Wink at KXT
Sofie and Gregor are drifting apart. Their cat, Wink, is missing, and the only thing they share is their psychiatrist. Then Wink turns up on the psychiatrist’s couch...
One relationship falls apart - while another blossoms - as violent desires, domestic terrorism, and relentless feline vengeance drip from this ominous comedy about the thin line between civilisation and savagery from the acclaimed writer of The Moors and Collective Rage
Rosie spoke with actor Eloise Snape about the Australian premiere of a brilliant new script and how Wink will force us to look at our own humanity. Read the full interview below:
Wink is an ominous comedy about the thin line between civilisation and savagery… and a missing cat. What drew you to this quirky script?
I knew Silverman’s writing as I’d read her play The Moors so I was instantly excited about reading Wink when Anthony Skuse brought it to me. I was instantly engaged and couldn’t put it down, which is rare for someone with an attention span like mine! It’s got bite, it’s edgy, it makes you laugh, it makes you cry and the heart of the piece is very human and relatable. Even though it sits on a different plane in terms of style, it feels so very real. I’ve also never read anything like it before.
Wink is a very, very dark comedy - how does this production walk the fine line between using comedy as a catalyst for conversation and completely alienating the audience with grim content?
Ooh excellent question. I think the only way to draw the comedy out of the piece to play the absolute truth of the situation. Jen Silverman says that herself. The more the audience is able to connect with the characters truths, then the more they will hopefully buy into the heightened world they sit in. I don’t think there is anything in the play that is grim for grims sake – it’s all connected to story and character and just as we start to think we’re descending into a hideous dark hole she brings you back out with humour. I also think the delivery of the text, like with any comedy, is incredibly important. If the rhythm is off, then it really becomes a drama. If the rhythm is on, then the comedy pops out.
KXT is known for putting forth works that push boundaries and start necessary conversations. How does Wink fit into this program? What discussions do you hope to instigate with this work?
Wink absolutely pushes boundaries and is rich with necessary conversation starters! And I applaud KXT for programming such an eclectic mix of exciting works that you might not see elsewhere. It’s a total privilege to be a part of that. In terms of boundary pushing, I guess the form of Wink, and the unconventional characters and style of her writing are what makes this play unsafe. It feels dangerous. All 4 characters go through a huge transformation and all are forced to question who they are, how they recover and how they rebuild. It questions how we are restricted in this world. And uses a cat to expose that!
Jen Silverman’s works are rapidly gaining popularity, and are now being performed across the world. Why do you think audience and artist alike are so attracted to Jen’s style of writing, and what place do you think her unique voice has in contemporary theatre?
Silverman sees the world through a truly unique lens and she uses that lens to write her own personal truth into her characters. Which is why her writing feels completely unique and fresh. Who she is and how she views human beings complete with their flaws and complexities is so alive in her writing. She apologies for nothing and makes no concessions. It’s really exciting. She also uses animals as a way to explore humankind, which I love.
Wink is fairly new to the theatre world, having only had its World Premiere earlier this year. What can audiences expect from this show, and why do you think 2019 is the right time to tell this story?
Yes how awesome to be performing the Australian premiere right after the World premiere in the states! Audiences can expect to be shocked, to laugh, to cry and to hopefully walk away questioning what it is to be a human in 2019. They’ll be plummeted to the depths of humanity without any sentimentality and laugh wickedly while they are down there.
RAPID FIRE QUESTIONS
Favourite production you have ever seen?
I saw Once down in Melbourne in 2014 and nearly died and prob Constellations that Darlinghurst Theatre did, also in 2014! What a good year.
You’re getting on a plane tomorrow and you can go anywhere in the world, where do you go?
Dream role to perform?
Ah! Um, Marianne in Constellations? This is too hard! There are too many! Any of the amazing women in Bridesmaids.
Plays or musicals?
Anything by Simon Stephens. I would just like to be able to sing or dance. That would be nice.
A hobby you have beyond the theatre?
I am a bit of a plane spotter.
What’s next for you after this show?
I’m getting married in December. To the actor playing Wink. So this will be a nice little test for us hehe.
Wink opens at KXT on August 2, 2019. You can get your tickets here.