What most appealed to you about Silo?
Silo explores the idea that sharing the truth of our emotions is difficult and terrifying at the best of times, let alone during an emotionally traumatic experience, such as losing a parent. This juxtaposed by the cool, analytical nature of the character of Silo creates a truth worth exploring within the safety of a fictitious, yet infinitely possible world.
In the story, pandemics have become a regular part of life. The play feels semi-apocalyptic. Do you feel that Silo makes any statements about the state of the world?
I feel that the world in which Silo inhabits is one terrifyingly possible, if not probable, and reflects the fragility of societal norms. It forces us to consider the way we live, and where the human race is heading if we continue on our current trajectory. It is an omen of what could befall our species.
You play the title character, Silo, a feminine robot who has been sent by her inventor to care for his father during his dying days. How do you view her?
She is an enigma, the first of her kind with terrifying potential. She is a humanoid with infinite intelligence and no emotions to hold her back. She analytically understands the emotions and body language of humans through her infinite access to all known publications and incites available on the internet into human nature. And though she cannot learn to feel, she understands emotional needs better than any human being could.
The play focuses on a strained relationship between a father and his son. Do you find male-on-male relationships particularly interesting?
Male-on-male relationships are fascinating and frustrating to me in equal measure, simply because I don’t often understand them. In my experience, it can be a very easy thing to get frustrated when guys are not communicating, especially with someone they are close to. This play really magnifies an inability to communicate emotional needs between father and son which, unfortunately, is not uncommon in today’s society.
It seems that both men are able to communicate better through Silo than in person. Do you think this reflects our relationship with technology?
I think that a lot of people now use technology to communicate uncomfortable or difficult truths, both professionally and emotionally. It is very easy to hide behind a screen when, for example, breaking up with someone, whereas it takes a lot more courage to knowingly hurt them in person. Throughout history people have distanced themselves from the truth or have hidden from the consequences of their decisions. Technology has only made that easier, and Silo emphasises this in a very harsh but honest way.
What three words would you use to sum up Silo?
Emotional. Honest. Thought-provoking.
What other plays would you compare it to?
I never sang for my father by Robert Anderson. And Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller.
Why should people come to see the show?
This play is for people who are curious about relationships, emotional truths, and relatable, thought-provoking scenarios. It’s depicted in a way that will have you laughing and tearing up, but with hope as an ever-present companion.
We’d like to thank Emma for taking the time to speak to us and can’t wait for Silo to begin its 5-day run in North Devon. The play will show at The Plough Arts Centre from 15-16 June, and then The Queen’s Theatre from 23-25 June 2023.
* Please note that anyone who comes to see the play can get a copy of Spectrum for half price, making it £4.99 instead of £9.99. Simply keep hold of your theatre ticket and present it when buying the book in the foyer.