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SCENE IT: ÎLE, a charming tonic

Barbara Loots


ÎLE, written and performed by Sophie Joans, is currently on at the Homecoming Centre (the old Fugard Theatre), and bringing lots of laughs to many a patron.

ÎLE tells the tale of a young girl’s journey to self-discovery as she goes in search of her roots on the volcanic paradise that is Mauritius. Grappling with questions such as “Why is my mother weird?”, “Can I get more Milo?” and “Is it okay to kiss my cousin?” the show is a light-hearted take on a teenager’s coming-of-age turmoil.

The crux of the rebellious story is not a new one, but it is a relatable one that will give most audience members a good chuckle in remembrance of their wilder youth, whether that be 3 months or 30 years ago.

ÎLE is a charming tonic to the blandness of the ordinary. Though I was left searching for a bit more heart and pause in the high energy antics of it all, it did provide great escapism as a wonderful night of comedy in which I could forget the troubles of the everyday. Any theatre production that has the power to make you forget your daily quandaries is already a great feat to be celebrated.

The stage is bare apart from two theatre boxes, giving Joans the opportunity to act out her story with a vivid imagination and also allowing easy adaptability.

Director Rob van Vuuren’s style of comedy has a strong presence in this show that reflects his well-known sense of physical theatre dramatization of emotions and actions in this telling of a girl’s quests to discover the roots of her fiery personality.

Though it is good to see a young performer take direction so well, it is also with great anticipation that we await Joans’ development of her own strong comical presence and voice as inspired by established comics such as Van Vuuren. This young talent has a lot of life experience that awaits her, which she will undoubtedly draw upon to carve out a clear Joans-trademark; I look forward to seeing her adventure unfold.

I encourage anyone who has not yet done so, to go and see ÎLE at the District 6 Homecoming Centre and support the theatre journey of a very talented up-and-coming performer with a stage presence that is as big as her heart. ÎLE runs until 27 August 2022, with tickets available online via Quicket.

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