‘Then Silence’: Arne Lygre reimagines the world

at New Diorama Theatre, London

First performed in Norway in 2009, Norwegian playwright Arne Lygre’s Then Silence (Så stillhet) has taken quite a while to be translated into English and reach the UK stage. But better late than never – this haunting, muscular and multi-dimensional meditation on the human world is a truly remarkable work, and its June performance at the New Diorama Theatre in Central London (part of the Incoming Festival of emerging theatre companies) offers an opportunity to experience a powerful conceptual drama that promises to leave the audience energised and reeling.


Arne Lygre has been writing novels, short stories and plays since 1998 and, among a host of other prizes over the years, was presented with Norway’s Ibsen Award for his drama I Disappear (Jeg Forsvinner) in 2013.

Directed by Kay Michael, and energetically performed by Peter Clements, Peter Hobday and James Marchant, the Empty Deck production of Then Silence brings a relentless physicality to Lygre’s precise, lyrical script, atmospherically reminiscent of Beckett or Pinter.

Stranded in a place that is both somewhere and nowhere, three characters begin a game to formulate the world, playing out 10 scenarios in dialogue, each exploring the lengths man will go to – and the depths he might sink – in order to survive. Touching on loss, grief, playground violence, drunken teenage awareness of mortality, the impulse towards aggression infidelity and the darker corners of the human condition, Then Silence transcends the bleakness of its subject matter and raises a much-needed mirror to our modern world.

Photo: Siren Høyland


The New Diorama Theatre

15-16 Triton Street, London NW1 3EF



Sunday 7 June 2015 at 7 pm

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