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Who is Sylvia?

Presented by the Silo Theatre, 16 September - 22 October 2005
written by Edward Albee; directed by Oliver Driver




Stevie Gray
Martin Gray
Ross Tuttle
Billy Gray


Jennifer Ward-Lealand
Michael Hurst
Paul Barrett
Kip Chapman
set design

costume design
lighting design 
  Oliver Driver
John Verryt
Andrew Malmo


Michael Hurst and Jennifer Ward-Lealand in The Goat, or, Who is Sylvia?

Click here for The Goat photo gallery.

In this 2015 interview on Lysistrata, Michael talks extensively about his
experience doing The Goat, and the connection between ancient and modern tragedy.



All three of the major publications that name the best in New Zealand theatre recognized the Silo production of The Goat, or, Who is Sylvia?

In the annual Metro magazine readers' poll, The Goat was voted Best Play of 2005, and Michael Hurst and Jennifer Ward-Lealand were voted Best New Zealand Actor and Best New Zealand Actress.

Listener magazine named 2005 "The Year of the Goat".  Their critic Natasha Hay said, "No doubt about it, Michael Hurst and Jennifer Ward-Lealand gave the performances of the year, possibly of their lives . . . The effect of Ward-Lealand unleashing primal howls while hurling crockery at the fallen hero was electric."  (See complete article here).

Shannon Huse of the New Zealand Herald chose The Goat as one of her two favorite plays this year:  " . . . the wonderful acting of Jennifer Ward-Lealand and Michael Hurst - their finely nuanced performances were something special."  (See complete article here).

Reviews and Articles on The Goat, or, Who is Sylvia?

New Zealand Herald:  "There can be few roles in contemporary theatre that are more demanding than the part of Martin Grey.  . . . Michael Hurst rises to the challenge with a performance that draws on the full range of his remarkable talent. . . . In his determination to express the inexpressible Hurst imbues this unlikely character with a poignant, almost heroic sense of dignity."

Listener:  "Michael Hurst and Jennifer Ward-Lealand play Martin and Stevie--two brilliant roles--brilliantly ... Hurst infuses his Martin with a quiet dignity and frenetic distractedness--his mix of pedantry and inarticulate despair is pure tragi-comedy. ... When Stevie finds out about Martin's liaison, Ward-Lealand is formidable.  As she unleashes primal howls, her depth of pain and rage is terrifying."

National Business Review"Michael Hurst as Martin gives a performance of painful realism which is gratifyingly understated with no outbursts or pleas for understanding. ... Jennifer Ward-Lealand ... gives a stunning performance, changing from the witty wife of the first act to the outraged and traumatised figure of the second act."

Sunday Star-Times:  "As Martin, Michael Hurst must . . . present a character that has genuinely fallen for a goat. . . . He does so by preserving Martin's inner dignity. Even at his worse, Martin extracts our sympathy, the test of a tragic hero. ... Jennifer Ward-Lealand's Stevie reduces a sophisticated, controlled woman into an animal-like despair, at one point reduced to disturbing primal howls . . . "

New Zealand Herald (preview):  "Albee has veto over the casts of his works wherever they are staged, and gave the nod to this pair after examining their CVs.  'He needs to know the actors have done lots of theatre . . . made us quite nervous, actually,' Hurst admits."

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