Faustus: That Damned Woman

22nd Jan 2020 - 4th Apr 2020

Book Tickets


5th Sep 2020 - 19th Sep 2020

Book Tickets

The Nether WE2 Title Treatment black

The Nether - Transfer Diary

By Daniel Raggett

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.

What Constitutes Reality?

Royal Court Big Idea

Playwright Jennifer Haley and Prof. Anthony Beech discuss what constitutes real life, whether our real identity is located in our physical bodies or in our imaginations and question the idea of whether we should police the subconscious.

The Possibilities and Pitfalls of Virtual Experience

By Jennifer Haley and Jane McGonigal

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.

Uncovering the Codes for Reality

By S. James Gates Jr.

Are we all really living in the matrix? Physicist James Gates reveals why string theory stretches our imaginations about the nature of reality.

Virtual Girl Catches Thousands of Paedophiles

By Angus Crawford

Discover how a virtual child called 'Sweetie' was used to reveal the identities of online paedophiles.

The Nether Rehearsal Diary- Week 4

By Debbie Hannan

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.

Gaming Can Make the World a Better Place

By Jane McGonigal

What if gamers could use the skills they acquire through playing computer games to solve problems in the real word? Jane McGonigal explores the potentialky world changing power of gaming.

The Nether Rehearsal Diary- Week 3

By Debbie Hannan

Week 3 - hardware/software

There’s a whole host of well-worn analogies for the rehearsal process - painting in various thickness of strokes, weaving a tapestry, conducting a composition - but I’m going to use a Nether-themed image and go with hardware and software. The hardware is the script, the actors, the furniture - all the concrete elements that we’re working with. The software is the intangible results -  the ideas, the relationships, the atmospheres, the meanings.  

Power of the Imagination

Carl Jung

Carl Jung talks about the incredible power of the human imagination. He explains how human beings are able to take mental images and transform them into  concrete objects in the real world.

The Nether Rehearsal Diary- Week 2

By Debbie Hannan

We move to a sunny new rehearsal room in South London and start to create our universe.

A wall of images grows; pictures of pollution, of forests, of life support machines, of Google’s offices, of rocking horses and rows and rows of servers. We are continually trying to project what lies ahead - an even thinner iPad? A foldable iPad? Will Google/Microsoft/Facebook/Visa all join forces to become one company? What would happen if they all blocked you from their services?

Jennifer Haley on Theatre and Gaming


The Nether Rehearsal Diary- Week 1

By Debbie Hannan

The first week is about questions. The first one is easy - what’s your name, and what do you do? The meet and greet - a staple of every rehearsal process’s first day. One by one the members of the circle name themselves.

Vicky Featherstone, artistic director of the Court, and director Jeremy Herrin welcome everyone and we sit for the first read-through. The cast sit around a central table, the creatives form an outer ring, listening, taking notes and adjusting ideas as they now hear the words live. Writer, Jennifer Hailey has arrived straight off the plane from L.A. She is with us for week one for editing, adjustments and insight into the disturbing future world of her play.