Wild Tides, Me Too, Heart Explosions, And Hot Buns
SILO Theatre’s 2020 Season: Wild Tides, Me Too, Heart Explosions, And Hot Buns
Forget the theatre you know. Silo Theatre’s gravity-shifting 2020 season brings our country’s top talent to the stage to celebrate our most magnetic Pacific voices, to fearlessly tackle some difficult conversations, to find joy in our hardest moments and to come together, break bread, and hear stories that’ll etch themselves into your heart. Featuring two internationally-renowned works and a new commision that brings together some of the most exciting and inventive theatre-makers in Aotearoa, this is a season that finds hope in the dark, and searches for a future to believe in.
“How do we find our way back to a world that feels more interconnected and interrelated? That’s the question that drives the thinking behind our 2020 season of work,” comments Artistic Director Sophie Roberts. “I've been drawn to live experiences that are grounded, unguarded and direct. Theatre that reminds me what I sometimes forget – that in spite of a lot of hard and unsolvable stuff, the world can be beautiful, sometimes even tender and that there’s always a new and unexpected way of seeing it”.
The 2020 season launches in March with UPU at Auckland Arts Festival. Curated by award-winning poet Grace Taylor (Upu Mai Whetū, Afakasi Speaks, My Own Darling) and led by powerhouse director Fasitua Amosa (Upu Mai Whetū, Still Life with Chickens, The Mountaintop), UPU brings our most electric Pacific poetry to life by an all-star cast including Mia Blake (A Streetcar Named Desire, The Book of Everything, Angels in America), Nathaniel Lees (Hir, The Lord of the Rings, The Matrix) and Gaby Solomona (My Own Darling, Baby Mama’s Club, One Thousand Ropes). From Ben Brown to Karlo Mila to Albert Wendt audiences will journey through an epic literary landscape from the thunderous volcanoes of O’ahu to the wild tides of Aotearoa.
UPU is followed by The Writer, the cutting-edge, provocative new work born out of the #MeToo era from one of Britain’s most fearless writers, Ella Hickson. The Writer stunned audiences in London and Silo is excited to have secured the international premiere of this groundbreaking work. In it, a young writer and director meet: she’s furious about his latest play, calling it lazy, sexist and profane. He gets a kick out of arguing with her. He flirts. He condescends. He even offers her a job. But she wants more than he can possibly offer. She wants to change the world. And the world is about to change around her.
Directed by Sophie Roberts (The Wolves, Hir, Peter and the Wolf), The Writer is unlike anything you’ve seen before, and has been described as “momentous” (Broadway World), “riveting” (The Guardian) and “very punk rock” (Time Out London). Walls collapse and stories transform without warning in this genre-bending, gravity-defying modern masterpiece about the dirty business of making art.
Winter brings the critically acclaimed international sensation, Every Brilliant Thing, a heart-exploding solo show about depression, loss, and finding all the beautiful things in life. Written by award-winning playwright Duncan Macmillan with Jonny Donahoe, Macmillan says his reasons for writing the play are to communicate to people: “You’re not alone, you’re not weird, you will get through it, and you’ve just got to hold on. That’s a very uncool, unfashionable thing for someone to say, but I really mean it.” The Sydney Morning Herald writes “This is a piece that demands we pay attention. To ourselves, the person in the next seat, across the aisle and beyond, and to the small things that bring joy”.
Silo’s production will be led by Danielle Cormack in her Silo directorial debut (Wentworth, Hedda Gabler, Top Girls) and stars Robbie Magasiva (The Naked Samoans, Wentworth, Sione’s Wedding). The Guardian has described it as “One of the funniest plays you’ll ever see about depression – and possibly one of the funniest plays you’ll ever see, full stop.” Every Brilliant Thing is a work that’s continued to resonate with Roberts; "I've loved this play since I first saw it in Edinburgh in 2014 and hoped we would get a chance to present it to our own audience ever since. When Danielle and Robbie approached us about working together on this project, we were really honoured and excited about the immense heart, humour, and skill we know they will bring to this production".
“When I first encountered Every Brilliant Thing I was utterly taken by how a piece of theatre that dealt with mental health and suicide could be as uplifting as it is moving,” comments director Danielle Cormack. “With suicide rates the highest they have ever been in New Zealand, this is a very timely and important play.”
"I'm really excited to be working with Dani and with Silo Theatre on this show,” adds actor Robbie Magasiva. “Mental health is a really important issue for me and it's important we‘re having these conversations both on and off the stage. Plus I’ve never done a one-man show before and it scares the shit out of me.”
Rounding out the year is Break Bread, a new commission by Silo Theatre that brings together some of the most exciting and inventive theatre-makers in Aotearoa: Alice Canton (Other [Chinese]), Freya Finch (Shabbat Shalom and Thank You For Coming), and Leon Wadham (Giddy).
Leon Wadham, who previously worked as the directing intern on Silo’s acclaimed theatrical experience Hudson & Halls Live!, says, “The chance to create a new work with Silo and these dizzyingly brilliant makers is absolutely thrilling. This is a team who’ve delivered fresh, spirited, dynamic and hilarious theatre to Auckland and we’re all excited to join forces. We’re going to serve audiences an absolute treat of an evening that’s rich, surprising and brimming with heart.”
Directed by Silo Artistic Associate Jason Te Kare (Cellfish, Producer - RNZ, Drama) Break Bread will be an immersive and unmissable experience that dives into the traditions and rituals that hold our communities together. And hey, maybe you’ll pick up some kick-ass bread recipes on the way.
Artistic Director Sophie Roberts concludes. Silo’s 2020 season will be “a place of discovery and invention, joy and catharsis, a place where you can feel undone and mended within the space of a couple of hours.”
Subscriptions for Silo Theatre’s 2020
season are now on sale.
For more information, please visit silotheatre.co.nz
Season: Mar 5 – Mar 15
Venue: Q Theatre, Rangatira
Curator: Grace Taylor
Director: Fasitua Amosa
Cast: Mia Blake, Ana Corbett, Nicola Kawana, Nathaniel Lees, James Maeva, Shadon Meredith and Gaby Solomona.
Writing includes: Ben Brown, Karlo Mila, Albert Wendt with more to be announced.
Season: Jun 11 – Jul 4
Venue: Q Theatre, Loft
Writer: Ella Hickson
Director: Sophie Roberts
Design includes: Rachel Marlow, Ruby Read and Christopher Stratton
Every Brilliant Thing
Season dates: Aug 25 – Sep 19
Venue: Q Theatre, Loft Writer: Duncan Macmillan with Jonny Donahoe
Director: Danielle Cormack
Cast: Robbie Magasiva
Design includes: Sean Lynch
Season dates: Nov 5 – Nov 28
Venue: Q Theatre, Loft
Created by: Alice Canton, Freya Finch and Leon Wadham
Director: Jason Te Kare
Design includes: John Verryt