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The Glass Menagerie

11th Sep 2015 - 14th Nov 2015

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People, Places and Things

25th Aug 2015 - 10th Oct 2015

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13th Sep 2013 - 5th Sep 2015

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arts council funded

1984 Transfers to the West End

Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan's critically acclaimed production 1984  has returned to the Playhouse Theatre for a second West End run.

The show previews from June 12 and runs until September 5 before embarking on an international tour.

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People, Places and Things: Now on sale

Emma was having the time of her life. Now she’s in rehab.

Her first step is to admit that she has a problem. But the problem isn’t with Emma, it’s with everything else. She needs to tell the truth. But she’s smart enough to know that there’s no such thing. When intoxication feels like the only way to survive the modern world, how can she ever sober up?

People, Places and Things is the latest collaboration between Headlong and the National Theatre, following the acclaimed Earthquakes in London and The Effect.

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1984 Reviewed


'It is doubleplusgood. It's not easy to make something vividly dramatic from a novel of ideas. This pulls it off in style.'

★ ★ ★ ★★

'Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan have pulled off something tremendous'
★ ★ ★ ★★

'Headlong’s brilliant stage version ... Rather than just tell the story, this show, written and directed by Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan, creates a dynamic response that strips away complacency and plays on those creeping anxieties about trust, manipulation and freedom.'
★ ★ ★ ★★

'This extraordinary adaptation by Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan for Headlong makes a virtue of the book’s internal nature... It is a troublingly, often horrifyingly sensual experience, a tech-enhanced, heavily stylised race through a mind collapsing under terrible pressure.'
★ ★ ★ ★★

'Brilliantly imaginative adaptation of George Orwell's great dystopian novel'
★ ★ ★ ★★

The Glass Menagerie

A frustrated mother, a daughter lost in her imagination, and a son intent on rebellion.

By night, Tom lives the life of an assassin, an outlaw, a czar of the underworld, via his trips to the movies. By day, he works in a factory. In the apartment he shares with mother Amanda and sister Laura, the air hangs thick with the scent of sickly sweet flowers and his mother’s oppressive nostalgia. When Amanda insists he brings home a gentleman caller for Laura, the fragile dreams of all three are shattered with consequences they may never escape.

1984 Trailer

Television static flashes across the screen. A man (Winston Smith) dressed in drab clothes lifts his head from a table top, a series of words flashes across the scene (AUSTERITY, LOVE, POWER). Winston opens a diary a picks up his pen. The scene cuts to a group of people screaming at the projection of a man while the phrases 'FREEDOM IS SLAVERY' and 'WAR IS PEACE'  flash on screen, followed by more phrases that flash past too quickly to read. The scene cuts to a couple kissing before more phrases flash on screen.

People, Places and Things- Rehearsal Diary Week 1

This play is going to be “emotionally expensive” predicted director Jeremy Herrin on Friday afternoon. After a week of intense discussion, tears and laughter, talking about addiction around a table in the National Theatre’s rehearsal space, that is certainly how many of us felt.

1984 - Rehearsal Diary Week 4

The most significant difference going into the fourth and penultimate week of rehearsals is the introduction of the technical elements of 1984, albeit in a primitive form.

Live On

After your heart stops beating, you'll keep tweeting ...

Living Online

The speakers are interviewed on stage. The stage is empty apart from four chairs, on which the speakers are sitting and a table. The is a projection of the title 'The Nether' on a plane grey backdrop. The speakers hold microphones. The shadowy heads of members of the audience can be seen at the bottom of the shot.

Is the web changing us? How does spending time online affect our brains? Can you spend too much time online? Journalist Madhumita Venkataramanan (Associate Editor of Wired Magazine), BBC Click presenter Spencer Kelly and game designer Holly Gramazio discuss the implications.

Social Media and Political Activism

Dr Paolo Gerbaudo is interviewed in his office.

Dr Paolo Gerbaudo discusses the use of social media by political activists, including those involved in the Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street. He also examines ways social media can be used by the state as a tool of repression.

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?

In Search of China's Riches

In the summer of 2001, I was living in a factory, in a village, in central China. I was in the middle of a two-year stint of fieldwork for my PhD.

It was hot. So hot in fact, that the factory’s furnaces blazed only during the night, for fear that workers would succumb in the day. Most nights, I lay awake into the small hours, sweating, my senses overloaded by the clangs and flashes from the factory courtyard.

Adapting 1984

Sarah Grochala talks about Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan's adaptation of 1984. The talk was given at the Nam Paik June Art Center in Seoul, South Korea. The talk is in English and translated into Korean.English starts at 4.45 minutes.

Bret Easton Ellis on American Psycho

Bret Easton Ellis on American Psycho and his return to LA.

Selective Attention

The Future of Theatre Design

The speakers are interviewed on stage. The stage is empty apart from three chairs, on which the speakers are sitting and a table. The is a projection of the title 'The Nether' on a plane grey backdrop. The speakers hold microphones. The shadowy heads of members of the audience can be seen at the bottom of the shot.

How is technology changing the way that we stage and design a production? What new possibilities might digital technology open up for theatre designers in the future?

From the Deus Ex Machina of Ancient Greek Theatre to the invention of the electric lantern in the late nineteenth century, technology has had a huge impact on the ways in which we stage a performance. Olivier Award Winning Set Designer Es Devlin (Chimerica, American Psycho, The Nether) and Luke Halls (I Can’t Sing!, Olympic and Paralympic Closing Ceremonies) discuss how digital technology is currently revolutionising the world of theatre design.

Chaired by The Nether's resident director, Daniel Raggett.

Blanche McIntyre on The Seagull

Blanche McIntyre gives Judi Herman a director's-eye-view of The Seagull.

What is Tragedy?

Bust of Aristotle. Marble, Roman copy after a Greek bronze original by Lysippos from 330 BC. National Museum of Rome. Photo: Giovanni Dall'Orto

What do we mean when we say that something is tragic or a tragedy?

Theatre and Surveillance

Robert Icke, Prof. Tim Jordan, Duncan Macmillan and Dr. Dan Mcquillan discuss the ways in which theatre and other forms of performance have been used to explore the nature of contemporary surveillance culture.


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.

An Apology

United States Army photograph of Chelsea Manning (known at time of photograph as Bradley Manning)


'I understood what I was doing, and decisions I made. However, I did not fully appreciate the broader effects of my actions. Those factors are clear to me now, through both self-refection during my confinement in various forms, and through the merits and sentencing testimony that I have seen here.'

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