And I And Silence

And I And Silence is such a sad, sad play, a moving account of hopes shattered by a
prejudiced society which thwarts the fulfilment of even the most prosaic of

In Naomi Wallace’s short, heartfelt new drama African American Jamie
(incarcerated for her part in an attempted robbery in which her brother lost
his life) and Dee (who warns her to believe the rumours about the crime she
committed) only aspire to earn enough money as cleaners and to find a caring
man now that they’ve served their respective nine year sentences.

It’s not a lot to ask, but life on the outside for these two already damaged
young women proves even harder than life in jail, where they were, at least,
guaranteed food on their plates and a roof over their heads.

Caitlin McLeod’s economical production shifts smoothly back and forth
between their release in 1959 and the start of their friendship in 1950 when
a reluctant Jamie is won over by Dee’s seemingly irrepressible spirit.

There’s both humour and poetry in the dialogue, and all four actresses (Cat
Simmons and Sally Oliver as their older selves, Cherrelle Skeete and Lauren
Crace as their teenage counterparts) bring a touching honesty to their roles
which makes it all the more painful to watch as resilience and optimism are
worn away by poverty and abuse, and Dee’s spark, undimmed by periods in
solitary confinement, is finally extinguished beyond salvation.


Finborough, Finborough Road, SW10 9ED
Tube: Earl’s Court Tube
0844 847 1652
Until 4th June
£9 – £15

– Louise Kingsley