The Marico? "...There is no other place I know, that is so heavy with atmosphere, so strangely and darkly impregnated with the stuff of life that bears the authentic stamp of South Africa"          Herman Charles Bosman

A great town is the Groot Marico... no, not in size but in Soul (with a capital S) You'll find it -both town and soul - depicted as a little dot on the map - in the north western province of South Africa.                                                                                  In fact the town is anything but groot! Rather it is a tiny town named after the Groot-Marico river, one of the few perennial rivers in the area. 

There is an annual festival, dedicated to Herman Charles Bosman, which takes place on the 3rd weekend of October. For a full weekend you will find yourself swept up in stories, well fed, meeting incredible bearded philosophers, drinking thick moer koffie made on open fires & downing Mampoer that would kick start a jumbo....  It has been a privilege to be part of this madness with my plays.

For more on this extraordinary, dusty, hospitable and timeless South African dorp, go to:  Bosman's books are also available for sale on this site.   

Above:  Egbert Van Bart is a philosopher, gentleman, extremely good moer koffie maker and part of the furniture in the Marico... he laughs softly and his blue eyes twinkle as his picture is taken - taking him by surprise... and it's really not so much what he says as what he doesn't... wise in ways that confound and delight me.

 Above: Koos Olivier... is a retired vet now living in the Marico who knows an awful lot about indigenous trees...  if you're lucky he'll be heading off on an early morning trail where he will share his incredible wit and knowledge with those who care to tag along.

Hand hewn grave sites... have untold stories all of their own.

 Above: Lorna and I chatting to Koos Olivier in front of an exact replica of the old classroom where Bosman used to teach. It is called 'a living museum' in the Groot Marico. A wonderful bronze bust of Bosman stands proudly inside - made by well known sculptor and now resident of the Marico, the infamous Johann Moolman.

  Above: I did a themed outdoor rendition of "Willem Prinsloo's Peach Brandy" one Friday evening - to mark the start of the Bosman weekend. About ten minutes into the play, the heavens opened up and the good Lord sent a year's worth of rain to the Marico - in a few seconds... before I knew it the audience with chairs attached, leapt up under the thatched covered 'stage' to join me...                        

They then urged me with great gusto to continue.... above lightning and thunder.... in a space approximately 30cm by 30cm.... probably one of my most enjoyable shows!

 Above: A smoking fairy setting out candles in brown paper bags before my Show... the Marico continually educates, amuses and confounds me.

 Above: Lorna and I with Egbert & Santa Van Bart... they, with a handful of other magnificent Marico characters, keep the Bosman Festival alive and organized year after year.

 Above: A prison scene from Bosman's book entitled 'Cold Stone Jug' in the Marico Kerk Saal (Church Hall). This piece is about once, when having been in prison for 4 years, Bosman catches a glimpse of a woman and a girl walking past the prison... a beautiful piece filled with pathos and humaness that I simply never get tired of hearing or performing.

 Above left: "Oom Schalk" getting ready to tell his hilarious memories of a fateful Church service in a short story entitled Bekkersdaal Marathon.

Above right: A piece taken from "Cold Stone Jug" - on Bosman's prison experiences. (If you haven't yet read this book - please do!)

 Above: David Butler as Herman Charles Bosman himself - just look at that stance - swoon! This is a piece entitled "A Touch of Madness" - terrific.

 ...the extremely delicate and serious business of making mampoer that will instantaneously ignite your soul...

 ... and then of course the tasting table... 

 A great deal of pipe smoking and mampoer tasting on conveniently parked ox-wagons goes on in the Marico... morning, noon & night.

 Above: Egbert whipping up a storm (literally) to the tunes of the local boere orkes... man it's priceless.


Above: "Die Oog". A most worthy spot to visit. Literally the 'eye' or source of the Marico River. There is a pool of crystal clear ice cold water that wells up from the earth where you can literally see into the water for meters and meters... breathtaking. Scuba divers come from all over the country to dive and indulge... or if, like me, you can float...then float.

 Above: Yellow irises abound on the banks of the River Still...



 Above: A gorgeous Labyrinth to walk...and think...@ River Still


 Above: Valerie Rosenburg is a well known author and Bosman research  extraordinaire. I was privileged to spend two weekends with her listening to tapes, reading and chatting with her about Bosman and his controversial life. This was part of my preparation and research for probably my most challenging Bosman play entitled "Bosman's Women". Valerie personally knew Bosman's 3rd wife (& interviewed his first) and was an enormous help and inspiration to this piece - I am grateful to her beyond words.


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