all my ex-lovers are dead
Theatre / Centenary Hall

all my ex-lovers are dead is a one-hander that explores love, desire, poor life choices, and how many cups of tea it takes to wake up and smell the coffee. The production melds storytelling with soundscapes of feelings and moments as our protagonist, Echo, unravels the history of their love life before our eyes.


Sometimes consumed with the picture they compose for themselves, sometimes searching for a memory in a cup of tea, Echo tells us tales of vulnerability, longing, and what we do with all the love we have left when our lovers are gone. all my ex-lovers are dead toys with the bittersweet taste of memory, teases out the tangible ways we hold onto the feeling of others, and tinkers with the sensations that bring their breath rushing back to our necks.


A selected text for Artscape’s New Voices Programme in 2021 and STAND Foundation’s Pen To Paper Programme in association with NATi and Vrystaat Kunstefees in 2022, all my ex-lovers are dead was written slowly, over the course of six years, pieced together from scrap paper prose scribbled at the edges of receipts, woven together with unfinished voice memos saved on and downloaded from multiple phones, and laced with more internal monologues than any single person should allow themselves to indulge in.


Written and directed by Dara Beth and now performed by Qondiswa James, all my ex-lovers are dead is an all-too-honest story of all the loves we’ve had, all the loves we could have had, and all the loves we should not have hoped to have had told over the course of an evening and many, many cups of tea.

Production Credits

Written and directed by Dara Beth

Performed by Qondiswa James

Sound Design by Denise Onen

Videography by Corné van Rensburg

About the Artists


Dara Beth is a short, angry, Jewish feminist with a desire to tell stories. Dara graduated from UCT with an honours degree in theatre-making and a distinction in drama. Upon graduating, they were awarded the “Ruth Peffer’s Prize for Most Promising Student”. 


Dara has written and staged multiple original works for various festivals and theatres such as Nasty Womxn, Just A Song And A Dance, and Lolly to name a few. Dara has been nominated for Fleur du Cap, BroadwayWorld, and Kanna awards.


In 2021, Dara’s newest work, all my ex-lovers are dead, was staged as part of the Artscape’s New Voices Programme 2021. In 2022, Dara was shortlisted for the AWPN-Warwick Artist-In-Residence, selected for the Upper Jay Arts Centre CA+MP Artist-In-Residence programme, and chosen to participate in STAND Foundation’s Pen To Paper programme. At the start of 2023 – as part of the Pen To Paper programme – all my ex-lovers are dead was awarded a fully-funded run at Woordfees in Stellenbosch, South Africa.


When not producing their own work, Dara works as a mentor and director. Most recently, Dara was awarded a grant from South Africa’s National Arts Council to develop a network for and digital archive of works by young women and gender diverse playwrights in South Africa.



Qondiswa James is a freelance cultural worker living between Cape Town and Johannesburg. She is an award-winning writer and theatre-maker, performance artist, film and theatre performer, installation artist, arts facilitator and activist. She has received her Masters in Live Art, Interdisciplinary and Public Art and Public Spheres at the Institute of Creative Arts. Her work engages the socio-political imagination towards mobilising transgression.


She has staged public art interventions at Infecting the City, Live Arts Festival, FNB Art Joburg, Centre for the Less Good Idea, Les Rencontres a L'échelle (France), Arcade (Makhanda), and Live Art Network Africa. Her onscreen appearances include High Fantasy (DIFF 2018 Best South African Film Award, Artistic Bravery Award), and Letters from the Continent (Holland Film Festival). 


In 2023 she staged Retch, a new original solo work, as part of the inaugural Kippies Fringe season at Market Theatre. She was also a resident artist at AiiA Lab (Switzerland), where she created a new work in process, What He Has Done.



Denise Onen is an undeniable pathbreaker in her sonic cultural practice. Having honed her unique sensitivity to the world into a broad, burgeoning career, she’s already tried her hand at (nearly) everything sonic – professional installations, compositions, soundtracks, multi-valent production, technical recording, theatre. 
As the first black feminine body student to receive a BMus degree specialising in Music Technology from the University of Cape Town, she is now on track to surpass herself by earning a Masters from the same department specialising in graphic scoring and analysis.
In the meantime, she’s been in demand. Short films and documentaries for which she has crafted sound designs have played to diverse plaudits at festivals in Durban, Cape Town, Cairo, Dakar and even at Sundance in Salt Lake City, Utah. Likewise, her collaborative sound installation works have stood out at the National Arts Festival in Makhanda whilst her solo work has drawn eyes and ears at Cape Town’s (Un)Infecting the City. In 2022, she even drew the prestigious attention of the International Oram Award for feminine-bodied innovators in sound, music and associated technology, who added her to their annual shortlist.
The particular standards of intensity, eclecticism and immersiveness which so characterise her work so far stem from her vision of music-making as a kind of ‘audio alchemy’.



Corne Van Rensburg graduated with a distinction in cinematography in 2016 and from there on has honed his craft. Under the mentorship of Ivan Strausburg (BAFTA Winner), Corne took in every ounce of knowledge he could and applied it to his work. In the last 8 years, he's compiled a long list of credits, working in all forms of camera work and refining his artistic style and skills. He has a deep passion for documentary work and shines with enthusiasm towards the subject's imagery, trying to capture the most authentic moments. 

  • Venue: Centenary Hall
  • Location: St Andrews College
  • Ticket price: R80.00
  • Programme type: Curated Programme
  • Genre: Theatre
  • Duration: 60 mins
  • Ages: 12+
    • Strong Language
    • Adult Themes
Centenary Hall
June 28, 2024 16:00 - 17:00
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June 29, 2024 20:00 - 21:00
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June 30, 2024 11:00 - 12:00