The silence to Killing Stella

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Theatre maker Bernadette Cronin.

ADAPTED for stage from Marlen Haushofer’s compelling novella ‘Wir töten Stella’ , ‘Killing Stella’ is an unflinching story of collusion in abuse, and the price that has to be paid for remaining silent. In the Austrian born Haushofer’s text, we find context:

“Stella is dead, the funeral is over and Anna’s husband Richard has taken the children to his mother’s for the weekend. Alone at last, Anna has two days ahead of her to make sense of the catastrophe that unfolds when she takes the 19 year-old Stella into her home. She can’t help the baby bird shrieking in the garden for its mother, but she could have helped Stella…”

Interestingly, the translation and adaptation are both from the  principal performer, actor Bernadette Cronin. Her show was brought to Cork’s Everyman Theatre’s stage to acclaim by Gaitkrash last year. We can see it in Limerick tonight at Belltable, Thursday 16 at 8pm, booking on venue manager www.limetreetheatre.ie

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‘Killing Stella’ is described as “a signature exploration across art forms to create cutting-edge theatre, the performers, actor Bernadette Cronin and Eimear Reidy on cello, create a multi-layered language of performance to tell this story of the subtle abuse of a powerless young woman, the trauma of teenage pregnancy, and the damage that unfolds when the witness remains silent.”

The music played by cellist Reidy is original composition and eloquently scores the depth of feeling and tragic outcome  of Anna’s passivity in the face of such damage. Injury reverberates beyond deed and death.

Directed by Regina Crowley, with lighting design by Tim Feehily, set design by Davy Dummigan and costume design by Valentina Gambardella, ‘Killing Stella’ is a show that challenges the boundaries in production values also, those “of theatre, sound, image and choreography,” says Regina Crowley.