“Your generation judges, my generation cancels.”
Sylvia is leaving Brazil, whether her family likes it or not. Tired of the judgement, hypocrisy and criticism from her family, Sylvia is determined to move from Brazil to London to study. In a series of events and the twists and turns of fate that lead to the destruction of the once familiar yellow traffic light of their beloved city, we get to see how Sylvia’s family have shaped her into the person she is, and more importantly, why she wants to get away from them.
Directed by Catharina Conte, this is the story of what happens when you outgrow your family. It’s revealing and humorous but more importantly it’s relatable. Set against the backdrop of Brazilian politics, far-right ideals and anti-communist views, The Yellow Traffic Light is a multi-layered one-woman show that effortlessly tells the story of this one family, while at the same time, the story of Brazilian millennials everywhere – championing a more fair and just society against their elders set in their ways.
Isabella Sperotto, of whom this story is based on, is an unstoppable delight. Isabella took the stage solo but played every member of her family, bringing them to life in a comical and reflective way. Isabella’s body took on a life of its own. The way her mannerisms transformed when changing characters was so distinct and creative, it made us feel like we were meeting them. From Grandpa Gerson and his infidelity to Grandma Selma and her illicit lifestyle, Isabella embodied them all to perfection.
With limited resources, Isabella was creative with her props that merely added to an already expressive and revealing performance. The energy that radiated from Isabella was contagious and the audience loved every moment of it.
Although some jokes were perhaps too specific to land with every member of the audience, Isabella made up for that by telling a story that for so many is their truth. As Isabella says, “How far can you love those who vote against you?”. With the rise of political unrest in Brazil and beyond and the growing concerns of a generation who just want to be themselves, this is a question many young people are not only asking themselves, but actively challenging.
You can see The Yellow Traffic Light until Sunday 26 February at VAULT Festival at 17:50. Let’s hope this isn’t the last we see of Isabella or that beloved yellow traffic light.