Silent Treatment

Clownish, silly, and really good fun, it’s hard not to break the silence with laughing during Lung Ha Theatre’s ‘The Silent Treatment’. With this production, the company of disabled actors has put on something to be proud of, a compelling narrative, executed well that displays something about the truth of their lives and others.

 

The show opens, appropriately enough, with silence. Each of the actors enters quietly and sits in place leaving a reasonably rowdy audience to settle down. As each of the cast takes their place in feature intensifies the watching of the audience until one is sat in rapt silence.

 

It takes for its premise, a sponsored silence. Within this framework Douglas Maxwell, the writer, would seemingly have his job cut out for him, but the plot he develops through the prologue, the epilogue, and even the heart is compelling, if basic. Within this framework, each of the actors takes the characters and makes them their own, imbuing them with a sense of realism and development.

 

The actors in this show capture a lot of the fun that comes in the process of creating theatre. An eclectic mix of talents, the physical elements of their theatre mesh well with the slapstick style and a universal engaging presence that asks to be watched.

 

A lot of the more amusing aspects of the show came from interaction with elements of the set. Occasions for reaction from the cast really brought out the important sense of play that dominates the performance. There’s a lot of fun to be had in the premise, and the creative team must be commended for their work in that same spirit.

 

Also to be commended is the sound design of MJ McCarthy, who matches the silence an engaging musical backdrop. The music carries the piece forward over the quiet with a really delightful design. Janis Claxton’s direction has clearly guided the progression of the piece and the end result is wonderful to watch.

 

Altogether the production is a testament to the capability of the spectacular cast and crew. Putting together a production this enjoyable is difficult to do and the team managed it with exuberance. Performing until Saturday the 9th of April at the Traverse Theatre Edinburgh.

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Ben Schofield

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