Five Kinds of Silence

Event Details

  • From: 24/04/2024
  • To: 28/04/2024
  • Starting at: 07:45 PM
  • Ending at: 07:45 PM


  • In the bar
  • North Street, Bromley, BR1 1SB

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Content Warning

Trauma, abuse, rape

Five Kinds of Silence

by Shelagh Stephenson

Directed by Rob O’Neill

An amateur production by arrangement with Concord Theatricals Ltd

First published in 1997, this is the story of a family living under the power and influence of the vicious Billy, who physically, emotionally, and sexually abuses his wife, Mary, and their 2 daughters.  Major themes in the play are control and how abuse creates a family bond.  The story of abuse that Billy’s family endures unfolds from interviews by the police and psychologists with the three women.  It is revealed that Billy had created a strange, warped world, from which they needed ‘protection’, giving him control over them.  


After so many years, the two daughters take drastic steps to try and gain freedom.  However, the play consistently shows Billy’s influence in their lives even when not physically present.  The ideas of abuse being cyclical and that abused children can become abusive parents is explored.  This theory relates to John Bowlby’s Continuity hypothesis theory.  How the relationship an infant has with its parent or parents shapes future ideas about relationships and future behaviour within relationships.  The play won the 1996 Writers’ Guild of Great Britain’s Best Original Play award and the 1997 Sony Award for Best Original Drama.  Adapted from the original radio play, the stage version was first performed at the Lyric Hammersmith, London, in 2000.



BillyDuncan King
MaryFiona Cullen
JanetApril Dawn Malpaya
SusanSarah Kidney
Other RolesKaren O’Neill
 Alison Green