Copies of the erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey are to be ripped up on stage for a provocative solo performance at the Rosemary Branch this month.
Theatre-maker Hannah Silva has been trawling local charity shops to snap up all the copies she can find – and has even appealed to the public for book donations.
Schlock! will see parts of the erotic text spliced together with sentences and extracts from the novel In Memoriam to Identity by experimental writer and punk-poet Kathy Acker.
“The word ‘Schlock’ was used by Acker to describe writing such as true-life stories in magazines, science fiction, horror stories and pornography,” writes Silva on her theatre company’s website.
“She wrote by splicing together ‘schlock’ with ‘good literature’. When I was wondering what today’s ‘schlock’ might be, I thought of Fifty Shades of Grey.
“Through cutting up and splicing these texts together, strange narratives emerge.”
Silva’s solo performance explores feminism, gender, sexuality and power using spoken word, subtitles and a loop station.
Explaining why she targeted the Fifty Shades novels for the performance, Silva says: “I was quite struck by the undercurrents of violence. On surface the book seems quite innocuous and people read it like a romance, and quite a lot of young women read it.”
The show has so far been performed in Mumbai, Brazil and in the UK but the run at the Rosemary Branch will be its first time in London.
Until 26 November
Rosemary Branch Theatre, 2 Shepperton Road, N1 3DT