Dog Rose
Theatre / Graeme College
Following the success of her debut play, Île, Sophie Joans brings a new piece about a mother and daughter navigating their tumultuous relationship. Dog Rose (Rosa Canina) is a species of wild rose. This plant is a climber, and grows on existing structures like fences or trees. With the correct support, they can grow to huge hedges. Rose has always struggled to keep up. For as long as she can remember, the world moved two steps ahead of her at incredible speed: from deadlines to conversations, that constantly eluded her. When her daughter, Nina, was born, she hoped she could finally have a relationship at her own pace. But nothing could have prepared her for the whirlwind of motherhood. Nina’s childhood flashed before her eyes. Now an adult, Nina reflects on her complicated relationship with her mother. When a possible diagnosis of high-functioning autism explains her mother’s anxieties and (sometimes inappropriate) social interactions, she hopes they can finally come to understand each other.

Production Credits

Jemma Kahn - Director
Sophie Joans - Writer/Actor

Anthea Thompson - Actor

Ryan Stopforth - Composer

Cameron Moodie - Set Designer

Alan Goldberg - Lighting Designer

Dara Beth - Production Manager, Producer & Writing Mentor

Spark in the Dark in association withNational Arts Festival


About the Artists

Jemma Kahn - Director

Jemma Kahn is a theatre maker based in Cape Town. She studied Fine Art and Drama at Wits University. Shortly after graduating, she spent two years in Japan which has had a strong impact on the content and form of her work. Her primary theatre focus is Japanese kamishibai or ‘paper theatre’, a little-known, highly visual storytelling medium. Kahn has been creating and performing kamishibai since 2009 - the only person to do so in South Africa. To date there have been over 600 original drawings produced by her and other South African artists that are used in the performances. Her highly unusual work has been performed at Edinburgh Fringe, Brighton Festival, Venice Biennale, Adelaide Fringe as well as in London, Amsterdam and extensively around South Africa. In 2018 Kahn was awarded the prestigious South African Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Theatre. Her award-commissioned piece premiered at South Africa’s National Arts Festival. This year Jemma debuted in London at the historic Riverside Studios with her cabaret storytelling show We Didn't Come to Hell for the Croissants - it was met with rave reviews.


Sophie Joans - Writer/Actor (Nina)

Sophie Joans is an award-winning theatre-maker and comedian. She studied theatre at UCT and Wits, and completed courses in clown and comedy at RADA and The Comedy Cellar respectively. She co-wrote and co-starred in two-hander The Flower Hunters, which won a Standard Bank Ovation Award in 2021; and puppet show Do You Dream In Colour, which won a Zabalaza Festival’s Most Innovative Play in 2018. She played Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Maynardville Open Air Theatre. Recently, she co-wrote and performed in the children’s play Ka-BOOM, was selected to be part of UNIMA’s Incubation Programme.  Her debut solo show Île (written and performed by Sophie, and directed by Rob Van Vuuren) won a Gold Standard Bank Ovation at the National Arts Festival 2022 and Best Script at Bite Size Fest in London. It was nominated for Best Actress at Woordfees, Best Performance in a Solo Show at the Fleur du Cap Theatre Awards and the prestigious Filipa Bragança Award for Best Female Performer in a solo show at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Île went on to tour at The Durban Point Festival, Hilton Arts Festival, Bitesize Fest in London, EdFringe and Theatre on the Square in Joburg.

Anthea Thompson - Actor (Rose)

Anthea studied Speech and Drama at the University of Cape Town and has proved herself to be a highly versatile performer, director, writer and theatre maker. Some of her theatre credits include: the title role in Evita, Sally Bowles in Cabaret, Little Red Riding Hood in Into the Woods, the Nurse in Romeo and Juliet, Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing, Rosalind in As You Like It, Titania in A Midsummer Night's Dream, Ghava in Fiddler on the Roof, Shirley in Shirley Valentine, Margaret Hymen in Broken Glass with Sir Anthony Sher, Kate in Taming of the Shrew, Mooi Maria in Pieter Fourie’sclassic Mooi Maria, Mavis in Paul Slabolepszy’s My Low Fat Almost Italian Wedding, Parthy in an international tour of Showboat with the Artscape Opera Company, Mrs Linden in A Doll’s House, Gaby, in Mike van Graan’sGreen Man Flashing, Myrtle in Tennessee Williams’ Kingdom of Earth (which has twice toured to the Tennessee Williams Festival in Provincetown) and Queen Margerete in Richard the 3rd. She joined the acclaimed A-Capella group Not The Midnight Mass for a highly successful season. She has written for television and appeared in a number of Sitcoms, one of which was Deeltitel Dames for which she was nominated for a SAFTA. She continues to write, perform and produce her own work one of which was Bertha’s Guide to Love, Life and Pharmaceuticals and she joined the all-female comedy line-up Cracks for several seasons. She did a country wide tour of the Festivals in My BriljanteEgskeiding, a translation of Gelaldine Aron’s hit play My Brilliant Divorce as well as appearing at the Fugardalongside Marius Weyers in The Father. She was invited to return to the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theatre Festival in the Gnadiges Fraulein.

Anthea's Fleur du Cap awards include: Best Contribution to a Musical for Cabaret, Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Elizabeth 1st, Best Actress in a Supporting Role for A Midsummer Night's Dream, Best Contribution to a Musical for The Shakespeare Revue and Best Supporting Actress for her role as Mrs Linden in A Doll’s House. Her Vita awards include Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Die Jogger, Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Onder die Brug and Outstanding Contribution to a Musical for The Shakespeare Revue. She won the Best Actress Award for her performance in Mooi Maria at Aardklop and was also nominated for a FIESTA.

Producer - Spark in the Dark in Association with National Arts Festival


  • Venue: Graeme College
  • Location: Graeme College
  • Ticket price: ZAR 100.00
  • Programme type: The Fringe
  • Genre: Theatre
  • Duration: 60 min
    • Strong Language

There are no performances for this show.