I had become used to a certain type of show with Silo Theatre. I loved it but it was definitely a type and it was most certainly a type which came to an outrageously extravagant climax with Angels in America. Now a new kid is in town, and whilst this season is still of Shane Bosher’s curation, there is certainly something starkly different about Sunday Roast.
Fresh from the pen of Thomas Sainsbury, Sunday Roast is both deliciously evil and devillishly hysterical.
It begins in darkness then ping, two torches light up. It’s quiet, and remains that way for the duration of the play. Quiet in that there’s no other sounds but that of the voices of the actors. Eerie. There’s more light and you find yourself meeting the Giles family, mother Leanne, larrrrvely and foster child, name escaping me. Soon the other characters emerge, a collection of humans both utterly terrifying and yet strangely familiar (in a trope of the landed gentry with terribly ruined children sort of way). In some ways it’s a character study, in others a deliciously dark comedy.
A deliciously dark comedy that left me totally and utterly disturbed. And I even knew the twist!
But see, I had forgotten. Toni Potter and Adam Gardiner, under the skilful direction of Silo’s new artistic director, Sophie Roberts put on a show that is so splitting with energy that you get swept away with the mayhem. You’re laughing, laughing, laughing and then it twists.
With the twist comes a churning of the gut as all of a sudden all of the details make sense. Sure you’re still laughing, Sainsbury has written a hilarious piece that Potter and Gardiner put on exquisitely, but you also begin to notice the ominous nature of Dan Williams’ set, all hooks and sharp edges. How Jane Hakaraia’s (disclosure, the mama) is stark and devoid of colour, chilling, bright but also… dim, dark – you’ve been on a farm at night time right?
Upon reflection Sunday Roast takes me back to a paper I read at Uni. Carolyn Korsmeyer’s Delightful, Delicious, Disgusting. She toys with theories of sublimity in relation to our relationship with foods that push boundaries. The idea that anything that is terrible or operates in a manner analogous to terror is a source of the sublime, the strongest emotion the mind is capable of feeling. We delight in potentially dangerous conditions because it’s better than indifference. We also flirt with the deadly or perverse because to eat at a basic level is to destroy. Why not push it further? To eat is so much more than to simply gain sustenance, it’s also to feel, connect, be.
That’s all there in Sunday Roast. And so while it’s kinda revolting. It’s also essential. It’s also very very human. (And really really hilarious).
Sunday Roast is on at The Loft at Q Theatre until June 28. Buy Tickets + Get More Info HERE.