Your Perfect Life is on the Fringe at the vNAF (National Arts Festival). The festival has been extended until July 31, 2020.

Your Perfect Life

Platform: Virtual National Arts Festival 2020

Programme: The Fringe- extended until July 31, 2020

Written and performed: Faeron Wheeler and Erika Marais

Scroll down for production credits and ticket info for Your Perfect Life.

I saw Your Perfect Life in October 2019 at Alexander Bar. The theatre was transitioning to become The Courtyard Playhouse. The interior downstairs had shifted into red but the theatre upstairs was still the same. I knew that I was seeing a comedy-drama but had no idea about the narrative. I enjoyed this play thoroughly. Read my review from October

It tackles an important issue- the pressure on women to have children; to procreate. Women are constantly harangued why they haven’t had children- as if their identity requires completion. Quoting from my review: The drama is set around a twenty year school reunion in which two friends re-connect. Once, they were besties. Karlien (Marais) fell pregnant and age 18, right out of school she dived into family life and subsequently popped out two more children. When she unites with her ex-bestie, Caitlyn (Wheeler), she is toting a baby schlep bag – unlike Caitlyn’s designer bag – and taking calls from her husband about how to medicate their four year old …”

I loved the way that the two characters grapple with the choices made. The play was inspired by the performer/writer’s own lives. Caitlyn delivers delicious pithy lines to Carlen such as “You are surrounded by men – but not in a good way.” Fabulous

Watching in lockdown and aspects of the narrative are foregrounded in relation to the pandemic and lockdown. When I saw it in October 2019, the issue of children was profound. Watching now and I shake my head in wonder at other aspects. Caitlyn (Wheeler) quips on the phone to her PA:” I know it’s my reunion. It’s not like I want to be here.” It is a major hassle for her to drop her busy life to rub shoulders with people she hasn’t seen fir twenty years. In lockdown, physical school reunions have not been possible. I know several people who have been attending reunions by zoom. One mused that she had been dreading the physical reunion but would relish the idea of winding the clock back – and go physically to an event. It is a situation of be careful what you wish for. Carlien reminisces: “Flashback to the entire matric class, sitting outside the headmaster’s office.”

With almost four months wiped out of the school calendar, school kids do not have the memories of sitting on a bench, outside the headmaster’s office. Caitlyn is busy, busy. “Get client in office,” she mutters into phone. That was a time when the concept of an office existed as a viable entity. Masks were part of the future office sanitised and cordoned off. Who could have imagined.

These were things we took for granted. I am finding it very interesting viewing plays which I saw on stage, live and now, watching the digital versions and how the narratives have been altered irrevocably by the pandemic. I am sure that there will be many plays which will reflect on the way we are now and how we sat streaming shows. So, even if you have already seen a play, it is well worth watching again on the vNAF. It is the same but very different.

Your Perfect Life

Written and performed: Faeron Wheeler and Erika Marais

Platform: Virtual National Arts Festival 2020

Programme: The Fringe- extended until July 16, 2020

Duration: 50 minutes

Age recommendation: 12+

Language: English with Afrikaans

Tickets: R50

Direct booking link:

vNAF at a glance on TheCapeRobyn:

NAF official site:

Production details For the NAF recording

Producer: Faeron Wheeler with The Edge

Film location: The Drama Factory, Cape Town, South Africa

Filming by Marc and Luc Degenaar

Editing by Luc Degenaar


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Your Perfect Life