Oh hi there Rachel House

Next week, Silo Theatre’s newest play, Medea, opens. It’s a contemporary re-telling the Euripide’s classic, but as with all Silo plays, expect a twist. In this version, all of the action takes place off stage, and on-stage, the audience sees the story unfold from the perspective of Medea’s two sons. Rachel House is directing, bringing her unique skills as a youth acting coach to the production…

My day usually begins and ends with…
So after years of what I considered to be a healthy disdain for “hand-bag” dogs, my partner went and fell in love with a black woolly ball of Cavoodle joy that we’ve named Maui. Right now -mornings and evenings are all about the Cavoodle. I barely recognize myself…

Name your three favourite places in Auckland to eat, drink and play.
I know this is a cop out but there are too many to name and that’s a good sign that we live in a pretty good place.

Tell us something we’d be surprised to know about you
I am part owner of a black Cavoodle named Maui…

Pick a book and a park you’d like to read it in, anywhere in the world.
I think I’m the last person to start reading Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels but I’d read those anywhere. There’s a park near my Mum and Dad’s place where my Dad and some other locals chained themselves to a tree when the council threatened to chop it down. I’d be happy sitting under that tree.  In that park.

Tell us a little bit about Silo’s MEDEA.
It’s a gentle, contemporary retelling of this famous/infamous story told through the perspective of Medea’s sons. We know the story so we know their fate but we get caught up in the immediate concerns of two, compelling young boys lives and how they deal with their parent’s marital struggles… and each other.

This treatment of the play touches on some very sensitive topics for our society, what’s been your process for bringing it to life, and are you nervous about its reception?
Our rehearsal room is filled with a fantastic team of crew, actors and lots of positivity.  The boys are bright young talented beauties who’ve worked hard to understand each moment. Bronwyn Bradley (who plays Medea) and I have concentrated on approaching her character with great compassion – a person who has had their power and heart stripped away. We haven’t thought about the response yet but yes… those topics need talking about in depth.

Your previous work on BOY and Hunt for the Wilderpeople has resulted in some stellar performances from young, inexperienced actors. What advice do you give to the young actors you work with to help them achieve?
“Process is cool!” Which makes me sound very uncool and that’s ok so long as they consider that process might be cool.

How do you think theatre can help to make the world a better place?
Great stories that make us think – even understand other lives different from our own.

If everyone in the world had a theme song that played when they walked into a room, what would yours be and why?
I wish it was Beyonce’s “Formation” but this week it’s more like Harry Nilsson’s “Everybodies talkin”

See MEDEA at the Herald Theatre from 16 June-9 July. Get tickets here >>