Former St Andrew’s Pupil Stars In Virtual National Arts Festival Production

Lauren Urmson in character as Olive Schreiner. Image credit:

Former St Andrew’s School for Girls student, Lauren Urmson (class of 2018), starred in ‘Breathing Space’, part of the (virtual) National Arts Festival. The festival is an important event on the South African cultural calendar, and the biggest annual celebration of the arts on the African continent.

This year marks the centenary anniversary of the passing of Olive Schreiner (who died on 11 Dec 1920), and ‘Breathing Space’ celebrates the life of this great South African through the lens of excerpts of her own writing, mainly through her letters. Suffering from severe asthma, Schreiner spent much of her life as a ‘wandering Jew’ in the elusive search for a place where she could, literally and figuratively, breathe more easily.

Her quest was not merely one of finding personal ‘breathing space’ but one of finding breathing space for all. Exploring Schreiner’s life mainly through her correspondence and journals, Breathing Space delves deeper and gives a glimpse into the greater complexities and subtleties of this woman who was ahead of her time. This debut original production also stars Natasha Sutherland and Michelle Douglas.

To watch this online, visit