Theatre review: Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again.

By Paul Simei-Barton

Revolt.  She Said.  Revolt Again. is 60 minutes of high energy theatre.  Photo:  Andi Crown Photography.
Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again. is 60 minutes of high energy theatre. Photo: Andi Crown Photography.

With women at the forefront of resistance in the era of alternative facts, it is heartening to see Silo launching its 2017 season with a raucous celebration of the feminist avant-garde.

Even more prescient is British playwright Alice Birch's intense focus on the way everyday language distorts reality and undermines our ability to communicate with each other.

The play opens with a brilliantly funny series of sketches that shine a glaring spotlight on the assumptions and attitudes encoded within our linguistic habits. The laughs flow thick and fast as a superb four-person cast find a blend of irony and earnestness that is perfectly suited to the multi-layered complexities of the script.

Fasitua Amosa carries off an hilarious transition from enthusiasm to bewilderment as Sophie Henderson subversively flips the script on his rhapsodic attempt at seduction.

Michelle Ny serves up a ridiculously eloquent and deliciously awkward response to a marriage proposal that encompasses all the anxieties and fears that make contemporary romance such a minefield.

Amanda Tito strikes a chord with audience as she adopts a pose of amused exasperation and resigns herself to the impossibility of being understood by an eager-to-please but wilfully obtuse employer.

There is a distinct change of tone in second half of the play when director Virginia Frankovich amps up a bleakly apocalyptic vision of a world in which the failure of communication seems to have destroyed the impulse to act with kindness.

The conclusion, with a neo-Dadaist carnival of fragmented images, is dramatically unsatisfying as the possibility of meaningful political action appears to be drowned out by the aesthetics of disruptive chaos. That said, the production delivers a 60-minute blast of provocative, high-energy theatre that prompts us to pay more attention to the words that come out of our mouths.

What: Revolt. She said. Revolt again.
Where and when: Basement Theatre, to March 11.

- NZ Herald

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