The Nether

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The Absence of War

6th Feb 2015 - 9th May 2015

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The Nether

17th Jul 2014 - 25th Apr 2015

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arts council funded

Playing Charles and Linus

Don Gallagher is being interviewed about his roles in the Absence of War.

Don Gallagher discusses his roles as Prime Minister Charles Kendrick and political commentator Linus Frank in The Absence of War.

The Absence of War

It's now or never for George Jones. The charismatic leader of the Labour Party needs to get out of opposition and into Number Ten. Plagued by a hostile media, beset by divisions in his party and haunted by his own demons, George has three weeks to convince the Great British Public that he's their man.

But how much compromise is he prepared to make? How can you truly appeal to the man in the street from the House of Commons? And which tie should he wear for Prime Minister's Questions?

Headlong presents a vigorous new production of David Hare’s funny, stinging political drama on a timely national tour during the build up to the 2015 General Election.

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The Nether transfers to the West End

Following a sold-out run at the Royal Court Theatre, Jennifer Haley’s critically-acclaimed, multi-award-winning play transfers to London’s Duke of York’s Theatre for a limited 12-week run.

The Nether offers complete freedom – a new virtual wonderland providing total sensory immersion. Just log in, choose an identity and indulge your every desire.

An intricate crime drama and a haunting thriller set in the year 2050, The Nether follows an investigation into the complicated, disturbing morality of identity in the digital world, and explores the consequences of making dreams a reality.


Thomas Piketty’s "Capital"

French economist Thomas Piketty at the reading for his book Capital in the Twenty-First Century, on 18 April 2014 at the Harvard Book Store in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Photographer: Sue Gardner.

French economist Thomas Piketty's book "Capital in the Twenty-First Century" became an unlikely bestseller when it was translated into English last March. The book discusses the evolution of wealth inequality over time. It claims that, although people bcame more equal in terms of their relative wealth during the twentieth century, the twentieth first century has seen the growth of an alarming gap between those who have and those who have not. Piketty argues that contemporary politicians are instigating policies that increasingly advantage those who already have wealth and disadvantage the working man. He suggests that we need to rethink the economic basis of our society in order to move back towards a more equal and fair world for all.

Playing Lindsay

Charlotte Lucas is being interviewed about her character Lindsay Fontaine in the Absence of War.

Charlotte Lucas talks about her role as PR expert Lindsay Fontaine in the Absence of War. See how Charlotte's view of the political world changed over the course of the play.

The Nether nominated for four Olivier Awards

Thrilled that The Nether has been nominated for four Olivier Awards:

Best New Play - Jennifer Haley

Best Set Design - Es Devlin

Best Actor in a Supporting Role - David Calder (Doyle)

Best Actress in a Supporting Role - Jaime Adler, Zoe Brough, Perdie Hibbins & Isabella Pappas (Iris)


Playing Malcolm

Gyuri Sarossy talks about his role as Shadow Chancellor Malcolm Pryce in The Absence of War.

Gyuri Sarossy talks about his role as Shadow Chancellor Malcolm Pryce in The Absence of War. Do you have to like a character in order to play them? 

The Nether West End Reviewed

'Bravo to the producers for bringing this highly pertinent, scintillatingly staged and deeply disturbing piece of theatre to the West End'

★ ★ ★ ★ 


'Jennifer Haley’s drama about the darker side of the internet is more riveting than ever in this West End transfer.'

★ ★ ★ ★


'A relentlessly gripping, entertaining play'

★ ★ ★ ★ 


'Playwright Jennifer Haley has come up with a clinically efficient and unflinching 75 minutes of drama... Rarely has the West End worried over such a pertinent issue.'

★ ★ ★ ★ 


The Absence of War Reviewed

'Hare’s play is a private tragedy as well as a political analysis... Reece Dinsdale plays the leader excellently as a Sheffield native blessed with a bouncy likability and loyalty to his cohorts.'

★ ★ ★ ★ 


'Dinsdale is moving as a charismatic leader who has turned his party round, but can’t get himself over the finishing line.'

★ ★ ★ ★ 


'Essential viewing'

★ ★ ★ ★ 


'Jeremy Herrin’s persuasive, slickly staged Headlong revival'

★ ★ ★ ★ 


'Well worth seeing'

★ ★ ★ ★ 


Election 2015: the polls are moving - 'the overtaking' is upon us

The polls are moving. After about three months of relative calm, a stable albeit narrow Labour lead of one point has disappeared. The Conservatives and Labour are now virtually tied. Which party will steal the lead next? Could a coalition be the answer?

Jeremy Herrin on The Nether

Jeremy discusses the questions raised by Jennifer Haley's The Nether and the creative potential of its staging.

The Nether - Transfer Diary

For three short weeks in July 2014, The Nether  stunned audiences Downstairs at the Royal Court. An explosively provocative new play, it explored the consequences of a fully technologised future. The play confronted some of our most prescient fears about the modern world, examining one of the only remaining contemporary taboos. It was technically thrilling, pushing the limits of what could be achieved on a traditional stage and inventively attacked the challenge of realising a virtual word in a literal medium. A theatrical hand grenade detonated in Sloane Square and The Nether  became a word-of-mouth hit that stunned its audiences.

Uruguay's president José Mujica: no palace, no motorcade, no frills

Uruguay's president José Mujica was often called the world's poorest president, but he rejected that label. He lives in a one bedroom home, drives an old Volkswagon and his life lacks typical materialistic needs. But after living a harsh life filled with prisons and near-death experiences, Mujica claims to not need the luxuries that other world leaders are so prone to. Mujica's radical lifestyle also shows in his liberal politics, making Uraguay the most socially liberal country in Latin America. Even as Mujica passes the presidency to someone else, he brings about the question: should leaders be more accessible, like him? Is it always necessary to put presidents or prime ministers on a pedestal?

The Nether Trailer

Take a look at our new interactive trailer for The Nether.


Reece Dinsdale and Cyril Nri on The Absence of War

Thordis Fridriksson sits down with The Absence of War actors Reece Dinsdale (George Jones) and Cyril Nri (Oliver Dix) to talk about the show's progress, how they were drawn to these roles, and how politics is relevant in the show and in real life. Starting at time 3:32:10.

Can gaming make the world a better place?

Jane McGonigal explains how gamers could use their skills to effect changes in the real world.

British Politics: The Great Fracturing

Back in the 1950s, the Conservative and Labour parties ruled the elections and, together, got about 97% of the vote. Today, Britiain is becoming a six-party system thanks to insurgents such as the Scottish National Party, the UK Idependence Party and the Green Party. Is the two-party system gone forever? Are the new parties making the UK unstable?

Power of Imagination

Carl Jung on the incredible creative power of the human imagination.

The Absence of War Rehearsal Diary - Week 5

This week is Tech Week. Monday is a travel day, and I put it off until the last minute because I hate packing. I finally threw some stuff into a bag and trekked to St Pancras in time to be really early for my train to Sheffield. The entire creative team is housed on a block of corporate flats. I arrive and instantly feel like Hugh Grant. My place has the feel of a bachelor pad with a nice big comfy bed and leather sofas. My neighbours on either side are director Jeremy and designer Mike, and the close proximity is really handy for late night or early morning note sessions. During the busy technical rehearsal week and preview period, the work day stretches from first thing in the morning to late at night.

Theatre and Technology

Robert Delamere, Jeremy Herrin, Dawn King and Tassos Stevens discuss the ways in which technology is transforming contemporary theatre and performance.

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