Going To Space: Flight Lessons

Flight Lessons is a new piece of South African theatre, having taken Jermyn Street Theatre by storm. Broadway Baby investigates.

As a new international play written by the award winning South African playwright Amy Jephta, this show tells a fresh and very relatable story.

Tell us about your show

Moving to London from South Africa was Maya’s one shot to get out of a small town where her future was a toss between 7-Eleven checkout girl or being broke but, at the very least, international. For Maya’s best friend, Anika, there was never any other choice. Today, Maya’s phone rings. Mum: “Anika tried to kill herself again.”…Maya: “She get it right this time?”

Flight Lessons explores the realities of making that big move to live away from home and being that person “left behind” dealing with normality. Don’t forget your boarding pass at the gate and come take your seat next to Maya, she’s heading back to South Africa too.

First performed at the Jermyn Street Theatre South African Season in July 2014, to a sold out show with an audience of many different nationalities. The play was incredibly well received, with audiences identifying with the relatable feeling of coming 'home'.

Why did you decide to take your show to Space UK this year?

We wanted to bring the Flight Lessons audience, old and new, to an established venue that encompasses what this production is all about - supporting new writing and emerging artists. We are excited about creating a community with the many artists across Space UK’s venues and enjoying the Fringe whilst making sure Flight Lessons is out there and accessible to all. The Jury’s Inn intimate atmosphere will draw you into Saria’s electric performance of a play extremely close to her heart.

What makes your show unique amongst the thousands of others at the festival?

As a new international play written by the award winning South African playwright Amy Jephta, this show tells a fresh and very relatable story. The audience will be taken on a real journey, physically and imaginatively, where they will be constantly questioning which side to take between Maya and Anika’s long and fractured friendship.

How did you create your show?

Flight Lessons was written especially for actress Saria Steel by Amy Jeptha early in 2014. Based on many of Saria’s own personal experiences, Amy was inspired to write about the struggles of leaving your home country to start fresh on the other side of the world. The play is currently being developed by Amy working with director, Lisa Cagnacci, and sculpted into a fresh and exciting new piece of theatre.

Can you tell us a bit about your company’s background?

Amy Jephta’s work has been published in South Africa and read at the Bush Theatre and the Royal Court in London. In 2013, Amy was on the Mail & Guardian’s list of 200 Top Young South Africans and listed in Destiny magazine’s Top 40 Women Under 40 issue in 2014. Amy originally wrote the piece for actress Saria Steel and is developing the new version with our director, Lisa Cagnacci (Theatre503’s Associate Director and a former associate at the Southwark Playhouse). From a performance last year at the Jermyn Street Theatre, Flight Lessons was born again with a new creative team launching its first Edinburgh run. 

Show Name: Flight Lessons

Production Company: Flight Lessons

Venue: theSpace @ The Jury’s Inn

Dates: 7th August - 22nd August

Times: 21.10 - 22.05

Twitter Handle: @FlightLessonsEF