After a critically acclaimed, sell-out performance at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2016, Robyn Paterson’s one-woman family drama The South Afreakins transfers to the Vaults Festival in February 2017. Inspired by Paterson’s own parents’ experience of emigrating from South Africa to New Zealand, she rapidly switches between Helene and Gordon to create a very human story of loss and family.
Helene and Gordon are stuck. Stuck in their arm chairs, stuck in the same house and stuck in their rut. As Gordon’s work-life comes to an end, and with the murder of their son four years previously still tainting their everyday lives, Helene is determined to leave everything behind and start again in the quiet sheep-filled hills of New Zealand. Gordon’s dream is to stay right where he is – until Helene confirms that their extended holiday to New Zealand is, in fact, a permanent move to a new home. Feeling progressively more culturally isolated, will the arrival of his best friend Clive make a difference? And does our home really lie in places, or within people?
Robyn Paterson’s play examines the pragmatic decisions behind immigration, intentional displacement and the push and pull challenges of adapting into a new culture. Critically, the play unpicks what happens when the head seeks safety and security, the heart, home.
Robyn has been an award-winning actress/playwright for over 14 years in theatre, film and television in Australia, New Zealand and London. She played the lead in the London immersive theatre show The Generation of Z and Channel 4’s Anzac Girls, which premiered in 2015.
THE SOUTH AFREAKINS plays at the VAULTS 15-19 February 2017