In the grand tradition of literary terrorism, Hannah Silva has ripped up her copy of Fifty Shades. Now, surrounded by the crumpled pages, she attempts to put the female body back together again.
Tue-Sat only; 7.30pm (60 mins)
Preview: 8 Nov; Press night: 9 Nov
Tickets: £12 (£10 concessions) | BOOK NOW
2 Shepperton Road, London N1 3DT
A powerful and subversive one-woman show inspired by Fifty Shades of Grey is coming to London in November. In the grand tradition of literary terrorism, Hannah Silva has ripped up her copy of Fifty Shades. Now, surrounded by the crumpled pages, she attempts to put the female body back together again.
Schlock! is a journey through texts and voices pregnant with pleasure and pain, mothers and babies, domination and submission. Written and performed by Hannah Silva, a poet and theatre-maker with a formidable reputation, the virtuosic solo performance rewires the defunct language of pop-erotica. In search of alternative models of sexuality, Schlock! brings to life the final years of radical feminist writer Kathy Acker – ‘the high priestess of punk’ – in an enthralling and atmospheric whirl of words.
Silva is always driven to test the limits of language; in Schlock! she incorporates sections of British Sign Language alongside experimental vocal techniques, creating a layered narrative of voice, sound and gesture that will appeal both to hearing and d/Deaf audiences.
A remarkable piece, richly suggestive, enveloping and sensual
Schlock! is presented with award-winning literary arts company Penned in the Margins, of whom Silva is an associate artist; together they have curated a programme of post-show debates tackling subjects that spring from the show. Contributors including Susannah Tresilian, Caroline Bird and Raymond Antrobus will pose questions from ‘What’s the point of feminist art?’ and ‘Can the British still make radical theatre?’ to ‘What has the mainstream ever done for poetry?’ There will also be special guest performances by emerging spoken word artists Antosh Wojcik and Helen Seymour.
Originally commissioned for Aldeburgh Poetry Festival, Schlock! premiered to an audience of 250+ at Snape Maltings before touring in England, Brazil and India. This new three-week run offers audiences the chance to experience Silva’s groundbreaking performance in the intimate setting of one of London’s best fringe theatres.
Schlock! opens at the Rosemary Branch Theatre (Hackney/Islington borders) on 8 November and runs until 26 November.
Hannah Silva is a poet, playwright and performer known for her innovative explorations of form, voice and language in performance. Her work explores a wide range of subjects: from political rhetoric (Opposition) to pseudo-science (Total Man), teenage sexual identity (Orchid) to long-distance running (Marathon Tales). Hannah’s debut poetry collection Forms of Protest (Penned in the Margins, 2013) was Highly Commended in the Forward Prizes. She won the Tinniswood Award for Best Radio Drama Script with her verse play Marathon Tales (co-written with Colin Teevan for BBC Radio 3) and was shortlisted for the Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry for Total Man.
Once a Victorian music hall, the Rosemary Branch Theatre is now managed by interactive performance company Unattended Items, who took over as residents from June. Unattended Items is led by artistic directors Genevieve Taricco and Scarlett Plouviez Comnas. 2016 marked the 20 year anniversary of Cecilia Darker and Cleo Sylvestre as artistic directors, during which time the Rosie has blossomed – winning Best Fringe Theatre Award (2010) from Fringe Report, Best Neighbourhood Theatre Silver Award from Smooth FM, and Most Welcoming Theatre (2013 & 2016) from the Off West End Awards.
Penned in the Margins creates publications and performances for people who are not afraid to take risks. They believe in the power of language to challenge how we think, test new ideas and explore alternative stories. As well as their award-winning publishing list, they curate and produce a wide range of productions: from bespoke literary salons to internationally touring theatre shows. Notable past productions include Kalagora by Siddhartha Bose (Edinburgh Fringe & UK tour, 2011-12), Electronic Voice Phenomena (UK tour, 2013) Drift by Caroline Bergvall (UK tour, 2014), The Shipwrecked House by Claire Trévien (UK tour, 2014) and Schlock! by Hannah Silva (UK & international tour, 2015-16). They were selected to join the Arts Council’s National Portfolio in 2015.