Talking About Things Not Talked About

 

Let’s Talk About Philip, a play written and performed by Helen Wood and Gregor Hunt, comes to the Torch Theatre, Milford Haven, on 25 May.

Many of us can relate to the concept of families not talking about things – but Helen Wood shows us the extreme in Let’s Talk About Philip, said to be a fast-paced, candid, darkly comic play.

After her mother’s funeral, Helen’s father suddenly said: “Let’s talk about Philip.”

Philip had barely been mentioned in the family since he died by suicide 32 years previously. Helen takes us on her detective-like quest into the Wood family’s history to discover the circumstances and hidden truth behind her brother’s death and the conspiracy of silence that surrounded it.

Along with actor and co-writer Gregor Hunt, Helen uses theatre to allow us to meet Philip ourselves and to ask the questions that can never really be answered. As she starts to dig, she uncovers more and more surprising details and discovers that there may be more to the narrative she always held true. After 32 years, what are the consequences of bringing a buried conversation to life? And why did everyone remain silent for so long?

Helen said: “Philip’s death has been a major part of my life and, as a storyteller and performer, I wanted to tell my story through theatre and honour my brother’s memory. This has proved to be hugely cathartic and I hope that by sharing my story others may be encouraged to talk more about difficult issues.”

In 2022 The Guardian published an article written by Helen Wood that explores her decision to write the play.

Following previews in Stroud, the play was launched at the Edinburgh Fringe in August 2022.

 

Kitty Parsons

Kitty has forgotten how long she has been here now but she loves Pembrokeshire for its beauty and it's people. She spends her time searching out stories for pembrokeshire.online, swimming in the sea , drawing and painting as Snorkelfish and eating cake. She says "Pembrokeshire.online has been an opportunity to celebrate this beautiful county and its people. Keep the stories coming. We love to hear from you."

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