Silence speaks volumes in shocking tale of domestic violence at Abbey Theatre 

Five Kinds of Silence is to be performed by the Company of Ten at the Abbey Theatre in October.

Five Kinds of Silence is to be performed by the Company of Ten at the Abbey Theatre in October. - Credit: Jon Schick / Supplied by Abbey Theatre

A shocking portrait of domestic violence is to be performed by the Company of Ten in St Albans.

Shelagh Stephenson’s Five Kinds of Silence opens at the Abbey Theatre on Friday, October 8. 

Susan and Janet have just shot their father dead. So why is he still there haunting their dreams and their waking hours?

What happened in his past, and in theirs, that means he maintains his appalling grip on their lives, even after his own is over?

Rehearsals for Five Kinds of Silence, which is to be performed by the Company of Ten at the Abbey Theatre in October.

Rehearsals for Five Kinds of Silence, which is to be performed by the Company of Ten at the Abbey Theatre in October. - Credit: Jon Schick / Supplied by Abbey Theatre

This poetically haunting play of rage, sorrow and beauty reveals the bricks and mortar of the psychological prison in which so many victims of domestic abuse find themselves confined. 

"This play is particularly important right now," says Rosemary Goodman, the play’s director, "because the number of cases has risen significantly during the pandemic.

"It’s even more relevant today than it was when first staged in 2000.

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"At the start of lockdown in March 2020, charities such as Women’s Aid highlighted the increased risk of harm and isolation for those affected by domestic abuse.

"Between April and June 2020, there was a 65 per cent increase in calls to the National Domestic Abuse Helpline, when compared to the first three months of the year."

Rehearsals for Five Kinds of Silence, which is to be performed by the Company of Ten at the Abbey Theatre in October.

Rehearsals for Five Kinds of Silence, which is to be performed by the Company of Ten at the Abbey Theatre in October. - Credit: Jon Schick / Supplied by Abbey Theatre

The play is set in the 1980s when less help was available to women, but sadly much remains the same.

Exploring themes of alcoholism, abuse, depression, grief, and self-harm, from the offset it promises to be a gritty show, but Shelagh Stephenson manages to find moments of light relief, humour in death and resilience of the human spirit.

Performances take place in the Abbey Theatre Studio from Friday, October 8 to Saturday, October 16 at 8pm, and a matinee on Sunday, October 10 at 2.30pm.

This play has strong language and adult themes.

To book tickets go to www.abbeytheatre.org.uk or call the box office on 01727 857861.

Rehearsals for Five Kinds of Silence, which is to be performed by the Company of Ten at the Abbey Theatre in October.

Rehearsals for Five Kinds of Silence, which is to be performed by the Company of Ten at the Abbey Theatre in October. - Credit: Jon Schick / Supplied by Abbey Theatre


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