The Misses/Missus (2012)

2012 saw the bicentenary of the ‘founding’ of the small colonial town of Grahamstown, or iRhini. However, Grahamstown was never really ‘found’ as it has always existed and been occupied for centuries. Rather, the land and kingdom that was under the rule of Chief Makana was colonised and seized by Lieutenant-Colonel Johan Graham as a military outpost in 1812. For this reason celebrating and marking the town’s bicentenary can be considered awkward, problematic and layered in systemic violence. The Missus/Misses triptych embroils and mythologises characters and ghosts from Grahamstown’s history (such as the enigmatic Elizabeth Salt) who then gate-crash and intrude on public events pertaining to any Grahamstonian bicentennial celebration. The Missus/Misses triptych is an independent three-part public performance intervention series in numerous public spaces of Grahamstown, of which one iteration was performed at the National Arts Festival 2012 (“Lady exhibiting satirical fruit salad”), where it received a Standard Bank Aha Award.

Created, choreographed and performed by Gavin Krastin.

Photographed by Alan Parker.


The Missus/Misses triptych consists of the following three performance interventions:


Missus/Misses 1: “The Pied Piper Pipe Bomber”

February 2012, from Drostdy Arch to Church Square, Grahamstown.


Missus/Misses 2: “Let them eat cake”

March 2012, corner of Beaufort Street and Bathurst Street, Grahamstown.


Missus/Misses 3: “Lady exhibiting Satirical Fruit Salad”

July 2012, 1820 Settlers National Monument, Grahamstown


NAF celebrates 2012 Fringe excellence | Artslink | Gillian Hemphill