A Blow Up Sex Doll and Fake Blood – Sophie Roberts on Silo Theatre’s Latest Offering

What can we expect from the show?

It’s still early days in rehearsal so I haven’t seen a run of the show yet but sometimes I spy on them through a little window into the room they are working in and it seems to be chaotic, wild fun in there. The rehearsal studio kind of looks like a very unstable and terrifying teenage girls bedroom. There’s (fake) blood and writing all over the walls, wigs, costumes and strange props everywhere, lots of dancing to Peaches and a semi deflated blow up sex doll in the corner of the room who appears to be some kind of tragic mascot for the show. Alice, the playwright, has one production stipulation at the beginning of the script, which is “This play should not be well behaved” and it looks like they are pretty on track.

      Gender has been a hot topic in New Zealand theatre over the past year, what do you think had driven the recent focus?

    I don’t think I know the answer to that. One thing I’ve found interesting recently is how you have a year where there are really only a handful of shows with a female focus or driven by female artists and suddenly it’s perceived by some people as a threatening kind of feminist uprising in the theatre (which I would be super up for by the way). I think it demonstrates how imbalanced things have been historically and how we are really only at the very beginning of addressing that imbalance as an industry.

      I’ve been thinking a lot about a Jill Soloway quote when I’m reading plays or watching work “Protagonism is propaganda that protects & perpetuates privilege” and I think theatre has a lot of catching up to do when it comes to who gets to stand at the centre of a story. Most of the time I find that challenge really motivating. But sometimes I get tired and frustrated and things happen in the industry or the wider world that make me feel like shouting at all the guys SIT DOWN AND SHUT UP IT HAS BEEN YOUR TURN FOR HUNDREDS OF YEARS. *

      *Some of my best friends are men

    Silo has a reputation for theatre that challenges, by Silo’s standards where do you think this show falls?

    That’s hard to answer objectively as what I’m going to find challenging in the storytelling is going to be totally different to the person sitting next to me in the theatre. But when I read it I though it was smart, and funny and the kind of outspoken voice I find wildly attractive. I like that it’s examining a really specific aspect of the female experience, which is language. Its major concern is looking at how we talk to and about women. I mean as much as I would love to think we could dismantle the patriarchy altogether in an hour at The Basement I like that Revolt is seeking to be a voice in the conversation, not the whole conversation.

      What reaction are you hoping the show gets?

      I hope people feel emboldened by its rebellious spirit, I think we all need a very big dose of that in the world at the moment, things that makes us feel on fire rather than hopeless. I hope people walk out into the night and feel bigger, braver, madder and naughtier.

    Finally, what are you looking forward to seeing at the Fringe Festival?

    Heaps! In particular two of my mates shows, Julia Croft’s Power Ballad and I hear Thomas Sainsbury’s written a slasher musical about STDs? Keen. And I’m looking forward to discovering new people and new ideas, which I think is one of the best things about Fringe.

      See Silo Theatre Presents: Revolt. She Said. Revolt. Again. at The Basement from 21 Feb – 11 Mar.
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