The Silence at the Song's End

Beautiful, funny and completely moving, Really Good Stories’ production of The Silence at the Song’s End is one of the best pieces of theatre you’ll see this Fringe. After the death of her son Nicholas Heiney in 2006, Radio 4 Broadcaster Libby Purves came across poems, journals and diaries from his time at sea in his room. The play is compiled of these pieces of writing and tells the incredible story of Nicholas from his childhood, to his time at sea, to his days at Oxford. The piece is a gorgeous exploration of life and gives an incredibly moving account of “a young man who stayed as long as he could”.

They work incredibly well as a unit and are as engaging together as they are in their solo moments

The role of Nicholas is shared between four cast members: Alex Pangolas, Chris Whyte, Cris Zaccarini and Olly Massey. Each of them give an equally truthful and well thought-out performance as well as adding individual and personal twists. They work incredibly well as a unit and are as engaging together as they are in their solo moments. Dannie Harris gives an admirably mature performance as Libby and has a natural presence on the stage. Holly Bowling’s Rose is honest and utterly likeable and the rare moments of interaction between her and the four Nicks are some of the most touching moments in the show.

Sarah Branston’s direction is simply genius and doesn’t put a toe out of line. With so many props and bits of set, lots of scenes could easily become messy and frantic, however they all work perfectly and both her and the cast deserve a lot of credit for that. The piece flows exceptionally well and the contrasts between happy and sad moments are smooth and make perfect sense. Tom Attwood’s music is beautiful and is the cherry on top of a truly gorgeous piece of theatre.

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

‘He was brilliant – brilliant! – at assembling fajitas.’ Nick had an extraordinary brain. Upon his death in 2006, his mother, Radio 4 broadcaster Libby Purves discovered, scattered about his room on bits of crumpled paper and post-it notes, his poems, sea-logs and journals. His life in 35,000 words. Now reimagined for the stage with original music by Tom Attwood, RGS presents a fragile, gentle and moving account of a young man who stayed as long as he could.

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