Five Kinds of Silence

Aug 6 2017 | By More

★★★☆☆  Dark and twisted

C Too (Venue 4): Thurs 3 – Mon 28 Aug 2017
Review by Sarah Moyes

Students and graduates from the MGA Academy make their professional debut in a dark and twisted all-new production of Shelagh Stephenson’s Five Kinds of Silence.

The play tells the story of a family living under the power of the violent Billy who abuses his wife, Mary, and their two daughters, Janet and Susan. After years of living in fear and being both mentally and physically abused, the daughters turn a gun on him and end their misery with just two shots.

Toby Jeffries. Pic Megan Jarvie

Aside from a few chairs and a bed, the simple staging allows the cast to really tell the story without any distractions. It’s done through a mixture of short scenes of monologues, police interviews and flashbacks telling the story of the daily suffering that Mary and her two children went through.

The talented cast are made up of young people from the MGA Academy’s full-time Acting diploma course. Toby Jeffries gives a chilling performance as Billy who commands the stage and his family’s thoughts even after his death. However, his story is not as straightforward as it seems, as flashbacks through the play show us that Billy has his own demons, having been abused himself a child.

Selina Malle is outstanding in the role of Mary. Her monologues are emotional and moving, and she tragically relives her life from the sweet moment when she first met her husband to standing over his dead body in bed.

version of events

Emma Archibald and Jennifer Glover, who play Susan and Janet respectively, are a perfect pairing as two sisters who seem to be in sync with each other as they share their version of events. Some of their police interviews and psychotherapist sessions make for uncomfortable viewing at times as both Emma and Jennifer give very harrowing accounts of what happened to them.

The supporting cast of just four do a fantastic job of covering multiple roles between them with Fiona Binns (Lawyer and Police Officer), Aimee Izatt (Inspector and Psychotherapist), Kyle Broadhurst (Detective, Inspector and Psychotherapist) and Caulumn Andrews (Police Officer) all sympathetic and supportive as they try to help and understand the tragic plight of the family.

This powerful play would be a challenge for anyone, let alone a group of young people; however, they pull off this emotionally charged story with every success in this smart and heart-wrenching adaption of Shelagh Stephenson’s play.

Running time: 1 hour
C Too, St Columba’s by the Castle, Johnston Terrace/Victoria Terrace, EH1 2PW (Venue 4)
Thursday 3 – Monday 28 August 2017
Daily: 7.10pm.
Tickets and Detials:

Beyond Broadway website:
Twitter – @BeyondBroadway2
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The script of Five Kinds of Silence is published with Memory of Water and other plays by Stephenson. Click the image for details on Amazon.


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  1. Fantastic play,well done to a very talented young cast