Florence Phillips, who was instrumental in establishing the Johannesburg Art Gallery, is being brought back to life in a one-woman play. Directed by Greg Homann, written by Myer Taub and performed by Leila Henriques in her first solo show, the play, Florence, is not an easy premise. But Homann, who lectures and writes about theatre, understands what he does best. Henriques has a spirited take on what she describes as an ambitious piece. "I have to focus and, following performances, I feel I have to lie down in a darkened room," she says. Homann suspects that the art cognoscenti, heritage aficionados and people working for Hollard Life will know who Lady Phillips was. "The Hollard Life offices are built around the original Phillips house, which is still in use," he says. Dorothea Sarah Florence Alexandra, Lady Phillips (1863-1940) was married to Sir Lionel Phillips, a mining magnate and politician. She was commonly known by one of her middle names, Florence.

Following several i...

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