A thousand years ago, there were no worries about failing dot.coms, skyrocketing rents or the other problems of life in 2001. Instead, the people of that time daily faced death, rape and forbidden desires fiercely punished by both the law and the church.
Moira Buffini's Silence harks back to this world in the drama's U.S. premiere April 13-May 14 at San Francisco's Magic Theatre. Opening night is set for April 20.
Britain in the year 1000 was the world of the Vikings and Celts, where political strife has forced prince Silence and his new bride Ymma to flee the lecherous King Ethelred, bent on enjoying the couple's favors. The two run away with a priest named Roger, a soldier named Eadric and a servant, but the lust in the kingdom begins to affect all five companions, driving each to question his or her desires.
Susan Smith Blackburn Award-winning playwright Buffini is the author Blavatsky's Tower and the solo piece, Jordan. A Time Out Award winner, Jordan is the true story of an abused single mother, who turns to prostitution and is eventually forced by her circumstances to smother her child and attempt suicide.
Barbara Damashek directs. She co-authored Quilters, but often directs, including the Magic's productions of Bronte, The Cryptogram and Trouble. Silence features Rachel Black as Silence, Nina Gold as Ymma, Delia MacDougall, Liam Vincent and Alex Moggridge.
Tickets are $15. The Magic Theatre is located at 450 Post Street in San Francisco. For reservations, call (415) 441-8822. The Magic Theatre is on the web at http://www.magictheatre.org.
-- By Christine Ehren