Cast pictured above
Maria, Grandmother Tina Grey.
Ewa Daughter Kate Spiro.
Anna Grandaughter Maria Louis.
Photographs above are courtesy of Robert Day.
Photograph by Elaine Chapman
Behind every family, there lies a history and secrets that they carry with them from generation to generation. The three generations of women in Silence are no exception. Nicola Werenowska has crafted this families hauntingly dark history through nonlinear timelines narrated by each of the three characters.
Silence is not only the title of this movingly thoughtful play but the theme that runs throughout. These difficult heartbreaking decisions that have shaped the family are still playing a major role in their lives. Anna confirms this when trying to discuss a past event with her Mother, Ewa who refuses to answer and Anna replies frustratedly to her with ‘things you never ask’ which is simply met with silence by Ewa.
Each of the two Mother and Daughter relationships is haunted by feelings of not being good enough and unloved. However, not knowing how to be able to love appears to be the reality.
Russia’s part in World War II and the horrific events that took place in the Siberian prison camps after the war ended is the main backdrop in this play. Maria, the Grandmother has never forgotten the cold, the tiredness, hunger and devastating decision that was forced upon her during that time. She recalls these memories throughout the play as we step back and forth into her history until she reaches the devastating event that had moulded her relationship with Ewa.
Truly remarkable performances from all three actresses. Their passion, conviction and intensity are incredibly moving. This play is a credit to the director, Jo Newman. I defy anyone not to be affected by this heavily layered journey into the present day.
The Salberg Theatre is a smaller venue with 149 seats. It provides a more intimate setting for this play. Being closer to the performance enhances the dramatic tensions you feel as an audience by being in close proximity.
I rate this play 5 stars
The play runs from the 13th -17th November 2018 at Salisbury Playhouse, Salberg Theatre.
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