Basement Theatre, Lower Greys Ave, Auckland

15/02/2017 - 11/03/2017

Production Details

Silo Theatre presents
Written by Alice Birch

Subversive and darkly comic, the New Zealand premiere of REVOLT. SHE SAID. REVOLT AGAIN. sees Silo Theatre return to the venue where it all began 20 years ago – Basement Theatre. A daring cast and crew will tackle this provocative work from 15 February – 11 March as part of Auckland Fringe, opening Silo’s 20th anniversary season with guns blazing.
A series of hilarious and horrifying vignettes, REVOLT. SHE SAID. REVOLT AGAIN. rages against the status quo, examining how the language we rely on to define and understand the world around us is imbued with a silent power imbalance. In a supposed “post-feminist” world, where even our own Prime Minister Bill English declares he doesn’t know what feminism is, this play demands we look deeper at the ways in which patriarchy is woven through the fabric of our society.
“Dazzling in its provocative daring, acting like a cluster bomb of subversion” – The Daily Telegraph
Playwright Alice Birch is a formidable figure amongst emerging dramatists in the United Kingdom and is often touted as her generation’s Caryl Churchill. REVOLT. SHE SAID. REVOLT AGAIN. was inspired by historian Laurel Thatcher Ulrich’s slogan and book title, “Well-behaved women seldom make history”. The script has commanded attention worldwide with productions by the Royal Shakespeare Company at Edinburgh Fringe, New York’s influential Soho Rep and an upcoming season at Melbourne’s Malthouse Theatre in 2017.
“The linguistic and visual density that Birch achieves leaves you emotionally winded yet still engaged” – David Cote, Critics’ Pick – Time Out New York
With REVOLT… Silo’s 2016 directing intern Virginia Frankovich makes her directorial debut for the company, drawing on her eclectic theatrical background of experimental and outspoken work, including creating and directing the immersive theatrical experience Car, and directing Julia Croft’s Fringe favourite If There’s Not Dancing at the Revolution, I’m Not Coming. Frankovich leads a strong and energetic cast of Silo favourites and new faces – Sophie Henderson (Fantail, Tartuffe), Michelle Ny (The Rehearsal, Reservoir Hill) Amanda Tito (Step Dave, The Book of Everything) and Fasitua Amosa (Dirty Laundry, Harry).
Joining the creative team, and crossing into theatre for the first time is musician Claire Duncan (i.e. crazy, formerly Dear Times Waste) who will be collaborating on the original sound design.
Silo Artistic Director Sophie Roberts selected this play to continue championing explicitly feminist work, saying, “Silo has an ongoing interest in gender politics, in storytelling and how our stages can be used to address an imbalance in female representation. We strive to be leaders in achieving gender parity in the sector with our programming, creative teams and development opportunities.”
Exhilaratingly wild, fearless and playful, this is feminism at its messy edge.

By Alice Birch
Part of the 2017 Auckland Fringe Festival
15 February – 11 March, Basement Theatre
Tickets from
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(09) 3684180 / (027) 2956450

Performers include: Sophie Henderson (Fantail, Tartuffe), Michelle Ny (The Rehearsal, Reservoir Hill) Amanda Tito (Step Dave, The Book of Everything) and Fasitua Amosa (Dirty Laundry, Harry).

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Revolutionize the Discourse (Donft Review)

Review by Rachael Longshaw-Park 23rd Feb 2017

Virginia Frankovich’s directorial debut for Silo Theatre explodes across the Basement Theatre stage with an astute understanding of the complexity of Alice Birch’s text. Last year Silo proved that they are not a company to pander to the mainstream sensibilities and once again they present us with a piece of self-dubbed feminist theatre that attempts to unpack, navigate and challenge the language and behaviour that the patriarchy has weaved into our daily lives.

Entering the space, you are presented with a messy stage that looks more like a poorly organised backstage than a performance space, but soon enough, the actors begin clearing it away leaving a blank white canvas. [More


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Funny feminist word-plays on stage

Review by Paul Simei-Barton 20th Feb 2017

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. [More


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Entertainingly unsettling socio-political minefield

Review by Nik Smythe 17th Feb 2017

British playwright Alice Birch’s absurdist deconstructed anthology Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again. is simultaneously inquisitive, antagonistic, eloquent, obtuse, frank and recondite.  The series of disparate scenes addresses a range of feminist subjects, which of course is not to say subjects caused by feminism; rather the archetypal topics which the ongoing organic social movement known as feminism necessarily came into being to directly challenge and transform. 

At first the stage is cluttered with miscellaneous props: clothes, furniture, exercise equipment, fruit and veg, wigs, water cooler and a shopping trolley et al; an ostensible junk pile from which every item will serve a narrative function in due course.  This could feasibly be read as an analogy for how our preconceptions of any given opinions or ideas may prove inaccurate as their true value is demonstrated. 

At the far end, stage manager Eliza Josephson-Rutter slouches at her desk, nonchalantly checking her smartphone as the performers busy themselves clearing the stage, drawing a panoramic screen across the back wall, consulting their notes and helping with each other’s makeup.

Steeped in humour and attitude, the ensuing action is driven and intense, aptly marking the directorial debut of physical theatre veteran Virginia Frankovich.  Comprising three women – Sophie Henderson, Michelle Ny and Amanda Tito – and a bloke, Fasitua Amosa, the cast fairly crackles with sassy, mischievous energy as they launch into their complex mission, to exemplify the present status of the continuing global gender debate.

In the first scene two lovers verbally spar over the terminology of the sex act, highlighting the prevalent tendency for it to be described from the male perspective, e.g. ‘penetration’ versus ‘envelopment’.  In the next, coming in immediately post-marriage proposal, a young woman is at first lost for words before finding a whole lot to earnestly explain her quandary surrounding the implications of such a request to her bemused partner.

Each vignette broadens the discourse to include sexual politics, language, social and familial expectations, the beauty myth and rape culture, and so on.  There are half a dozen scenarios presented including the final chaotic frenzy wherein a handful of contentious events play out simultaneously.  A series of revolutionary calls-to-arms periodically appear on the screen to punctuate the onstage action, such as ‘Revolutionise the work – engage with it’ or ‘Revolutionise the world – don’t reproduce’. 

Within the exploration of what defines and divides the sexes, there’s a palpable sense of inclusive collaboration within the company, including the commendable efforts of the design team of Kate Burton (lights), Daniel Williams (set and costumes) and Claire Duncan (sound).

So much information is compressed into six scenes inside an hour, it could feasibly take days to unpack and consider the significance and ramifications of every question, suggestion and concept broached therein.  The programme’s centre page essays on the principles of feminist satire, the playwright’s inspiration and intent, and the relevance of these ideas within the ‘revolting’ global politics of right now, are an indispensable tool to this end. 

One or two moments where characters appear to briefly concur are welcome respite in the surrounding confusion, being mostly at cross-purposes in their laughably human attempts to communicate.  The most apparent upshot of this entertainingly unsettling theatrical document is what a socio-political minefield it is just trying to establish a mutually respectful linguistic base on which to move forward constructively (hence the possibly excessive verbosity of this very analysis). 


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