What promises to be a blisteringly funny and heartfelt experience, Silo once again brings to Auckland audiences the work of acclaimed playwright Nina Raine (Rabbit), when Tribes plays at the Maidment Theatre.
Silence isn’t surtitled. Billy’s fiercely intelligent and proudly unconventional family are their own tiny empire, with their own private language, jokes and rules. You can be as rude as you like, as possessive as you like and as critical as you like. After all, arguments are an expression of love: the soundtrack of life. But Billy, who is deaf, is one of the few who actually listens. Meeting Sylvia makes him finally want to be heard; but can he get a word in edgeways?
Dedicated to bringing Auckland the very best of contemporary theatre, Silo heavily campaigned to include Tribes in their 2012 programme. Amidst fierce competition in New Zealand, Silo landed the rights to perform the show based on their track record and highly successful sell-out season of Rabbit in 2008.
Raine’s highly anticipated follow-up to her stunning debut was received with great acclaim upon its premiere in 2010. It got killer reviews, sold out the Royal Court Theatre and earned Raine a nomination in the 2011 Lawrence Olivier Awards. It comes to Auckland following critically acclaimed, sold-out productions in New York, Melbourne and Budapest.
Tribes brings together a stellar cast which includes New Zealand icon Michael Hurst. He is joined by Catherine Wilkin (The Importance of Being Earnest, McLeods Daughters), Fern Sutherland (core cast of The Almighty Johnsons; The End of the Golden Weather), dazzling newcomer Jodie Hillock, Emmett Skilton (The Almighty Johnsons) and Leon Wadham (Under the Mountain).
Tribes explores the complex and dynamic interpersonal politics of family. This notion of family in a contemporary world is something that Silo is obsessed with - as explored previous works The Only Child, That Face, The Brothers Size and, of course, When the Rain Stops Falling. In this instance, Silo explores families having their own private language. Using deafness as a metaphor for communication Tribes exists in a modern world cluttered with devices that control our lives: questioning who is really listening and who isn’t.
The play also unearths some insights into deaf culture, examining the polarisation of individuals in this community by others. The importance of those who are deaf having their own language and identity comes under the microscope as we watch the central character (who is deaf) struggle with the prejudices and social mores of his wonderfully dysfunctional contemporary family unit.
A truly unique play, blending spoken word, sign language and surtitling into its framework, Tribes will leave audiences speechless. Filled with the sort of one-liners you wish you were quick enough to come up with in real life, this play oozes intelligence, robust humour and profound pathos.
“Funny and moving - this is as good as theatre gets. Don't miss it.” - The Australian
“the best-written, best-plotted, deepest, most daring - and funniest - new play in recent years.” - The Wall Street Journal