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Saturday, September 15, 2018


Theatre at its best. (Review by Margaret von Klemperer)

From the Contagious Theatre team that gave us The Snow Goose – director Jenine Collocott and performer Taryn Bennett - comes Silkworm, a glorious piece of theatre which manages to combine hilarity and pathos into one completely satisfying hour. From the moment Bennett appears on stage as the awkward Georgina Aurora Clementine, complete with her box of silkworms and proceeds to punch holes in the lid – “so that they can breathe” – we are on a rollercoaster ride of clowning, music, laughter, tragedy and audience participation.

Georgina involves the audience from the start, asking random people what their favourite piece of music or their favourite film is, their favourite food on a picnic or what would be the animal they would choose to be, assuming they woke up tomorrow as an animal. She takes us on a picnic, and to the beach – and if you don’t believe that watching someone eat an apple on stage can be riveting theatre, then you need to see this.

At the performance I saw, the two audience members who were called up to the stage for scenes set in the movies and at a restaurant were delightfully game for whatever Bennett threw at them.

The action was so fast and furious that the undercurrent of pathos was almost unnoticed until close to the end, but unlike the kind of theatre that feels as though it must deliver a punch to the gut to make a heavy-handed point, Silkworm offers a pervasive sadness that creeps up on you and that taken with what has gone before is totally satisfying. Theatre at its best. - Margaret von Klemperer

There will be one more performance of “Silkworm” at the festival tomorrow (September 16, 2018) at 12h30 in the Memorial Hall.