I am extremely excited for Hannah Silva's new show, being produced by Penned in the Margins. Not only does it seem groundbreaking, a really necessarily dynamic and ambitious use of cut up / collage methodology, but its subject matter also seems to me as an distinctly necessary and timely theme to be exploring, precisely because of the popularity of the literary material it is partially made of. I can't wait to see it. http://www.pennedinthemargins.co.uk/index.php/2014/08/schlock-3/
"Schlock! is a subversive fifty-minute performance about sex and power that premieres at Aldeburgh Poetry Festival on 8th November. Audiences will hear voices spliced from EL James's infamous erotic novel, together with texts by the feminist writer Kathy Acker restored for the stage by Silva's inventive cut-and-paste techniques. The result is a paradox: a wildly original new work, entirely composed of other people's words.
Hannah Silva is a poet and performer known for her unique vocal delivery and praised as 'radical, political, courageous' by Whatsonstage. Her previous works have explored themes as diverse as politics, pseudoscience and women in business; but in this new show Silva returns to the topics that first caught her imagination.
"Schlock! is my most personal work. It's rooted in the physical, in the female body. The strange sadness I felt reading Fifty Shades of Greyseemed at odds with the book's popularity and was something I wanted to explore. At the same time I was re-reading Kathy Acker's books, and finding them shocking and also beautiful and inspiring. Like her, I want to disturb the boundaries between pleasure and pain, high art and schlock."
As well as being a rich sonic experience, Schlock! is a new departure for Silva in its use of physical storytelling. She has been collaborating with Deaf performer and interpreter Daryl Jackson (Dazzy Jacko) to make Schlock! accessible for d/Deaf audiences. Her performance shifts between spoken word and an embodied poetry consisting of British Sign Language and physical theatre. Sign language enables me to embody poetry in new ways. Our physicality and facial expressions communicate an incredible amount. It's humbling to realise how redundant much of spoken language really is. My hope is that this performance will connect with both hearing and d/Deaf audiences on an emotional, gut level.
Hannah Silva is one of a new wave of spoken word artists expanding what poetry can be. A highlight of the UK's preeminent poetry festival at Aldeburgh in Suffolk, and with a national tour planned for 2015, Schlock! looks set to stir up important debates and provoke strong reactions. "