Sylvaine Strike portrait


Sylvaine Strike

Featured Artist 2014, National Arts Festival


“Being recognised as Featured Artist for 2014 is such an immense honour and comes with an equally huge responsibility. Now, perhaps more than ever, the role of the artist in South Africa has reached a critical point and demands redefining: courage in the face of political, social and economical adversity; and producing work of high quality that cannot afford to compromise its purpose or voice on any level.

I am in the exciting though daunting position of creating theatre for a new generation, 20 years into our democracy, yet also aspire to rise to the evolving challenges of a growing audience that has followed my work over the past 12 years. My hope is to fill hearts and minds with worlds they can relate to but may never have ventured into, offering a charged and soulful experience that remains with them and alters something in the way things are normally perceived.

My programme is comprised of a diverse collection of work ranging from the return of a favourite decade-old classic, Black and Blue; through CARGO:Precious, as an emotive piece of historical fiction in the dance category; to a pastiche of On the Harmful Effects of Tobacco. Collaborating with some of the very finest artists our country has to offer, it is a privilege for me to add my signature to each of these works.”
Sylvaine Strike




“As the featured artist at this yearís National Arts Festival, Sylvaine Strike blew everyone out of the water with her body of work which was joyous to experience. From a first collaboration with Andrew Buckland in On the Harmful Effects of Tobacco (written by William Harding) which canít be described as other than sublime, to Strikeís performance with Atandwa Kani in Black and Blue, her collaboration with PJ Sabbagha and others on Cargo: Precious, in an emotional telling of the Saartjie Baartman story as well as directing Bucklandís son Daniel in The God Complex and Lionel Newton in Agreed, which she described as a theatrical fugue, it was a package sensationally giftwrapped.

Each one of those productions was a shimmering example of Strikeís work. Taking the honour seriously, there wasnít a detail missed in any of these works, all of which should still be doing the circuit Ė truly extraordinary”
Diane De Beer, Star Tonight