End The Silence - Theatre Review

24th September 2018

A play sponsored by the South England Conference Women's Ministries department took place in South London during the summer holiday. Written and directed by award winning director, Mark Grey, End the Silence, tackles the themes of domestic violence, sexual harassment and in the current hashtag Me Too climate, the story was one which clearly needed to be told.

The play, which was put on by the Agape Theatre Company and Carmel Greystone which formed the final episode of the restoration trilogy, ran from 15-26 August 2018 in the Omnibus Theatre in Clapham Common. Like its two predecessors (Asylum and Healed) this final offering was viewed to critical acclaim.

"A story of love, betrayal, loss and restoration ‒ End the Silence was not the easiest of subject to address, not the easiest characters to write and make sympathetic, but it is a story I felt needed to be told", said the show's director, Mark Grey. He added, "and in the current climate I am pleased that we stuck with it and completed our journey."

The plot of the play focuses on Rebuild UK – a Christian led charity which offers disaster relief to vulnerable individuals around the world. However, beneath the veneer of Christianity is the systematic and traumatic abuse of the vulnerable women the charity claims to help. Those who run the charity thrive upon the silence of their victims until one of the characters, Connie Harrington, played by Caroline King-Gadekah, decides to end the silence followed by five other women having undergone similar treatment.

It was clear by those who watched the play that the message it presented was one which needed to be told to a wide audience as the message of abuse is often a taboo subject within the Church and among other major institutions as well within the domestic home.

Among those who went to see the play during its 2-week run was Jamaican High Commissioner, H E Seth George Ramocan, who said: "End the Silence is a must see for men, women and teenagers. Presented by a first-class professional cast, this play was both emotionally and intellectually engaging. (Even) the discussion with the cast that followed the play was stimulating."

Another who viewed the play was author and director of JPR Vision Consultancy, Joan Reid, who came to support the cast and especially her brother, Lloyd Reid, who plays Samuels (one of the abusers) in the play. "I went to see Mark Grey's play on a Thursday night. All I can say is you need to watch it and End the Silence. Deep!"

One of the common suggestions to have arisen from the Q&A sessions which took place after each night's performance was that the cast and crew should work collaboratively with trained counsellors who can be available for members of the audience who may have themselves experienced first-hand some of the traumatic incidences exhibited in the show.

In his programme notes, Mark Grey, said that he wanted the play to be one which challenged, moved and inspired his audience and based on the response to the play, he and his talented cast most certainly did.

[Darell J Philip]


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