Breaking the Silence

Polya (Hazel Round) and Nikolia (Martin Humphrey)

Press Release                                            16 January 2012



Preview: BREAKING THE SILENCE at the Chesil Theatre

by Stephen Poliakoff, directed by Flavia Bateson

4 – 11 February at 7.45pm, with a 2.30pm matinee on 11 February (no performance on Sunday)

Martin Humphrey and Rachel O’Neill play husband and wife, Nikolai and Eugenia Pesiakoff, who are forced to flee their elegant home with their maid Polya (Hazel Round) and son Sasha (played by newcomer Max Homan) to live in a dilapidated railway carriage. Spanning 1920 – 1924, the play covers a key period in post-revolutionary Russian history.

The family is forced to reassess itself as relationships break and reform under the stresses caused by their new surroundings and what is expected of them. Eighteen year-old Max – a student at Peter Symonds College – said: “Working at the Chesil has been an amazing experience. There is such detail paid to every element of the production; from sourcing accurate train noises, to recreating the lighting effects of a major battle happening right by the carriage.”

Making their Chesil debuts in this play about survival and relationships are Matthew Ellison, Barnaby Stonier and Laurie Venters.

“One of the most thrillingly individual works of the last decade or two.” The Sunday Times

“Breaking the Silence has its origins in what happened to my father’s family in Russia immediately after the revolution.” Stephen Poliakoff

Tickets can be bought online at:


About Chesil Theatre

The Chesil Theatre is home to Winchester Dramatic Society, one of the best amateur theatre groups in Hampshire. It is located in a beautiful and atmospheric12th century church that has been turned into fabulous performing area. The Chesil stages sx productions a year - tragedies, comedies, well-loved classics and exciting new works. See more at
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