Whispers in the Corridors is a museum theatre production staged inside the Constitutional Hill Women’s Gaol evoking the narratives of some of the women who were imprisoned there in the 20th Century.
The play was written by Stephanie Jenkins during her 2022 Writing Fellowship through the Johannesburg Institute for Advanced Study (JIAS). Jenkins has made other museum theatre plays in Durban, such as Beer Halls, Pass Laws and Just Cause (2020) in KwaMuhle Museum, with the intention of bringing history to life in the present.
The performance uses three actor-guides, played by Clare Mortimer, Belinda Henwood and Sibahle Sibiya, who play multiple historical characters and take the audience on a journey through the former prison (now a museum), allowing present audiences to get a glimpse of the past, listening to the whispers evoked in this former place of confinement and punishment.
Audiences encounter historical characters such as Mmagauta Molefe, Jeannie Noel, Hannchen Koornhoff, Vesta Smith, Barbara Hogan, Lillian Keagile, and various other historical political prisoners, warders and common-law prisoners.
The interactive performance, explores the various women who were kept inside Constitutional Hill, allowing their stories to be retold in the former prison encouraging audience members to engage with and share in the histories that remain in the corridors.
Please ensure tickets are booked for the specific production of Whispers in the Corridor. General museum tickets will NOT allow admission into the production. Tickets to the play only allows entry into the Women’s Gaol for the performance and not other parts of the museum.