New Rust Co-Operative Play SILLAGE to Debut at Alexander Bar's Upstairs Theatre in May

By: Apr. 22, 2016
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Conceptual artwork for SILLAGE

SILLAGE, a new play written, designed and directed by Penelope Youngleson, will be presented by the Rust Co-Operative at the Alexander Bar and Café's Upstairs Theatre this May. The title of the play alludes to the degree to which a perfume's fragrance lingers in the air when worn.

SILLAGE is a 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 boxes they have been avoiding their whole lives.

The play is Youngleson's first monolingual work since EXPECTANT, the Standard Bank Ovation Award Winning play about female whiteness in the new South Africa, which was performed by Rebecca Makin-Taylor, who will bring SILLAGE to life on stage with Michele Belknap. 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.

SILLAGE re-examines some of the themes explored in EXPECTANT, which toured to critical acclaim 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 The production will travel to the National Arts Festival in July 2016.

Penelope Youngleson

Penelope Youngleson is a theatre-maker, designer, writer, composer, stylist, and educator working in Cape Town, South Africa. She also volunteers as a drama, visual arts and music teacher at the Battswood Arts Centre in Grassy Park. Youngleson holds an MA in Theatre Making from the University of Cape Town and has just been selected as a 2016 Bertha Scholar to pursue an MPhil in Social Innovation through the UCT Graduate School of Business. Plays she has written, co-written, directed or designed have won both international and local acclaim, garnering many awards along the way. Youngleson herself won the Rosalie van der Gucht prize for New Directors at the 49th Fleur du Cap Theatre Awards. Her particular interest is creating new South African plays and she has written six scripts in the last three years - all original stories, all about and for and in praise of people from this country.

Rebecca Makin-Taylor graduated from the University of Cape Town with a BA in Theatre and Performance and a distinction in acting. Her theatre debut was in THE VERBALISTS, written and directed by Louis Viljoen, in whose THE KINGMAKERS she enjoyed a recent run at the Fugard Theatre earlier this year. Makin-Taylor has also appeared in Tara Notcutt's LAST ROUNDS and worked with James Webb as the voice artist in his sound installation THIS IS MY VOICE BUT THESE ARE NOT MY WORDS. Makin-Taylor is the recipient of the Yvonne Banning Memorial Award for Voice.

After graduating from the University of Cape Town's Drama Department, Michele Belknap worked at the Market Theatre in Johannesburg for some years before returning to Cape Town and becoming involved in educational theatre programmes. She then worked in the field of corporate training, and subsequently ran an educational NGO for many years. She has remained active in the Capetonian theatre scene, playing roles in LAUGHING WILD, THE SHADRACK AFFAIR, LADY WINDERMERE'S FAN, MACBETH, AUGUST OSAGE COUNTY, THE ODD COUPLE and AN ABSOLUTE TURKEY. She returns to the Alexander Bar's Upstairs Theatre with SILLAGE, having previously appeared at the venue in the solo performance piece, A DELICATE LIGHT in 2014.

SILLAGE will run from 9-10 and then from 16 -21 May at 19:00. Tickets cost R80-R90 and can be booked online at the Alexander Bar website or purchased at the bar. For telephone bookings and enquiries, call 021 300 1652. Alexander Bar & Café is situated at 76 Strand Street in the Cape Town city centre and can be followed on Facebook and Twitter.