In this powerful one-woman play, Briony Horwitz portrays Olivia, the new girl in town, who we meet firstly aged ten and later aged 16. With just an armchair for a prop, Horwitz athletically climbs and stretches with all the agility of the child she is playing.

Written, directed and produced by Jon Keevy, this South African production brings to light, through Olivia’s eyes, the specifics of life in the dry, hot village of Overberg for two motherless girls.

As the story unfolds, Olivia evokes the emotion and heartbreak of her experiences. 

We learn, through Keevy’s poetic script, how Olivia moves to the hard, unforgiving Overberg at the age of ten with her policeman father where “the school is all brick walls and tiny windows”. While perching in her redeeming tree she meets Kay, who lives next door with her drunken, abusive father, and names her Owl.

Kay is rough and wild and “so much smaller than the space she fills”. Scholarly Olivia develops strong feelings for Kay and dreams they will escape together.

Despite the inherent sorrow and sparseness of the set and cast, Keevy’s 55-minute play avoids bleakness due to its visually evocative script and Horwitz’s fittingly animated child-like performance. But it still managed to leave some audience members in tears.