Favourite build­ing

Silo The­atre turns 20 this year: it doesn’t have its own build­ing, but artis­tic direc­tor So­phie Roberts is quite at home in an­other.

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Direc­tor So­phie Roberts is at home at Q The­atre

“Theatres are my favourite spa­ces – specif­i­cally when a show moves from the re­hearsal room into the the­atre and you have to meet the ex­pec­ta­tions of a much larger space and work out how it’s go­ing to com­mu­ni­cate what you’re try­ing to ex­press. There’s some­thing about that mo­ment in the process of cre­at­ing work: a po­tent mix of ex­cit­ing pos­si­bil­ity and po­ten­tial for dis­as­ter that’s the most mo­ti­vat­ing force on earth for me. I’ve di­rected seven shows at Q The­atre. The first was Pitch­fork Dis­ney, not long af­ter it had first opened. We de­cided to trans­form the en­tire the­atre, foyer and en­trance into a highly de­tailed, aban­doned and de­cay­ing old home. We had big am­bi­tions and no money and had se­ri­ously bit­ten off more than we could chew. I re­mem­ber us fran­ti­cally paint­ing and grab­bing rub­bish off Queen Street to chuck in the stair­well as the au­di­ence was start­ing to come in. It has be­come a build­ing that feels like a sec­ond home to me. I love where Q sits in the city – there’s a real arts precinct in that part of town now that wraps around Aotea Square and the Town Hall. For me, it’s a great re­minder of the civic func­tion of theatres as im­por­tant spa­ces where peo­ple come to­gether and en­gage in con­ver­sa­tions about the world we live in.”

Pho­tog­ra­phy David Straight

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