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Psycho Thriller, Qu'est-Ce Que C'est?

Psycho Thriller, Qu'est-Ce Que C'est?

Silo Theatre presents
By Amy Herzog
28 August – 20 September 2014
DIRECTED BY Oliver Driver
STARRING Sophie Henderson, Matt Whelan, Karima Madut, Tawanda Manyimo

Voted by the New York Times as one of the top 10 plays of 2013, American playwrightAmy Herzog’s taut, genre-busting play Belleville marks the latest New Zealand premiere from Silo Theatre, playing the Herald Theatre from August 28th.

Zack and Abby are doing the whole twenty-something, expat thing in the most romantic city in the world. She’s teaching yoga and he’s saving lives, working for Doctors Without Borders. It’s enviable, it’s idyllic, it’s young love. But are they really living the dream or just sleeping with the enemy? Sometimes the most dangerous lies are the ones you allow yourself to believe.

Earning comparisons to the maestro of suspense Alfred Hitchcock and iconic playwright Henrik Ibsen, the prodigal Herzog weaves together a claustrophobic thriller for Generation Y with nerve-wracking tension and slow-burn intensity. Set in Paris’ multi-ethnic suburb of Belleville, Herzog screws with the stereotypical idealism of Paris as the “City of Love” whilst triggering a series of questions about Generation Y’s sense of entitlement to success and happiness and their inability to deal with suffering and disappointment.

Belleville sees the return of powerhouse Silo actors Sophie Henderson and Matt Whelan after recent star turns on the silver screen - Henderson earning accolades for her dramatic work in Fantail which she also wrote. The high-calibre performers reunite on stage for the first time since their riotous comedic turns in Silo’s 2012 production Private Lives. Belleville provides refreshingly serious dramatic terrain for these two talents to push their smouldering chemistry to new limits. Oliver Driver also returns to the director’s chair for this production after helming Silo’s 2010 production Assassins and Auckland Theatre Company’s Mark Rothko drama Red.

Herzog’s praise since her stunning arrival in 2010 with After the Revolution has been near universal. Lauded for her bitingly honest portrayals of her own generation, The New York Times has cited Herzog as “one of the brightest new talents in theatre”. Earning an Obie Award in 2012 (4000 Miles) and a 2013 Outstanding Play Drama Desk Award nomination for Belleville, Herzog was also a finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize – a prestigious award for English-language female playwrights.

In this production Silo welcomes two young emerging actors into their fold: Karima Madut (A Thousand Hills) and Tawanda Manyimo (Gwen in Purgatory and The Rover), both of whom have been involved with the phenomenal Mixit programme in Auckland. Mixit provides an innovative platform for young people with refugee backgrounds to come together with Kiwi and migrant youth to express themselves and share their stories through creative arts projects. Madut (Sudanese, born in Kenya), and Zimbabwe-born Maniyimo complete the Belleville cast as Zack and Abby’s French-Senegalese landlords in the hip new immigrant suburb of Belleville.

A seething play of thrilling twists and turns, Belleville is a drama that grabs you from its first breath.

“A psychological thriller as suspenseful as any Hitchcock film.” – CHICAGO TRIBUNE

For more information visit


Dates: 28th August – 20th September, 8pm (Mondays and Tuesday, 7pm. No show Sunday)
Venue: Herald Theatre, Auckland Live, 50 Mayoral Drive, Auckland CBD
Tickets: $30 - $55 (booking fees apply)
Bookings: Ticketmaster – or 09 970 9700


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