine’s journey. The myth was inspired by the seTswana song Senanapo as well the yogic chakra system. In essence, the protagonist of the myth took an inward journey through the seven chakras, towards healing.


Conceptualised and Created by the Company

Performed by: Jill Levenberg, Phakama Pyoos, Julie Schamp, Ivy Johnson, Sary Vlotman, Patience Ngqeyi, and Veronica Sinqgayi

Directed by Sara Matchett

Performed in Darling

The creation process took place over a period of six weeks and involved workshops with women from the different communities of Darling (a small town on the West Coast of the Western Cape). The purpose of the workshops was to access the stories that are particular to the area and in particular to the women’s dreams for Darling, before engaging in the actual creation of the production. The women from Darling performed in the final production alongside two professional Mothertongue performers. The whole company (made up of professional and non-professional actors) was engaged in the design and making of design materials. Working in a small town engaged the community of that town as much as possible in the creation and watching of the performance. It also served as a way of exposing the community to the potential that theatre holds in expressing and hopefully starting to proactively deal with social issues within the community.


Conceptualised and Created by the Company

Performed by:  Jill Levenberg, Mbali Kgosidintsi, Alex Halligey, Chuma Sopotela. Ivy Johnson, Sary Vlotman, Patience Ngqeyi, Anna Williams, Sylvia Jack, Cathy Adams, Veronica Sinqgayi, Diane October, and Jasmine Ezziden

Installation Art by Kali van der Merwe

Directed by Sara Matchett

Performed at: The Voorkamer Festival, Darling

Breathing Space focused on women in Darling’s (a small town on the West Coast of the Western Cape) stories in domestic spaces and involved four professional performers working alongside women from different communities in Darling. Three houses were used as sites of performance through which the audience journeyed. What made Breathing Space uniquely Darling is that it engaged ten women from Darling over a period of six weeks in the creation process and performances. The production realised the potential that theatre holds for initiating conversations across fixed geographical boundaries. In a town that is racially divided by a railway line and a solid tarred road, it was Mothertongue’s intention to use a house in each of the areas, thus initiating conversations through the arts between different communities.


Directed by Sara Matchett
Performed by Awino Okech and Faniswa Yisa
Created by Faith Ndukwana, Chuma Sopotela and Sara Matchett

Performed at: Playroom, Hiddingh Campus, Arena Theatre, Artscape

Crossings traced a refugee woman’s journey to Cape Town. The play revealed the harsh realities faced by the many women who attempt this journey. In so doing it paid respect to and honoured the voices of these women who, despite extremely taxing circumstances, continue with incredible resilience.


Conceptualised by Sara Matchett, Awino Okech, Faniswa Yisa, Warona Seane, and Riana Alfreds

Performed by Awino Okech, Faniswa Yisa, Warona Seane, Riana Alfreds, and Asanda Phewa

Poetry by Malika Ndlovu

Installation Art by Kali van der Merwe

Directed by Sara Matchett

Performed at: National Arts Festival, Makhanda (Main Festival), The Intimate Theatre, Hiddingh Campus

A remarkable visionary theatrical treasure" - Argus Tonight, July 2004

The production offered an integration of theatre, visual art and literature in the form of fresh, on-the-spot performances, portraits and installations to probe democracy through the eyes of taxi drivers and commuters in South Africa. It reflected on ten years of democracy: where this had brought us, and the road yet travelled. Special focus was given to changes in women's social and sexual rights and whether women were benefiting from these changes. As part of the creation process, workshops were held with a cross-section of women in the Western Cape. These workshops explored individual stories related to democratisation. The performance toook place on minibus taxis. In this way, the vehicles provided a container for the stories. A gallery space also formed part of the performance and housed interactive art installations with which the audience engaged after their taxi journey. Performers interacted with the installations. Given that the stories revolved around women’s journeys, literally and figuratively, we decided to create a production that would involve the audience travelling on minibus taxis.


