Frederiksen case inspires stage play

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Peter "Clit Collector" Frederiksen has inspired a play that will be showcased at the Grahamstown National Arts Festival later this month.

With the wave of the ongoing dialogue regarding the killing and abuse of women in South Africa, a playwright in Grahamstown has decided to put more than just a hashtag to this epidemic and rather create a play that raises awareness on the complexities of gender-based violence.
Dramatic Arts student at Rhodes University, Mmatumisang Motsisi, created a fictional play named Cult Clit, based on the notorious Peter Frederiksen case, wherein 21 clitorises and other genital parts were found in Frederiksen’s home in Bloemfontein.
Explaining the plot of the drama, Motsisi says the play follows the trial of six women who have been accused of the torture and murder of the notorious “Clit Collector”, Frederiksen. “In the fictional world of the play, Frederiksen is released due to a small bureaucratic error. Six women, who are part of an underground women’s rights organisation, step in when the justice system fails and “dispose” of people who have grossly abused women. Through the use of humour and absurdity, the work paradoxically explores the silence and stigma around the horrors of genital mutilation, domestic abuse and gender-based violence,” she says.
Motsisi also adds that through the play, she hopes to address the violent ways in which female sexuality is suppressed in society as well.
The name Cult Clit was derived from an article titled Cult of The Clitoris, written by Noel Pemberton Billing in 1918. In the article, Billing accuses performer, Maud Allan, of being a lesbian, sadist and German war conspirator because she performed what was said to be an erotic dance. “This got me thinking about all the ways the world shames women for being sexual beings. I wanted to create a play that addresses the violent ways in which female sexuality is suppressed in society,” Motsisi says.
The young play director says she hopes that this play will be the first of many that tell the stories unique to South Africans, which are necessary to be told.
Cult Clit will be performed as part of the Student Festival at the annual Grahamstown National Arts Festival 2017, which will be from 29 June to 1 July 2017. Tickets cost R50, while students will pay R40. For more details, visit www.facebook.com/eventsat.dramadept or see the National Arts Festival programme at www.nationalartsfestival.co.za/2017-festival/programme-2017/. – Pulane Choane
pulane@centralmediagroup.co.za