Review- Silent Sky- Aurora Theatre


By Dakota Duclo



In a time where empowering women and representation are all prevalent, Aurora Theatre brings ‘Silent Sky’ to the helm towards the latter half of their season. Providing us with a female producer, female director, and a female-heavy cast, ‘Silent Sky’ is a story that needs telling, and is not nearly staged enough. Politics aside, it is not the fact that women, in general, brought this production to life that makes it what it is. Though rather it is these women in it, which make all the difference in particular.


The plot is simple enough to follow without giving too much away – In an era where women are essential to remain “in the kitchen” unless otherwise approved of by men, Henrietta Leavitt pursues her passion for astronomy to its fullest extent. She joins a Harvard Observatory as a volunteer, only to be dismissed by the assistant of the great Astronomer who runs the department, he of whom we never actually see because let’s face it, he probably had more “pressing” matters to attend to. She’s thus assigned to work in the harem with the other two women where she’s then advised to chart, compute, and spank (yes you read that right) unless told otherwise. Her grit and dedication to her work keep her busy after hours, whilst like most people, she’s forced to juggle family issues, romance, office banter, and her findings which would later go on to be ground-breaking in how science examines space and our solar system. - The set works well in its subtlety, consisting of just a few desks, and occasionally a couch and/or chair or two for separate scene changes. The lighting was also well put together, and the use of the projector screen was visually appealing.  


All this to say – If you enjoy great storying-telling, sharp directing, fun dialogue, beautiful visuals, and very, very solid acting, this show is not to be missed.


Christy Shapiro is a veteran in the director’s chair, and only further proves her prowess and her great ability to diversify the type of work she shows to the public. Her process of seeing things “come together” never seems to fail her and puts her up against the best Hong Kong has to offer. As actors are tools used for driving the plot, this troupe certainly did not disappoint.


Mimi Burns steals the hearts of everyone watching, playing the younger sister of our lead. She always seems to possess the unique skill of empathy for her characters and in turn, allows us to then empathize with her.


Seasoned Nicole Garbellini kept the pacing with her stern attitude yet amazing character development that allows us to see a change in her from beginning to end. Snaps to Lisa Middleton for her lovely Scottish accent, timing, and subtle line delivery which kept the audience guessing, and of course, laughing.


The new-comer Ryan King deserves mentioning as the sole male role. His awkward demeanour yet somehow charming persistence gives us insight into the attitude of men during this time period. Although he also provides us hope, as he seemingly embodies a man who takes responsibility for his shortcomings, as well as reminding us that courting a woman can and still should be, a process of patience and respect.


Now, when we talk about Davina Lee Carrette, we’re not just talking about an actress, we’re talking about an actor. Actor, in the universal term meaning men and women. And amongst them all, she’s one of the best Hong Kong has seen onstage and likely will see for some time. In our industry, Davina is what one refers to as a “Power House”. Her constant engagement with the actors and the world on the stage shows a discipline I’d personally compare to some of the best in the West End and the Broadway stage (not something to be said lightly). Her comfortability onstage is exuberant, infectious, and simply a spell that one wishes not to break free from.

Do yourself a favour, and catch the show before the run concludes. Now no show goes without things that can’t be improved, be it “nit-picky” things and/or knee-jerk reactions. What I will say in regarding this show, they are not even worth mentioning. 


Silent Sky plays through Oct 14 at McAulay Studio. For more information click here

Rate This Show: 1 2 3 4 5 Audience Rating: 3.6


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