McKee Stars in New Stephenson PlayDate: 5 May 2000
British film actress Gina McKee will star in the UK stage premiere of Shelagh Stephenson's new play. Five Kinds of Silence opens at the Lyric Theatre Hammersmith on 2 June, following previews from 31 May, and continues until 8 July 2000.
The play tells the story of a dysfunctional family which lives behind closed doors. It's a world of secrets, rituals and fantasies. When the two daughters, Susan and Janet, resist their father, the situation spirals out of control.
Five Kinds of Silence was originally broadcast on Radio Four in 1996, winning Stephenson the 1996 Writers' Guild Award for Best Original Radio Play and the 1997 Sony Award for Best Original Drama. This stage version is specially re-worked for the theatre.
Stephenson's first stage play, The Memory of Water, had a West End run at the Vaudeville Theatre last year with an all-star cast featuring Alison Steadman, Samanthan Bond and Julia Sawalha. The play went on to win a Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Comedy and to have a run at the Manhattan Theatre Club in New York. Her second play, An Experiment with an Air-pump won the 1998 Peggy Ramsay Award for New Writing. Her next play, Ancient Lights, will be mounted later this year at the Hampstead Theatre.
McKee - who's best known for her film and TV roles in Our Friends in the North, Notting Hill and Wonderland - plays daughter Susan. She's joined in the cast by Linda Bassett and Lizzy McInnerny.
Five Kinds of Silence is directed by Ian Brown and designed by Peter McKintosh, with lighting by Hugh Vanstone and original music by Barrington Pheloung.