Slovensko narodno gledališče Nova Gorica
Anuša Kodelja,  Ivana Percan Kodarin, Marjuta Slamič; foto SNG Nova Gorica/Peter Uhan

Shelagh Stephenson

Five Kinds of Silence

Five Kinds of Silence, 1996

An Intimate drama

First Slovene Production

on programme

This performance doesn't have any called terms at the moment.

duration 1 Hour and 20 Minutes without an Interval


19. April 2023, SNG Nova Gorica
Second premiere 20. March 2023, SNG Nova Gorica

about text

The murder of a father triggers a police investigation, a psychiatric evaluation and preparation for defence in a court trial. From the crime to the verdict, through fragments, a shattering history of a family, and, at the same time, the ruthlessness of the social and legal system that makes violence possible, opens. For three decades Billy, the father, Mary, the mother, and adult sisters Susan and Janet lived locked in the family circle of violent relationships. Through memories and descriptions of situations a story emerges – one of horrifying physical, psychological and sexual abuse that for years took place in silence: the silence of four family members and the silence of the world outside them.

Since the 1980s, contemporary playwrights have been studying the topic of child abuse and the silence of the society intensively, deconstructing the form of ideal family and warning that the abuse often becomes a behavioural pattern that passes from one generation to the other. Shelagh Stephesnson, English actress and playwright (with only one play thus far staged in Slovenian – The Memory of the Water at the Ljubljana City Theatre) wrote Five Kinds of Silence first as a radio play and won the UK Writers’ Guild Award for the Best Original Drama (1996) and Sony Radio Best Play Award (1997). Some years later, the stage version premiered at the Lyric Hammersmith in London. The first Slovenian staging of this tense family drama will be directed by Maša Pelko, a prominent member of the youngest generation of Slovenian directors, for whom this will be an SNG Nova Gorica debut.


Worldwide, 33% of women over the age of 15 have experienced physical and/or sexual violence, and 22% of women were subjected to physical and/or sexual violence from their partner, while in an intimate relationship. In 90.8% of the perpetrators of violence are men. In Slovenia, 56.6% of all women  experienced one of the forms of violence. The data from the Slovenian police show that during the time of the »corona crisis« partner and family violence increased by 12.9 % in comparison the same time period before.

Maša Pelko in Tereza Gregorič

festivals and performances abroad

  • 11. FemArt Festival, Narodno gledališče Kosovo, Priština, Kosovo

View complete schedule for the show

  • 13. 04. 2023 at 20.00. SNG Nova Gorica
  • 14. 04. 2023 at 20.00. SNG Nova Gorica
  • 15. 04. 2023 at 20.00. SNG Nova Gorica
  • 19. 04. 2023 at 20.00. SNG Nova Gorica
  • 20. 04. 2023 at 20.00. SNG Nova Gorica
  • 21. 04. 2023 at 20.00. SNG Nova Gorica
  • 22. 04. 2023 at 19.00. SNG Nova Gorica
  • 26. 04. 2023 at 20.00. SNG Nova Gorica
  • 04. 05. 2023 at 20.00. SNG Nova Gorica
  • 16. 05. 2023 at 20.00. 11. FemArt Festival, Narodno gledališče Kosovo, Priština, Kosovo