Playing in The Loft from 24 to 27 May is the acclaimed two-hander, Whistle Stop. Under the meticulous direction of Frances Slabolepszy, it features the award-winning duo and real-life couple, Ameera Patel and Jaques de Silva, who unpack the dynamics of a single meeting between a man and a woman on a park bench. Conceived as a tribute to the work of the legendary British playwright and actor Steven Berkoff and written by Ameera Patel, the piece sensitively and charmingly explores modern urban relationships. Through a combination of cutting, rapid-fire dialogue and intense physical embodiment, the text explodes off the stage and takes the audience on a comedic rollercoaster ride through past, present, and future possible relationship dilemmas.
Whistle Stop received a Standard Bank Silver Ovation Award in Grahamstown in 2014, with Patel garnering a special writers’ award. “I think in the way that all theatre works, the script is the jumping-off point, an important aspect, but nothing without the magic of relationship on stage. Jacques’s physical intuition and Francis’s careful balancing of the entire piece, were as essential in creating this piece as the writing was,” Patel said. “I wanted to explore archetypal relationships, which dip in and out of specificity. This meant that it was easier to write about a distanced couple as opposed to my personal encounters.”
The production has toured nationally with much success. Performances in the Loft are on 25 May at 19h30 (opening), 26 May at 15h00 and 19h30, and 27 May at 15h00. Schools performances are 23 and 24 May at 10h00. Tickets are R100 – R150 (R30 for school learners). Book through Computicket on 0861 915 8000, online at www.computicket.com, or call 031-369 9540 (office hours).
-Interviews & photos available on request.
Issued for The Playhouse Company
By William Charlton-Perkins