national Arts Festival Banner

Saturday, July 4, 2015


(Reviews from the artSMart team currently in Grahamstown at the 2015 National Arts Festival)

A performance that will touch the hearts of many. (Review by Khinali Bagwandeen)

A performance that will touch the hearts of many recently opened at the Victoria Theatre as a part of the main arena programme during this year’s National Arts Festival. I Have Life- Allison’s Journey, a stage adaptation of the well-known story of Allison Botha, a local from Port Elizabeth who was inhumanly raped and had to fight the chance of death.

The performance is essentially based on the bestselling novel that Botha published after overcoming the hardships she faced after her attack. Suanne Braun gives an outstanding performance playing the part of Alison. She maintained an emotional connection with the audience from start to end and managed to embody the character of a victim turning into an inspiration in an uplifting and convincing way.

Director Maralin Vanrenen created a sense of discomfort by taking the audience through a step-by-step journey including the thoughts and emotions gushing through Alison’s head. The themes of the play challenge the common misconceptions that society possesses about rape and taps into how ignorant the world can be whilst victims go through severe mental changes.

With some interjections of humour together with the intensity of certain scenes, I Have Life is a thought-provoking and riveting play. The inspiration of this story speaks a million words, and the determination of Alison carried through the character to transform from victim to victor is exceptional.

This play will assist in inspiring and creating a platform for many of its kind. As the purpose of Alison Botha was to try and encourage other women to take the good out of a bad situation, this performance will do the same.

I Have Life- Alison’s Journey has two more performances at the Victoria Theatre on July 4 at 14h00 and 18h00. - Khinali Bagwandeen

For more information on the National Arts Festival click on the banner advert at the top of this page or visit