Audition: The Silence of the Sea

By Paul Vercors, adapted by Peter Cheeseman

Sunday 10 November 2-5 pm at Progress Theatre
Monday 11 November 7-10 pm at Palmer Park Hall (

Performances Thursday 7 – Sunday 10 May (including Saturday matinee, matinee performance only on the Sunday)

Rehearsals to start in January 2020.

Occupied France in the Second World War. A German soldier is billeted with a French family, a middle-aged man and his young niece. The German soldier is a great lover of France and French culture and believes in the cause. The French family show their opposition to him by refusing to speak to him. They are the “silence” of the title. The soldier then goes to Paris, where he sees the reality of the Nazi occupation. He returns to them, disillusioned and distraught.


The narrator / uncle: 50-70s

He's a middle-aged man who lives with his niece. He is her guardian. His house has been commandeered by the German army so he has been forced to take in a German officer as a house guest. He it is who tells the story to the audience.

The niece: 20-30s

She is a young woman whose life consists in keeping house and seeing to the comforts of her uncle. She is a sensitive, intelligent person. She loves music, especially Bach, and enjoys playing the harmonium. She's good at what she does - she can prepare meals efficiently, she can sew and knit and crochet and darn, her hands are never idle.
Following her uncle's lead she refuses to interact with the soldier who is billeted in their home. She has almost no lines in the play but is present from start to finish.

The German officer: 20-30s

He's a young man, full of ideals. He genuinely believes that the occupation is a good thing, marking the beginning of a glorious collaboration between the two great cultures of Germany and France. He adores France and French literature. He speaks the language perfectly. He is a musician, a composer and a brilliant pianist.

He has nothing but respect for his hosts. He understands their decision to refuse to speak to him and admires their courage. He comes to see them in the evenings to warm himself at the fire and to talk to them about his love of their country.

When he goes to Paris his dream is shattered. He realises that the occupation is nothing noble. It's just brutal and boorish. He returns to the French house bitterly disillusioned. The play ends with his departure. He has requested to join the action on the front line, a clear act of suicide.

Auditions open to all.

You only need to attend one of the audition dates and there is no need to prepare anything in advance. If you would like to see a script, please contact Dorothy (details below).
If you have any questions or would like to be considered but can't make the audition dates, please contact the team at prior to the auditions.

Please note: there is a possibility that Progress Theatre will partner with a similar-sized theatre in France for this production and it could be that the cast are requested to travel to France to perform there. Should this take place, the timing and funding of the trip will be discussed with the cast ahead of time. Summer 2020 is the most likely option for this trip, but this is yet to be confirmed. This is the reason for the earlier than standard audition dates.