The South Afreakins
Monday 22 July 2019
Written and performed by Robyn Paterson
After critically-acclaimed, sell-out seasons at both the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2016 and London’s prestigious Vaults Festival 2017, as well as Auckland, Hamilton, and Harcourts Hawke’s Bay Arts Festival, 2018, Robyn Paterson is bringing her one-woman family drama The South Afreakins back to London. 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 sheepfilled 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 and playwright for over fourteen years in theatre, film and television in New Zealand, Australia, and London. She has appeared in Shortland Street, Go Girls, The Almighty Johnsons, The Blue Rose, ANZAC Girls, Power Rangers and played the lead in the 2015 London run of the immersive theatre show, The Generation of Z.
“Spot-on observations & a snappy script” ★★★★ The Stage
“Paterson takes us all on this journey with wit & emotional insight” ★★★★★ Sunday Express
“Robyn Paterson gives a tour de force performance” ★★★★ One4Review
“Superb and well executed” ★★★★★ The Mortal Fool
65 minutes (no interval)