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Four Works Have Been Announced for Silo Theatre's 2019 Season

Spotlighting grown-up feelings, teenage hormones, wild karaoke and Bollywood dance numbers — the plays have been called 'blasts of electric intimacy'.
By Leah Lynch
December 10, 2018

Four Works Have Been Announced for Silo Theatre's 2019 Season

Spotlighting grown-up feelings, teenage hormones, wild karaoke and Bollywood dance numbers — the plays have been called 'blasts of electric intimacy'.
By Leah Lynch
December 10, 2018

Silo Theatre has just wrapped up its 2018 season with The Simpsons-inspired Mr Burns and Here Lies Love — a dazzling ode to David Byrne and Fatboy Slim's concept album — playing to sold-out audiences and rave reviews. Looking ahead, Silo's artistic director Sophie Roberts conceives of the four plays that are to make up its 2019 season as 'blasts of electric intimacy.'

The season will kick off with Tusiata Avia's much-acclaimed classic, Wild Dogs Under My Skirt. Now a play, Wild Dogs began life as a poetry collection. Avia, it must be said, envisioned it as a work both derived from and lending itself to oral (re)presentation, and subsequently toured around the world performing Wild Dogs as a one-woman, but very much poly-vocal, show. Over the last few years, thanks to the collaborative input of Avia's cousin, the renowned playwright Victor Rodger, and under the direction of Anapela Polata'ivao, Wild Dogs has been given a new lease of theatrical life. Indeed, the rendition on offer at Silo Theatre in the new year promises more than ever to take the raw and lyrical energy of performance poetry and amplify this through the variegated presences of its cast of six formidable Pasifika actresses, including director Polata'ivao herself. Wild Dogs asks and offers a number of responses — many contradictory, all deeply personal — to the question of what it means to be a Samoan woman — and especially one living between the messy lines of a diasporic community, and a palagi patriarchal society. Prepare to be unsettled but be sure also to enjoy the bountiful and provocative humour Avia crafts so well (for instance, the tongue-in-cheek anecdote, "three reasons for sleeping with a white man").

Next up, and keeping with the lupine theme (at least in name) is The Wolves. This is playwright Sarah DeLappe's Pulitzer Prize nominated debut, and it sees nine teenage girls do what they, arguably, do best — gossip, fight, and try to survive the vicious contact sport that is adolescence. Some wonderful irony, then, that the primary setting for the action of DeLappe's play is the pre-game warm ups for the girls' weekly 'non-contact' indoor soccer matches. What DeLappe pulls off here is both necessary an refreshing: she accords agency to an oft-times feminised, infantilised, and demonised group — teenage girls — so often compressed and deflated before they've had a chance to develop laterally, experimentally. So, DeLappe says, "I wanted to see a portrait of teenage girls as human beings — as complicated, nuanced, very idiosyncratic people who weren't just girlfriends or sex objects or manic pixie dream girls but who were athletes and daughters and students and scholars and people who were trying actively to figure out who they were in this changing world around them."

Silo's penultimate offering is another blast from the past: 2014 hit The Blind Date Project (TBDP). As its name suggests, the piece traffics in the unexpected and improvised. Former Shortland Street actress Natalie Medlock returns for the reboot as protagonist Anna, who during each performance of the show, meets and converses with a new 'blind date.' These dates, however, are more aleatory appearances of famous faces than encounters with unknowns — 2014 featured Madeleine Sami and Taika Waititi — and Silo promises a "fresh and fierce" cast of guest stars for 2019. Expect too lots of bad karaoke and 'real-time' interactive direction (via mobile phone).

Finally, and with a much-appreciated dash of paradox, Silo will close its 2019 program with a world premiere. 2018 Bruce Mason Award winner Ahi Karunaharan, commissioned by Silo, has produced a piece could My Heart Goes Thadak Thadak. As it's a premiere, we can't say much as to how it will unfold; we do know however that it is to be set in 1970s Bombay, with a keen focus on Bollywood.


Wild Dogs Under My Skirt by Tusiata Avia
March 5-11, Q Theatre Rangatira

The Wolves by Sarah DeLappe
June 20 – July 13, Q Theatre Loft

The Blind Date Project by Bojana Novakovic and Mark Winter with Thomas Henning and Tanya Goldberg
August 29 - September 21, Q Theatre Loft

My Heart Goes Thadak Thadak by Ahi Karunaharan
November 21 – December 14, Q Theatre Rangatira

Published on December 10, 2018 by Leah Lynch

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