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The Nether

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The Nether

17th Jul 2014 - 9th Aug 2014

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13th Sep 2013 - 25th Oct 2014

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arts council funded

The Nether

“I’ve read the studies. No one has been able to draw a conclusive correlation between virtual behaviour and behaviour in-world.”

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

But when a young detective uncovers a disturbing brand of entertainment, she triggers an interrogation into the darkest corners of imagination.

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1984 in the West End

1984  extends its run at the West End's Playhouse Theatre until 23 August 2014.

Tickets are on sale via the Headlong wesbite.

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The Nether Realm

The Nether Realm is a living virtual world inspired by Jennifer Haley’s new play, The Nether. The artwork explores the ways in which virtual environments can be the product of our activities in real life and considers the idea that the moral character of these online public spaces is ultimately dependent on how we create and interact with them.

The realm is linked in real time to the Twitter hashtag #TheNether. Every time the hashtag is used on Twitter, new life is breathed into the world. When the hashtag is not in use the world slowly starts to decay.

It’s up to you how beautiful or how dark the world becomes.

1984 - Rehearsal Diary Week 5

Having staggered through the show on the Friday of the fourth week we were in the unprecedented position of being to run it in its entirety every day of the fifth and final week. This production is very much the sum of its parts and so each day’s iteration brings both clarity and confidence to the cast and the creative team.

The Possibilities of Virtual Experience

Digital game designer and bestselling author Jane McGonigal joins playwright Jennifer Haley to discuss the implications of the increasing amount of time we spend online in virtual worlds in what some have termed a 'mass exodus' from our offline existence.


Language is more than simply words. It shapes the way we think. In the appendix to 1984, Orwell tells us that Newspeak is a language deliberately designed to limit the range of people’s thoughts and to make certain ideas unthinkable. It can be argued, however, that all languages, like Newspeak, limit the range of ideas that it is possible for people to understand.

The Nether Rehearsal Diary- Week 4

Week 4 - Rendering

In Week 4, the play becomes whole. Jeremy continues to calibrate the production, but now in its entirety. We stitch the scenes together, pulling out different story threads and weaving in new, darker layers, allowing the extremities in the dramatic shifts to intensify.

Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan on 1984

'We want at the end of an hour and 40 minutes for the audience to have that same sense of a visceral face-punch.'

Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan discuss adapting George Orwell's 1984 for the stage with Dominic Cavendish.

The Nether Trailer

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


1984 Digital Double

Is Big Brother watching you?

As you use the internet, your activity is tracked and monitored. This data is collected by organisations whose interests range from marketing to national security and is used to build up a profile of who you are based on your online activity. This is your “digital double”.

Click here to discover how Big Brother sees you.*



*Best viewed on an iPhone or Android phone or using a Chrome or Safari browser.

Can gaming make the world a better place?

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

Power of Imagination

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

Descartes Demon

In his 1641 book, Meditations on First Philosophy, Rene Descartes starts by considering the nature of reality. How do we know, he asks himself, that the world around us actually exists and is not just a projection of our minds?


Dr. Btihaj Ajana is interviewed in her university office.

Dr Btihaj Ajana discusses surveillance in contemporary society and its relationship to the image of the surveillance state imagined by George Orwell in 1984

To find out more surveillance in contemporary society and its relationship to the image of the surveillance state imagined by George Orwell in 1984, watch the full length version of this video at www.digital-double.com.

Es Devlin on Good Ideas and Hard Work

Es Devlin talks to Ideas Tap about her approach to her work and the qualities that you need to become a successful designer.


April, 1984. 13:00. Comrade 6079, Winston Smith, thinks a thought, starts a diary, and falls in love. But Big Brother is watching him - and the door to Room 101 can swing open in the blink of an eye.

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Spring Awakening Reviewed

'The most thrilling adaptation of Spring Awakening I have ever seen ... Ben Kidd’s touring production brims with the Headlong company’s trademark chutzpah.'

 ★ ★ ★ ★ 


'In Headlong's searing update, Wedekind's 1891 "children's tragedy" seems both crazy fresh and as old as time.'

 ★ ★ ★ ★ 


'Ben Kidd's ingenious production makes this often censored play newly wild and newly convincing... It's hard to imagine a stronger cast of young actors... Tremendously effective.'

 ★ ★ ★ ★


'Anya Reiss has taken Wedekind’s original way ahead of its time... It works brilliantly.'

★ ★ ★ ★

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