Drama • Running Time: 55 mins
Directed, Written and Designed by Penelope Youngleson | Perfomed by Rebecca Makin-Taylor and Michele Belknap | Presented by Rust Co-Operative
Mature Content | No under 16s
Sillage | /si:’ja:?/
the degree to which a perfume’s fragrance lingers in the air when worn.
Sillage is the disquieting story of three generations of South African women and how their matriarchy sustains them – until they must pack up the family home.With cloying tensions heavy in the air, and lifetimes measured out in lost earrings, orphaned pen lids, and long-forgotten postcards; mother and daughter have to fit themselves into the (cardboard) boxes they’ve been avoiding their whole lives.

Sillage awarded the Standard Bank Gold Ovation Award for the best production at the National Arts Festival Fringe 2016, and has just been nominated for a Fleur du Cap award for Best New South African Script.

Starring Rebecca Makin-Taylor and Michele Belknap, Sillage showed in the Upstairs Theatre at Alexander Bar to sold out houses from 9-10 and 16-21 May 2016; and the Hilton Arts Festival in September 2016. It also travelled to the National Arts Festival in July 2016, where it was awarded the Standard Bank
Gold Ovation Award for the best production on the Fringe Festival. This was only the fifth Gold Ovation to be handed out since the inception of the prize; and the second to be awarded to a female theatre maker. The production features mature content and language some viewers may find offensive. It has an age restriction for those under 16 years old. 

The production makes use of gestural language and physical ritual to bridge the silences between verbose characters desperate to be heard and unable to listen. It is also Youngleson’s first monolingual work since Expectant – Standard Bank Ovation Award Winning play about female whiteness in the new South Africa – the last time she worked with Makin-Taylor.
Sillage re-examines some of the themes explored in critically acclaimed Expectant (it toured to the Afrovibes Festival in the Netherlands, The Market Theatre and various theatres and festivals in Cape Town) but locates the discomfort of South African identity and gender politics firmly in a domestic drama set in the garage of a family’s house. It draws on recent events leading up to and during student protests and political parties’ unrest; but circles back on the minutiae of the everyday in ways that every South African can relate to.

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Under 18s must be accompanied by a parent or guardian, or by an adult with consent from a parent or guardian.
Seating is unreserved. All the seats are good seats but please arrive in good time to make sure you can sit together.
Also we unfortunately don’t have any wheelchair access to our theatre. There is 1 flight of steps.