The Silence of the Sea** (Donmar at Trafalgar Studios, 28 January 2013)

Posted: January 28, 2013 in Theatre

In the last of the Donmar’s season showcasing the work of new directors, Simon Evans directs this 1941 French play by Vercors (in a version by Anthony Weigh). In a remote part of the French coast, a German officer  (Leo Bill) is billeted on the home of an uncle and niece (Finbar Lynch and Simona Bitmate), presenting thinly veiled parallels with the German occupation of France. Whilst the woman is, for the most part, silent, the two men talk to each other and about each other but never engage in conversation. In effect, they are delivering alternating monologues which provide an eloquent commentary on the experience of occupation but deliver no dramatic tension and no human interest. Vercors was a prominent figure in the Intellectual Resistance movement in France during World War II and, revived now, this is still of historical significance. However, it is in essence a collection of well-written and well-spoken thoughts that could be gripping if performed as a radio play, but, judged as a drama for live theatre, it never really works.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s