A word from Robyn Paterson

'The South Afreakins' was inspired by my parents, Gordon and Helene Paterson and the story of their immigration from South Africa to New Zealand. This solo show is about the  struggle that immigrants feel when they leave everything and everyone they know. When we no longer have work or friends or family around us to give us identity, and we leave behind our niche that is fast closing and the one in front of us hasn't yet opened, where does one find that identity?

My parents Gordon and Helene struggled with this for years. The prominent African lineage that runs through their veins and the fierce patriotism the hold for their country hasn’t lessened in the twenty four years they've lived in New Zealand but they've never really fit in and always felt like they've been slightly out of step (Gordon's great-great grandfather was John Paterson, the politician who founded Port Elizabeth in 1840 and The Standard Bank of South Africa).

I felt it too, growing up. I only spent six years in South Africa but when I go home there, I feel like I'm going home to my clan. People think like me, and talk like me and the rhythms I emanate match that of Africa, and this is the story about diversity that I want to tell.


Cast and Crew

Robyn Paterson 

Xiomara Meyer

Seasonal Cast

Robyn Paterson

Actress/Writer/Company Founder


South African born actress Robyn Paterson has been a professional playwright and actress for over 14 years in theatre, film and television in Australia, New Zealand and London. Her latest credits include playing the lead in the London immersive theatre show, The Generation of Z and Channel 4's Anzac Girls, which premiered in 2015. 

She has been writing theatre since 2010. Her first one-woman show 'Introducing Anna' had a sell out season at Auckland's Basement Theatre in New Zealand. Her second play in 2011 'Mooi River' was third place in the New Zealand 'B4 25' Playwriting Competition. 

Her other work, including the full length play 'The World's First Fight', was shortlisted for the New Zealand Playmarket Adam Playwriting Award in 2015 and her newest play 'The Radio Interview,' was shortlisted in the 2015 British Theatre Challenge. After finishing writing the current version of The South Afreakins and wrapping up Edinburgh Festival '16 with a sell-out season,  she was invited to perform at the 2017 VAULT Festival in London, and subsequently also in New Zealand, at the 2017 Basement Theatre Festival and at The Meteor Theatre in 2018. 

Xiomara Meyer         

Executive Producer

Xiomara Meyer was born in Mexico to a Paraguayan mother and German father. She spent her childhood travelling and living in various countries due to her father's job as a forester, and in 2007 moved from Honduras to Vienna, Austria. The positive cultural shock of settling in a first world country was enhanced by the introduction of drama as a school subject (one which is not often taught in Latin America). There she took part in various high school musicals and plays, and also joined an amateur band where she played lead guitar.

 While her interest in theatre grew, so did that of literature. She wrote her first novel at age 16 as part of a 10th grade fail-or-pass project. Following her supervisor's encouragement, she continued to write in her free time, leaning more and more towards the horror and gothic genre. 

Wanting to pursue the creative industry professionally, she moved to London in 2013 to study at Kingston University, and in 2016 graduated with a BA (Hons) in Drama with Creative Writing. 


Currently she resides in London, and is part of the Impi Theatre Company, working as producer for The South Afreakins.

Basement Theatre, NZ '17

​Returning from a highly acclaimed run at the London VAULT Festival, The South Afreakins will be travelling across the world to where it all started: New Zealand. The Impi Theatre Company is once again collaborating with marketing from Pulp and Pith's Sonia Lopez and Joanna  Manavopoulou (UK), actress/writer/company founder Robyn Paterson (NZ), and producer Xiomara Meyer (UK). 


London VAULT Festival, '17


After a successful sell-out season at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival ('16), The South Afreakins has been invited to perform at VAULT Festival, London in February 2017. The Impi Theatre Company is once again collaborating with marketing from  Pulp and Pith's Sonia Lopez and Joanna Manavopoulou, actress/writer/company founder Robyn Paterson, and producer Xiomara Meyer. Joining the team is publicist Chris Hislop.

Edinburgh Fringe Festival, '17

The Impi Theatre Company (bar Pulp and Pith's Sonia Lopez and Joanna Manavopoulou, choreographer  Amy Mauvan and actress/writer/company founder Robyn Paterson) is comprised of recent graduates from London's top dramatic universities including The Royal Holloway University, Kingston University, Roehampton University and London South Bank University. These graduates have experience in the performance industry already, working with London artists and theatres but are using Edinburgh Fringe 2016 and The South Afreakins as a springboard to launch their careers as professional industry practitioners, along with Robyn Paterson who graduated from the Unitec School of Performing Arts in 2009 and Amy Mauvan, who also graduated from the Unitec School of Dance in 2009.

Amy Mauvan  Choreographer

Amy Mauvan graduated from Unitec’s BPSA Contemporary Dance School in New Zealand and The Limon Institute and Peridance PSP in New York in 2012. She has choreographed and produced works for Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington Fringe in New Zealand, and Adelaide and Perth Fringe in Australia. She has produced pieces for the 2014 Australian Short and Sweet Dance Festival, The Literatti, and The Good Company.  She has performed for Backlit dance Productions, Tino Sehgal, Elena Banjo, Danspace Project at St Marks, The New York Armory Show and with artists Penny Arcade, Judith Malina, Lillibeth Cuenca Rasmussen and Charles Koroneho. A founder of the WIP initiative in Auckland. As well as the South Afreakins, she is currently working on some new collaborations, a film instillation and performance works in Australia before moving to the United Kingdom in April 2015.

Robert Watts  Dramateurg

Robert Watts is a London-based sound artist and dramaturg. He is a particularly interested in the crossover between the analog and digital, science and art, fact and fiction. He has worked closely with live artist Emily Orley and companies such as The People Show. As a recent drama graduate of the University of Roehampton, he has developed a range or group performances and solo works, one of which he will be showing as part of the High Fidelity performance event at London's Chisenhale studios in March, 2016.

Madison Turner Director

Madison Turner is currently completing her BA in English and Drama at the Royal Holloway University of London. The South Afreakins is her directorial debut. 

Georgina King   Producer

Georgina King is currently completing her BA in English and Drama at the Royal Holloway University of London. Her passion for theatre started with her performing in multiple productions from a young age, including Billy Elliot The Musical and The Diary of Anne Frank. As Vice-President of Royal Holloway Gospel Choir she has taken a vital organizational role in producing and promoting their events as well as campus productions and is thrilled to be transferring this ambition to the 2016 Edinburgh Fringe with the rest of The South Afreakins team in her first venture as a sole producer.

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