Press Release: Ashes

November 6, 2014

Presented by the award-winning Rust Co-Operative (The View, Expectant, Siembamba), Ashes explores the life of a young man through the eyes of six characters (played by two actors), each somehow related to the man.


When he comes out to his parents, they send him away from their small-town home to the city, in order to protect him and provide him with more opportunities. The man’s entrance into adulthood, his growing relationship with the partner he meets in the city and the excitement and thrill of first love are paralleled with his idyllic childhood, a troubled adolescence and his complicated relationship with his parents. A sudden, violent event ruptures the world of the characters, and they are forced to try and pick up the pieces in the void that remains.


The impetus for the play is the ongoing violence against gays and lesbians in our country, specifically three excessively violent attacks on young gay men in the Western and Northern Cape this year (which have mostly remained unreported in the mainstream media) – in one particular instance an assailant called over a group of teenagers to watch as he was “going to kill a moffie.” Ashes thus examines systemic homophobia and the scourge of violence against young gay lives in our country, deftly exploring the thin line between the personal and the political. In distinctive Rust Co-Operative style, Ashes highlights the humanity of the characters, tenderly addressing notions of family, home, love, loss and grief, and creating an intimate experience for the audience. Ashes serves as a reminder that individual lives are not isolated events but part of the social fabric, intricately woven up with and into other lives.


Presented by the award-winning Rust Co-Operative team of Penelope Youngleson and Philip Rademeyer, who have just returned from the Amsterdam Fringe Festival with Siembamba and the Cape Town Fringe Festival with Full Stops On Your Face.  Written and directed by Philip Rademeyer (2013 Fleur du Cap nominee for Rosalie van der Gucht Prize for Best New Director for The View, Winner of Oscar Wilde Award for Best New Writing and Doric Wilson Intercultural Dialogue Award at the International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival for The View, director and co-writer of Standard Bank Silver Ovation Award winner Siembamba which also played at the Amsterdam Fringe Festival in September 2014). Featuring the exciting talents of rising stars Stefan Erasmus and Shaun Gabriël Smith.


Press release provided by Sharon Everett.

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