Conceptualised, created and performed by Andrea Dondolo, Faniswa Yisa and Sara Matchett, in collaboration with poet, Shelley Barry

Directed by Caroline Calburn

Performed at The Intimate Theatre, Hiddingh Campus

“Indawo Yamaphupha” makes for engaging theatre... if you're interested in new languages of theatre, this one's for you" - Mail and Guardian, May 2003

Three people journey to a Space-Space that allows them to explore and demystify their dreams- a Space that opens up possibilities for re-mythologising their personal histories. These stories were been inspired by the performers' personal experiences and dreams, as well as by the people they conducted workshops with over a period of four weeks. Indawo Yamaphupha - The Space of Dreams endeavoured to re-ignite the importance of dreaming as a valuable tool for transformation and to realise that all human beings have their signatures stamped in the stories they tell themselves in dreams. The play combined techniques such as physical theatre, storytelling, ritual and sound to tap into the body’s own wisdom and wellspring of personal dreams and universal archetypes

BEADING MY SOUL (2001 - 2004)

Conceived by Andrea Dondolo and workshopped by Andrea Dondolo, Faniswa Yisa and Sara Matchett

Performed by Andrea Dondolo and Faniswa Yisa
Directed by Sara Matchett 

Performed at: National Arts Festival, Makhanda (Main Festival), The State Theatre, Pretoria, The Market Theatre, Johannesburg, The Macufe Festival, Bloemfontein, Golden Arrow Studio, Baxter Theatre, Calabash Festival, Mmabato, Theatre Spiral, Geneva, Switzerland, Sharp Sharp Festival, Bern, Switzerland

“Cathartic transformation for your soul” - Cape Times, November 2001

A traditional South African myth provided a container for contemporary representations of women in Africa. From inside an elephant’s stomach came stories carefully beaded together to restore the soul. Exploring the role that beading and beadwork plays in the lives of women in South Africa, Beading My Soul refreshed storytelling traditions by weaving stories, beadlike, around a central narrative thread of women’s hopes, anticipations and painful experiences. By communicating their stories, they recovered the mystery of transition, the secrets of nurturing, the power to create, the strength to transform and the wisdom to heal.


Conceptualised and created by Andrea Dondolo, Julia Rosina Theron, Faniswa Yisa, Warona Seane, Sara Matchett and Rehane Abrahams

Performed by Andrea Dondolo, Julia Rosina Theron, Faniswa Yisa, Warona Seane, and Rehane Abrahams

Directed by Sara Matchett

Performed at the World Courts of Women Against War for Peace, OR Tambo Hall, Khayelitsha

This production was told in traditional Xhosa Intsomi (storytelling) style using Tswana Shamanic drum rhythms, voice and song to explore the healing powers of the elements (Air, Water, Fire and Earth). The piece was created to open the World Courts of Women Against War for Peace that took place in Cape Town in March 2001. The Courts of Women Against War for Peace was an International gathering of 4,500 women from the Global South who spoke testimonies on how they had survived war and torture. Four performers were positioned on 6ft ladders around the audience (each one representing a different direction and Element, i.e. North (Earth), South (Fire), East (Air) and West (Water). The performers wore huge animal head-dresses and long skirts to cover the length of the ladders. The story took the form of a gathering of the animals who had come to seek advice from Unkulunkulu The Sovereign Spirit. The animals were not happy with the way in which women were being treated in our world. Ukunlunkulu advised these animals, the gatekeepers of the four directions, to draw on the qualities and energies of the elements and directions for assistance and healing.


Written and performed by Rehane Abrahams

Sound Designed by Julia Rosina Theron

Directed by Sara Matchett

Performed at: Arena Theatre, Artscape, The Lab, Market Theatre , Golden Arrow Studio, Baxter Theatre, The Sufi Temple

"What the Water Gave Me circles you delicately to a point of clarity and release and cleansing" - Cape Times July 2001

The play was an elemental exploration, which dug up gestures, and stories that have been buried in the darkness of Cape Town's history. Use was made of Storytelling, Indian Classical dance and Physical Theatre as the action moved in all directions and was simultaneously interwoven. What the Water Gave Me inspired the formalisation of The Mothertongue Project as a Non-Profit organisation.