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PRESS: Inaugural Festival at The Drama Factory celebrates SA women

Christine Skinner


The inaugural Women’s Month Festival – Your Voice, Your Stage, runs at The Drama Factory this month with a programme that offers something for everyone to enjoy.

Coinciding with National Women’s Month, the Festival line-up features comedy, music, drama and discussion panels, all presented by women, sharing stories about women and performed by some of South Africa’s most amazing women. It runs from 16 to 21 August.

We were delighted to receive applications from these very talented producers, with some exciting shows available to mark our first Festival,” says festival co-producer, Faeron Wheeler. “One of the highlights of the festival is sure to be île, performed by Sophie Joans, and which comes to us hot off the National Arts Festival, where it received a prestigious Gold Standard Bank Ovation Award.”

Île follows the story of a young girl who goes to visit her ancestral home: Mauritius. What she thought would be a nostalgic trip to a tropical island to connect with her late grandfather and meet her extended family, gets all too real as darker characters emerge from the undergrowth of the volcanic island. Île is a heart-warming, hilarious story of coming-of-age, family feuds, and the insanity that happens when people stay in the same place for too long.

Get ready to laugh on Friday night with a brilliant stand-up comedy show which is being put together by Nicola Date and Saya Pierce-Jones, two much-loved comedians who have both made a name for themselves in the comedy circuits around Cape Town. They promise to bring some very funny ladies to join them on stage!

No arts festival celebrating National Women’s Month in South Africa would be complete without some engaging conversations around the roles of women in the arts industry. Join the panel discussion centred around the business of the arts and how women are impacted by the various aspects of the industry. It’s set to be a compelling conversation thanks to some powerhouse panellists.

Other productions in the festival line-up include recent Silver Standard Bank Ovation Award recipient My Weight and Why I Carry It, The Shell Singer, Sassy Winter Classics and a new production, Insecure, from Silumko Theatre Company.

Performed by Tasmin Sherman and directed by Ingrid Wylde, My Weight and Why I Carry It is one girl’s story about the most important piece of clothing in a young woman’s life: a bikini. The play tells the tale of Vic and the events that led her to presenting herself in front of a strange audience, tackling tough subjects such as fatphobia, tenuous family relationships, and the ways that a simple piece of clothing can impact one's life so meaningfully.

The core of The Shell Singer explodes from a scream, “Where are you?!” This cutting-edge piece of theatre reveals the psychosis of a shattered being. Denied the primal need to belong, her broken heart births a shell. She uses its colours and sounds to re-create sweet and terrifying memories of the womb, and takes the audience on this bitter journey. Performed by Imke du Toit, it is written and directed by Marianna le Roux.

Insecure is a brand-new piece that has been workshopped by the cast and directed by Mava Silumko, who was nominated for the Best New Director Award at the Fleur Du Cap Theatre Awards 2022. Insecure is performed by Yongisipho Mtimkhulu, Zizipho Cadu, Sinazo Guga and Buhle Sam. The story revolves around the dangers of being insecure and how the destruction that these insecurities lead to can be enormous. Emotions run high as a husband loses his life at the hands of his very own entrusted wife.

Returning to The Drama Factory is Die Goeie Pa and two-time Standard Bank Ovation Award recipient Your Perfect Life. Die Goeie Pa features Erika Marais, who was nominated for Best Actress for her portrayal of Eleanor Kasrils in The Unlikely Secret Agent. It is directed by Fleur du Cap Award-winning director Paul du Toit. A happy family. A good father. But every family has something to hide. Die Goeie Pa explores the dramatic journey of three characters, a mother and her twin daughters, and the psychological effects of their abuse: denial, guilt, jealousy and Stockholm Syndrome. “A must-see” (Broadway World).

A woman should have it all – a career and a family! But what if you don’t? Karlien and Caitlyn are at their 20-year reunion, bracing for the “What have you been up to?” questions. One has the family, the other the career. Neither is sure they have what they want. Your Perfect Life is a poignant and funny look at how life can take unexpected turns and how society judges us for dealing with it the best way we can. “Loved this sassy, smart, funny comedy-drama” (The Cape Robyn).

We are delighted to see our stage graced by so many talented women and are humbled by their fortitude to be making quality theatre in these challenging times,” says Co-producer of the festival and owner of The Drama Factory, Sue Diepeveen.

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