Family  /  Theatre / Guy Butler Auditorium

Castaways is an ensemble physical theatre and circus work in which a ragtag collection of characters from different worlds are thrust together on a tiny raft and forced to reckon with themselves and each other in their desperate dance for survival. The work takes a magnifying glass to the body in crisis, using physical comedy, clowning and puppetry to establish and explore archetypal characters, and circus arts to push these characters and their relationships to the brink of calamity. The vessel becomes a microcosm for the struggle for survival and meaning in a divided world on the edge of social and environmental collapse.

The performance is a modern fable that touches on themes of migration and identity, hope and denial, displaying humanity’s infinite complexity in the face of imminent demise. It is an exhilarating and crowd-pleasing circus ride that tells a story full of heartbreak and loss, with an ultimately hopeful message for our troubled times.


Director: Daniel Buckland
Producer: Michelle Vok
Producer: Maude Sandham
Choreographer: Orlando Vargas
Lighting Designer: Joshua Cutts
Production Designer: Imile Wepener


Joshua Cutts, Director of Visual Frontier, is one of South Africa’s leading lighting designers for the stage and television. He has designed and worked on some of the largest and most exciting events including the South Africa Music Awards (SAMAs), Idols SA, Channel O Music Awards, The Voice South Africa and Miss SA. He consistently delivers a high standard of design that is characterized by a need to push the technological aspect of lighting to the next level. He recently ventured back into theatre design with the highly successful production West Side Story produced by the Fugard Theatre and Calling Me Home produced by Shy Music.
Joshua has been awarded the TPSA (Technical Practitioners South Africa) Lighting Designer of the Year, 2012, 2014 and 2015, and the Naledi Award for his lighting design of West Side Story.

Orlando Vargas has 20 years’ experience in performing, rigging, and managing events. He was formally trained in circus performing arts at Circo Del Mundo school in Chile. He performed in many countries around the world and moved to South Africa in 2006. Having performed in numerous shows in South Africa, including Madame Zingara, he formed his first company in 2008, with his former partner. He has excellent business and people skills and is passionate about social development.

Michelle Fok is a multi-skilled professional with training in Architecture as well as in Public Health studies at honors level.
She was introduced to the arts very early in her childhood where she was exposed to various dance disciplines. Her career has evolved to include Pilates, aerial and pole training, performing across South Africa and on several international stages. Michelle currently sits as one of the Directors at Jozi Circus School where the combination of her strong academic background and tactful nature play an important role in setting up organisational structures.

Daniel Buckland is an actor, director and theatre-maker who has been working professionally both locally and internationally for over twenty years. He has previously performed lead roles in Cirque du Soleil’s acclaimed Vegas show Love as well as their international touring show Saltimbanco. His other theatre credits include FTH:K’s Wombtide, Sylvaine Strike’s The Travellers, and Lindi Matshikiza and the Hilbrow Theatre’s The Donkey Child.
He is the Co Artistic Director of Dark Laugh Theatre Company whose production of The Butcher Brothers also directed by Sylvaine Strike, was awarded the 2011 Naledi Award for Best Cutting Edge Production and a Standard Bank Ovation Award. He collaborated with Strike in the production of the Standard Bank Ovation Award winning one man show The God Complex.

In 2013 he began working extensively in film and television, partnering up with The Flying Circus as a performer, writer and director of the company’s motion capture performance. During this time, he further crafted his skills in live action direction going on to co-write and direct the 26 part SAFTA nominated television series Silly Seasons as well as co-writing and directing the full length animated feature film Inside Job. In 2018 he directed four feature films for Perplexia Pictures two of which he wrote.

In 2022 Daniel and the Cirk collaborated in the creation of the hit show Urban Circus.

Imile Wepener is an multidisciplinary artist from Johannesburg. Imile earned a BA Honours in Visual Communication in 2015 from The Open Window Institute in Pretoria. Imile works in a wide array of disciplines including illustration, design, animation, costume design, woodcarving and puppetry.

Maude Sandham works as a physical theatre maker, director, casting director, intimacy coordinator and actress in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Maude studied directing and physical performance in Makhanda and Berlin. She has created over 15 original works for the stage and is passionate about auto-ethnographic storytelling, clowning, mask performance, climate focused work, and big joyous public performances.
Maude has worked internationally, performing her one person show Tracks in Hong Kong and Vietnam. She has toured in Belgium & France with Les Balladins Circus Project, using circus and clowning to engage with refugees and migrants.
She is currently working on Kyknet’s Binnelanders, and producing her first television series. Most recently she has completed training as an Intimacy Coordinator through Safe Sets via the NFVF & Netflix.
She enjoys teaching and facilitating young professionals and students, creating collaborative ensemble work with peers, and learning new skills from podcasting to juggling.
If you don’t find her in the rehearsal room, you might find her in a classroom, hosting a party, cooking vegetarian food, or dancing outrageously in public.

  • Venue: Guy Butler Auditorium
  • City: Makhanda
  • Location: 1820 Settlers Monument on Lucas Avenue
  • Ticket Price: R85.00
  • Programme Type: CURATED PROGRAMME
  • Genre: Family  /  Theatre
  • Duration: 60
  • Ages: ALL AGES
June 28, 2023   20:00 - 21:00
June 29, 2023   12:00 - 13:00
June 29, 2023   16:00 - 17:00
June 30, 2023   11:00 - 12:00
July 01, 2023   11:00 - 12:00