The Silence of Snow: The Life of Patrick Hamilton
Written and Performed by Mark Farrelly
Published March 2016 by 49 Knights as part of Soho Lives: Two Solo Plays
“The great problem with life is that you can get from one end of it to the other without ever feeling that another human being ever truly knew you”
The Silence of Snow: The Life of Patrick Hamilton is a riveting, kinetic solo show which vividly portrays the life of one of the great English writers of the inter-war years. Patrick Hamilton (1904 – 1962) was a dazzling success whilst still in his twenties, producing the hit plays Rope and Gaslight, and classic novels like Twenty Thousand Streets Under The Sky, Hangover Square and The Slaves of Solitude. But he was also an alcoholic, whose wit became increasingly mordant as his inner and outer worlds collapsed. Set in an electro-therapy clinic in the 1950s, and covering the entire sweep of Hamilton’s turbulent life, The Silence of Snow has gripped audiences wherever it has been performed. An arresting blend of original writing and extracts from Hamilton’s finest works, the play is a powerful cautionary tale about the dangers of not confronting one’s own inner chaos. It is also a hugely witty and engaging tribute to a great English writer.
Debuting at the Edinburgh Festival 2014, the play immediately transferred to a run at London’s Old Red Lion Theatre. In 2015 it played seasons at the brand new Rialto Theatre in Brighton (Hamilton’s home town), and London’s King’s Head Theatre. Performing across the UK throughout 2024.
The play is directed by Linda Marlowe, an acting legend for her lengthy collaboration with Steven Berkoff. She is also a hugely-acclaimed solo actress (The World’s Wife, Berkoff’s Women), and a star of EastEnders.
Running time: 70 mins, no interval.
The play is dedicated to the memory of Tim Welling, a close friend of Mark Farrelly and a beautiful soul. Tim committed suicide in December 2012. He was a steadfast support in joyous and challenging times, a truly loyal friend, and hugely missed. He was the first person to read The Silence of Snow, and always promised to be in the front row of the first performance, a promise he was unable to fulfil. At the end of every performance, a collection is undertaken for MIND, the mental health charity. To date this has raised over £10,000.
Below is a link explaining more about the relationship between Tim and The Silence of Snow.
★★★★ “You won’t be able to take your eyes off this magnetic actor Mark Farrelly. He inhabits the character of Hamilton with a blazing fluidity” The Times
★★★★ “Farrelly’s performance is electric” What’s On Stage
★★★★ “Master of the monologue Mark Farrelly intriguingly deploys his many skills and all his talents” Broadway Baby
★★★★ “Clear and sharp-eyed characterisation and performance of a very high order” Edinburgh Guide
★★★★ “Farrelly’s achievement is to portray a life so lacking in personal happiness so entertainingly” British Theatre Guide
★★★★ “Farrelly’s sharp, insightful and witty writing and his magnificent acting linger long in the mind” Fairy Powered Productions
★★★★ “The masterful Farrelly doesn’t so much play as inhabit the role of Hamilton…he holds us spellbound” Theatre Things
★★★★ “A barnstorming performance that leaves you breathless” Camden Review
★★★★ “Wonderful passion and charisma…a complete embodiment of a complex character” Exeunt
★★★★ “Horrifyingly funny snapshot of the wit, novelist and playwright…brilliant” The Spectator
★★★★ “Farrelly’s revelatory autopsy of a cauterised heart of darkness is intimidatingly implosive: stand well close” The Reviews Hub
★★★★ “Farrelly’s performance is a tour de force, and his talent is clear” Everything Theatre
★★★★ “A complex and witty portrait” London Theatre 1
★★★★ 1/2 “The single best performance from an actor I’ve seen all year” London Pub Theatres, Standing Ovation Nomination
★★★★★ “An outstanding piece that crams so much emotion and sheer acting skill into the hour” Weekend Notes
★★★★★ “Phenomenal. What a performance!” Sardines Magazine
★★★★★ “Unmissable! An extraordinary, beyond accomplished piece of writing, performed faultlessly. This is a spellbinding event” Everything Theatre
★★★★ “Reality is here in spades. Farrelly possesses the stage, inhabits Hamilton, in a rich portrayal of a gifted, flawed man” Plays To See
★★★★ “Fabulous” Sadie Takes The Stage
★★★★ “It’s no surprise that this outstanding piece of theatre is continuing to captivate audiences up and down the UK. Highly recommended” southlondon.co.uk
“Mark Farrelly is spellbinding. Great acting. Just go!” Tanita Tikaram