Amber McMahon and Sharon Millerchip are leading something of a double life right now. At night, they are performing at Sydney’s Ensemble Theatre in The Appleton Ladies’ Potato Race , a delightful new comedy by Melanie Tait, in which both of their characters have plenty to say. During the day, they are rehearsing Small Mouth Soundsfor the Darlinghurst Theatre Company, in which they are silent for most of the play.

Small Mouth Sounds Sharon Millerchip and Amber McMahon. Photograph © Robert Catto

“They’re such different worlds, but I think it’s a saving grace that [ Small Mouth Sounds] is not text driven, it’s more like a landscape for us to be in and respond to. If we were doing a heavy text piece, and doubling with another play, I think it would be so mentally exhausting, but with these two you are kind of working in a different way,” says McMahon.

Small Mouth Soundsis a comedy about six people from the city who embark on a weeklong silent retreat in a rural location. They all have internal demons they want to address, but the vow of silence collides with their need for human...