There is something magnificent about ‘birthing’ a collaboration, a co-creation. I started writing The Deep Red Sea almost five years ago. I had been told the story by a friend. It was a true story, that had happened to her friend. I immediately knew that I wanted to do something with it but I had no idea what. And one day, while walking the dogs, I just knew how it needed to be written down. It took ages to finish. I handed the completed writing around and got mixed responses. It was too long. It was too short. It should become a movie. It was too verbose. It was undefinable. I also had my own mixed responses to it because, now that it was written down, I didn’t know how it was going to become the thing that it needed to be, or even what that thing was. Was it a movie? Was it a voice recorded story (I even tried that out)? Was it a puppet show? I kept on having the feeling that it had a “mixed media” feeling to it, but I didn’t know what I was meaning.

Then I went to vaun cornell‘s exhibition of paintings. As I walked in there was a movie playing on the wall, and I felt deeply connected to it. It was vaun in the act of making a painting, as if she was the voice and character of The Deep Red Sea. She was doing the action, the job, the calling of the person in exactly the way I envisaged it.

I took her the story the next day. We are two somebodies who do things in a hurry and so we wanted to do this thing. But that’s not really how it works.

I don’t know how long ago that was, but suddenly it is falling into place and we are going to try it out. On Sunday 8 May we are doing The Deep Red Sea. It will be me, reading the story. It will be vaun’s paintings during the story, and her paintings in the venue. It will be Sigrun Paschke making music and sounds, and Nica Cornell doing everything else we need, like lights and tech and advice. It will be a gathering.

So, the details are Sunday 8 May. R70 a ticket. Doors open at 1830 and the ‘show’ starts at 1930. It’s at The Kalk Bay Theatre and you can call 0732205430 to book. You can even pre-book a platter for two (R65) with the restaurant.

PS. When I drive home, late at night, from the Kalk Bay side, I see the water that is the water of the Deep Red Sea; the moon, shining on the waves and turning the sea, white black red black white black red. Sharks live in that water.