Helen of Troyeville

A poetic reflection on privilege and complexity in contemporary South Africa, from the perspective of a 70-something former Black Sash member who is held up in her home. First performed at the National Arts Festival in July 2017.


Helen Boonzaier is one of my dear theatre angels.  I was chatting to her over coffee one day, and the stories she told about her life and experiences were fascinating.  I told her then that I was going to write a play inspired – but not wholly based on – that conversation.  And so, Helen of Troyeville was born.

 This is a one-person show, written in poetic form with the central character in her 70s.

 First Production

 National Arts Festival, 30 June-8 July 2017


 Lesedi Job


 Gina Shmukler


 National Arts Festival, 30 June-8 July 2017

Wits 969 Festival, 28-30 July 2017

What the Critics Said

“(Helen of Troyeville)….talks of the complexities that are South Africa…The acting is superb and the story very real.  This thought-provoking one-woman show is well worth a visit.” 

  • Ann Knight, The Herald, 5 July 2017

 “An excellent performance told through the eyes of Helen, a privileged woman trapped physically and emotionally, who reflects on the life she has lived. We share in her journey of uncomfortable truths, parallel worlds, unwilling sacrifices, human desperation and waves of hope.  Uncontrived and flawless delivery of a remarkable script.”

  • Cue (online), 1 July 2017

Availability of script and audio-visual material

The script is available on this site.

There is no audio-visual material.