Award winning Actress Robyn Paterson has scheduled a limited series of Living Room performances of her show The South Afreakins and one is due to take place in Sutton on June 1.
As the name suggests, A Living Room performance is just that. Robyn performs her play in people’s own living rooms. This quirky idea has come about simply because Robyn needed a space and an audience in preparation for the biggest Arts Festival in the world – the Edinburgh Fringe where she will be eligible for a Fringe First Award, and what better way of doing so, than in people’s living rooms in their homes. The familiar setting brings an intimacy and a closer connection to the audience (made up of peoples friends and neighbours) more than it would be within the traditional theatre setting.
Written and performed by Robyn Paterson, The South Afreakins is a dark comedic solo show, inspired by Paterson’s own parents experience of emigrating from South Africa to New Zealand. Convincingly performing both roles of Helene and Gordon, Robyn Paterson’s play examines the pragmatic decisions behind social and political immigration, intentional displacement and the push and pull challenges of adapting into a new culture. Critically the play, which makes its international debut at this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe, unpicks what happens when the head seeks safety and security, the heart, home.
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 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 infact 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?
‘Intelligent insight into what country allegiance, sense of belonging and nation is all about’
Theatre Scenes, New Zealand
‘A flawless performance’
Ashleigh-Faith Wong. NZ Short and Sweet Theatre Festival
Award winning writer and performer Robyn Paterson draws on personal experience, inspired by her move with her parents, Gordon and Helene from South Africa to New Zealand at the age of six, and seeing how difficult her parents found it to feel like they fitted into their new home. Of this experience she said “The longer you’re away, the more you miss where you’re from – it feels like you’re losing something special, some part of your personal history. At the same time, there’s an idealisation of what ‘home’ actually means – it’s like having a messy relationship with where you’re from. It’s interesting where people look for home– whether it’s in their work, the people they’re surrounded by, or actual bricks and mortar. The South Afreakins is not only an examination of myself but also an intimate look at the hidden challenges and experience of uprooting and assimilating.”