Poles apart. Nicola Werenowska’s Silence tour debuts at Mercury Theatre Colchester

The Mercury Theatre Colchester, Wiltshire Creative and Unity Theatre Liverpool have teamed up to produce Silence, a new inter-generational play from Nicola Werenowska.

Directed by Jo Newman, Silence, a three-hander exploring the effects that World War Two has had on Polish families, will debut at the Mercury Theatre before embarking on a UK tour.

It stars Tina Gray (The History Boys for the National Theatre, On Golden Pond, A Woman of No Importance); Kate Spiro (Bartholomew Fair at the National Theatre, Lorca’s Women, Les Liaisons Dangereuses and Good for the RSC) and Maria Louis (who 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).

The playwright, who was runner-up of the inaugural Mercury Theatre play-writing prize with her drama, Hidden, 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”.

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”.

Silence, a Made in Colchester production, opens at Mercury Theatre Colchester, October 12 – 20.

2018 UK Tour Dates

Norwich Arts Centre, October 23
Unity Theatre, Liverpool, October 25 –27
The Dukes, Lancaster, October 30
York Theatre Royal, November 2/3
Sir John Mills Theatre, Ipswich, November 5
The Marlowe Studio, Canterbury, November 6/7
Minghella Studios, University of Reading, November 8
Salisbury Playhouse, November 13-17.

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