This filmed version of Tom Powell’s 2021 Papatango Prize winning play is moving and shows powerfully the consequences that our actions have on the lives of others.
Intimate, raw and filled with angst, The Silence And The Noise takes audiences on a rollercoaster of a ride emotionally as they delve into the lives of two teenagers caught up in situations that they have no control over.
The play follows that of Diaze, whose mother is a drug addict and Ben who works for the person providing her mother with the drugs. While the pair are initially antagonistic towards each other given their opposing views with regards to drugs, as their individual stories unfold, their relationship begins to change – even when tragedy and violence begin to unfold.
From the very beginning, Tom Powell’s play is direct and in many ways confrontational as it slowly begins to explore these two teenagers who are on the edge and forced to grow up and deal with dangerous situations that soon spiral out of control. It is particularly intriguing to see how each character’s perspective is sensitively highlighted – with Ben’s side very interesting to explore as he begins to realise that the way in which he has chosen to live his life has an impact on those all around them and how he tries to justify what he does to Diaze. In contrast, seeing how Diaze is powerless to help her mother from spiralling out of control again is absolutely heartbreaking.
Filmed on location and directed by Elle While and Rachel Lambert it is a very focused and intimate way to experience this play. Each shot is used to powerful effect and makes the story feel even more raw and emotional . Perhaps the only thing to be noted is the the tone in which it is presented can feel a little bit disorientating – seen mainly at the very beginning in which the story just leaps into action with no real set up for the audience to settle into what is unfolding.
While it would be easy to present the story as cold and clinical, there are moments of warmth and tenderness between the pair as their relationship grows and develops from outright hostility to one that might be still a little bit on edge but with more understanding and compassion. By the end the audience is glad that they have managed to find each other under difficult situations.
The fact that the audience is so drawn into these character’s stories is not only down to the powerful nature of Tom Powell’s storytelling but also to the performances of the cast. Both Rachelle Diedericks as Diaze and William Robinson as Ben deliver strong performances that really delve deep into the emotional complexities of the characters and their retrospective backgrounds – you really are able to root for them to find an escape from the violence and drugs that have had an impact on their lives.
Overall, The Silence and The Noise is a compelling two hander that shows the consequences that people’s actions have on our own lives in a heartbreaking way that is difficult in many ways to watch.
By Emma Clarendon