Silence is Golden is a theatrical work for a speaking, running, jumping violinist. It is a piece of outdoor theatre distributed on DVD, though it was originally presented as a staged work in a concert environment. Either way, it an extemporization on the prison soliloquy from Shakespeare’s, King Richard II. It enacts both a performance of the soliloquy and a commentary on the text simultaneously, combining a cornucopia of words and actions/images. In addition to Shakespeare, there are extracts from Robert Burton’s Anatomy of Melancholy (1621), Saint Augustine’s Confessions (AD 397) and Thomas Sackville’s ‘Induction’ to A Mirror for Magistrates (1559).
Silence is Golden was originally conceived for Oliver Lewis’s recital at Dartington International Summer School in 2002. A video documentation of a site-specific performance was made three years later in the medieval ruins of Godstow Nunnery, Oxford.