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Silo 2022 Programme: The Time For Lively Conversation Is Now

Press Release – Silo Theatre

Silo Theatre is proud to announce its 2022 programme, marking a triumphant 25 years in the performing arts industry of Aotearoa. Silo’s legacy of offering audiences the very best in cutting-edge writing and performance in contemporary theatre is celebrated with four works setting the stage for vibrant, necessary and provocative conversations.

Storytelling that is politically charged, genre and form-busting and amplifies unique voices from Aotearoa and the world: Silo’s 2022 Programme has all of the good stuff that makes contemporary theatre an essential entertainment and cultural experience of the moment – as we consider individual and collective responsibility towards creating a better future.

Art making has always been about imagining a better world, and our plays in 2022 have a lot to say about that. These works are fractured, genre-bending, adventurous and pulsing with restless energy. They are stories that take aim at ossified power structures refusing to budge and make way for new ways of seeing.” – Sophie Roberts, Artistic Director

First up, in partnership with the Auckland Arts Festival, is LIVE LIVE CINEMA: NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD playing at the wonderfully chic Hollywood, Avondale next March. In this heart-pounding collision of cinema, theatre and music, George Romero’s seminal 1968 film is given a new lease of life with an original sound design and score by creator Leon Radojkovic. Performers Hayley Sproull and Jack Buchanan are set to unleash hilarious multi-dimensional performances as they attempt to voice nearly every character and create every sound effect live.

Hailed by critics as a manifesto for the modern horror, Night of the Living Dead sees a group of strangers trapped in a farmhouse, fending off a horde of flesh-eating zombies. An allegory for America in the 60s with enduring relevance today – a society eating itself from within – this unlikely revival takes you deep into the belly of the beast for an exhilarating theatrical experience.

Following Live Live Cinema: Night of the Living Dead, Silo returns to its old stomping ground at Basement Theatre with the powerhouse arrival of writer Jasmin Lee-Jones with SEVEN METHODS OF KILLING KYLIE JENNER. Responding to the news that Kylie Jenner has become the youngest ‘self-made’ billionaire in history, writer Jasmine Lee-Jones’ emphatic script explores what it means to be terminally online. Told in the episodic, bite-sized, meme-centric social media language of Gen Z, the dichotomy of charming emojis to toxic and very instant replies demonstrates the perils and power of this way of communicating.

Premiering at London’s Royal Court Theatre in 2019 and receiving the Critics’ Circle Award for Most Promising Playwright and the Stage Debut Award for Best Writer, Lee-Jones’ seven methods of killing kylie jenner is a knife-sharp two-hander, deftly dissecting the politics of friendship, cancel culture, colourism and cultural appropriation. Silo welcomes emerging director Keagan Carr Fransch to the whānau to helm this production.

Directed by Silo’s Artistic Director Sophie Roberts, THE WRITER brings the company back to Q Theatre’s Rangatira in September. Following its incendiary London premiere in 2018, Ella Hickson’s masterpiece takes ferocious aim at sexual politics in the theatre. The story follows the meeting of a young writer and director: 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.

Born out of the #metoo movement, Hickson is fearless in her writing which smashes genre and form to make us consider the dirty business of making art. Yes, the work has teeth, but under the directorship of Sophie Roberts: “The Writer doesn’t seek to alienate audiences but open up a discussion. If we want the stories we tell to be impactful and transformative, theatre itself has to fundamentally change and be willing to expose the patriarchal history our artform is built upon. The Writer does this in a way that feels inventive, sophisticated and uniquely bold.” says Roberts.

Completing the 2022 season in November is the world premiere of up-and-coming NZ playwright Nahyeon Lee with THE FIRST PRIME-TIME ASIAN SITCOM. When a television network commissions the creation of the first all-Asian sitcom, the burden weighs heavy on its creatives. Couched in gags, canned laughter and breaking down walls with a sledgehammer of theatrical splendour, this is a bold new work directed by Arts Laureate and award-winning Director Ahi Karunaharan, examining race and representation in contemporary Aotearoa in three genre-defying parts.

Silo are thrilled to have the opportunity to present Nahyeon Lee’s debut play. Whilst The First Prime-Time Asian Sitcom digs at racism in Aotearoa, it does so with the barb of dark comic genius that’s clever, probing and anarchically cheeky.

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