Anthony Weigh's beautiful version of French playwright Vercors's Second World War metaphorical study of life under occupation is a haunting and strangely disarming piece.
German soldier Werner (Leo Bill) is billeted in the seaside home of a man (Finbar Lynch) and his piano playing niece (Simona Bitmate). The silence here is not the sea - ever mentioned by Werner - but the French occupants who with, ironically, an unspoken pact refuse to talk to their unwelcome guest.
Werner's own discourse full of vivid descriptions and tales of his life and homeland is in contrast to their silence passionate and rich but he never questions why they don't speak. His home he describes as surrounded by a dark forest which has a corrupting influence contrasting with the air and light of the hill top location of the French home.
He is for all intents and purposes a good man, uncomfortable with the occupation and effusive about France in a way that suggests Francophile but somehow his presence, in its awkwardness, feels mildly threatening.
Vercors was part of the intellectual resistance who were determined to protect the French culture and way of life from the Germans and here Werner serves as a warning not to be taken in.
The Silence of the Sea is a subtle but powerful piece, more abstract in idea than a lot of what you'll see in the West End at the moment but rewarding for it.
It's nearing the end of its run but you can catch it at the Trafalgar Studios 2 until Feb 2 and Poly's thoughts are here.