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Silence

Cast and UK tour dates announced for Silence, a new inter-generational play by Nicola Werenowska
Mercury Theatre Colchester, Wiltshire Creative and Unity Theatre Liverpool team up to produce new Polish play. 

A Mercury Theatre Colchester, Wiltshire Creative and Unity Theatre Liverpool Production Runner-up of the inaugural Mercury Theatre playwriting prize with her play Hidden, Nicola Werenowska is soon to debut her latest work at the Mercury before it embarks on a UK tour.

The Mercury Theatre, Wiltshire Creative and Unity Theatre have announced full casting for Silence, a three-hand play exploring the inter-generational effects that the Soviet war has had on Polish families. Playing Maria is Tina Gray, Ewa will be played by Kate Spiro and Anna by Maria Louis.

Playwright, Nicola Werenoska said: “Silence is the play I’ve wanted to write for 20 years. To give voice to a wartime Polish generation whose stories of deportation and displacement were written out of history, silenced by the fearful West, buried deep within families. And to give voice to those 2nd and 3rd generation Poles, trying to unravel the past, trying to make sense of who they are. As the wartime generation breathes its final breaths, as nationalism is on the rise across Europe, as prejudice against the Polish community surfaces here in the UK – now is the time to tell this story.”

What holds families together? What tears them apart? What’s brewing in the silences?

1996. London. It’s Ewa’s birthday. Her daughter Anna is coming home from university with a secret to share but Maria has some news of her own. As wartime memories of Siberia resurface, old steps are retraced to uncover the secrets of the past and a Polish heritage that unites and divides them.

Nicola Werenowska’s funny and fascinating new play hurtles between Warsaw and London over two decades and three generations of a Polish/British family.

Tracey Childs, Executive Producer at the Mercury Theatre said: “Nicola’s plays cover such important topics and Silence is no different. We are thrilled to be working alongside Wiltshire Creative and the Unity Theatre to take this production on tour to audiences across the UK. We have already seen, through our audition process, how this subject resonates with people whether they have Polish heritage or not. It’s a hauntingly beautiful familial story that needs to be told, and I’m confident that our excellent cast and creative team will put together a very touching piece of theatre.”

Tina Gray plays Maria. Her theatre credits include The History Boys at the National Theatre, On Golden Pond, A Woman of No Importance, Flamingoland and Perfect Days at the New Vic and she also starred as Fairy Grizelda in the Mercury Theatre pantomime, Babes In The Wood. Tina’s television credits include The Last Kingdom, Scott and Bailey and Doctors and her film credits include Agatha Christie’s The Crooked House, The Decoy Bride and Above The Clouds.

Kate Spiro plays Ewa. Her theatre credits include Bartholomew Fair and The Shaughraun at the National Theatre, Lorca’s Women, Les Liaisons Dangereuses and Good for the RSC and The Glass Menagerie at the New Wolsey Theatre. Kate has recently been filming new Channel 4 series Brexit alongside Benedict Cumberbatch and Rory Kinnear, her other television credits include Doctors (BBC), Hollyoaks (Lime Pictures) and Holby City (BBC).

Maria Louis plays Anna. Maria is best known for her role as Aldona in the BBC series People Just Do Nothing, she has also appeared in Coconut (BBC3) and Doctors (BBC). Her theatre credits include A Streetcar Named Desire for English Touring Theatre, Chicken Palace and Selfie Rules at Theatre Royal Stratford East.

This Made in Colchester production opens at Mercury Theatre Colchester from 12-20th October. For more information or to book call the Box Office on 01206 573 948 or visit www.mercurytheatre.co.uk

Following this it will then tour:

25-27 October – Unity Theatre, Liverpool (0151 7094988 / www.unitytheatreliverpool.co.uk)
30 October – The Dukes, Lancaster (01524 598500 / www.dukes-lancaster.org)
2-3 November – York Theatre Royal (01904 623568 / www.yorktheatreroyal.co.uk)

6-7 November – The Marlowe Studio, Canterbury (01227 787787 / www.marlowetheatre.com)
8 November – Minghella Studios, University of Reading (Email minghellastudios@reading.ac.uk to reserve tickets)
9 November – Ognisko Polskie, LondonBox Office (0207 5894670 / www.ogniskopolskie.org.uk)
13-17 November – Salisbury Playhouse (01722 320333 / www.wiltshirecreative.co.uk)