The world a thousand years ago may sound very different from today's, but in Moira Buffini's Silence, opening its U.S. premiere April 20 at San Francisco's Magic Theatre, that world resonates in contemporary life.
Silence is set in Britain in the year 1000, the world of the Vikings and Celts. 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, which began previews April 13 and ends May 13, features Rachel Black as Silence, Nina Gold as Ymma, Delia MacDougall, Liam Vincent and Alex Moggridge. Tickets are $15. The Magic Theatre is located on the third floor of Building D at the Fort Mason Center. For reservations, call (415) 441-8822. The Magic Theatre is on the web at http://www.magictheatre.org.
-- By Christine Ehren