I knew from early on that I liked stories, I remember sitting on the carpet in front of my teacher Miss Tilbury as she read Enid Blyton’s wishing chair.  The wings taking shape in my imagination feather by feather, my eyes and mouth growing wider with every page.

Next thing you know they’re casting for Charlie and the Chocolate factory, slim pickings in our farm school so when the boys couldn’t cut it – there I was with short hair and a big voice. Talk about the golden ticket! On stage it was my turn to tell the stories. It was there in that moment - my big break in standard two ( 80’s speak for Grade 4) that something magical within me came alive.

  • fast forward montage of Mary growing up on stage in various school and university productions  – skip ahead to her work integrating business understanding with creative communications and industrial theatre productions in her own company – (perhaps even punching the air) indicating great success* ( this all to stirring upbeat song of your choice – anything except we are the champions)
  • now cut to soon after her 30th birthday when she starts to pay attention to the inner tug which is urging her to return to her deepest passion – the stage.
  • We see her struggling with the usual stuff – should i? could i?
  • Then that great moment – zoom in on her face and see the determination grow – as she starts writing her first one woman show, struggling at first and then it all starts to flow……
  • ( skip the insane nerves that turned to vomit a day before the first show and rather pan out over the appreciative audience applauding )
My life’s journey has lead to a deep passion for people, understanding what drives us collectively but also seeking to help identify what makes each one of us unique. How we connect with ourselves, each other and become all we were meant to be.

My work started in corporate environments – with creative communication campaigns that spanned industrial theatre and interpersonal skills training initiatives.

I learnt how to translate business objectives into the engaging medium of theatre – seeking always to connect with the people these messages are intended to ignite or
change. Telling their stories and understanding their needs lead to the realisation that I had stories to tell.

And so began my series of one woman shows starting with Bridesmaid in 2007 following by My CV, Womanhood, Men’s Room and most recently Goddess. Each piece references my life stories and the characters and observations that relate back to the theme or idea being explored.

When giving a guest lecture at the University of KZN a few years ago, I was asked what genre these shows would fall under …  mmmm..  “You tell me?”  I said, pretending I was testing them. Turns out my shows are autobiographical storytelling. I ‘ve never considered myself a comedienne and wince when I am standing back stage and hear myself being introduced as such. I worry that the audience will be expecting a quick talking full of gags person you see standing in spotlights. Having said that – I love nothing more than to make people laugh, many of the stories lean towards funny. The truth is funny and it makes you think.

The teaching and training continues alongside my one woman shows and corporate theatre is still very much a part of what I do.



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