The Box – Steve Lambert

The use and effects of solitary confinement come under the spotlight in new play from acclaimed company specialising in confronting human rights issues.

The Box is the new work from Essex based acclaimed creators of extreme political art Badac Theatre Company. It takes a hard look at the consequences on the prisoner of prolonged solitary confinement and as part of a short UK tour comes to Norwich Arts Centre on 11 January 2017 before its London run.

‘Badac are one of British Theatre’s best kept secrets’ Battersea Arts Centre

It follows the journey of one prisoner, struggling to survive the punishment of segregation and the descent into the hallucinations, paranoia and psychosis caused by prolonged isolation. A parallel story, giving an insight into an abusive background, gives the audience an understanding of the torment of a previous life, experiences that combined with the plunge into the physical, psychological and emotional consequences of isolation, can only lead to an intensely violent and destructive conclusion.

‘You forget what it is like to be human’ Tonja Fenton, lawsuit plaintiff, New York City who spent three years in solitary.

The Box aims to afford audiences an understanding of the cruelty and dangers of segregation as a punishment. In research for the show, writer Steve Lambert consulted world-renowned expert on the effects of solitary confinement Doctor Sharon Shalev, and drew on the experiences of Palestinian poet Ghazi Hussein, now living in exile in Scotland. As a political prisoner in Syria, Ghazi experienced the inhumanity and physical and mental effects of segregation first hand – and on several occasions. The Box is a cry for help for all those prisoners suffering the inhumanity, torture and despair of solitary confinement.

‘Lambert and Gschwendtner movingly embody the emotional costs of war’ The Stage ★★★★ (The Flood)

This is the latest in the company’s series of plays that highlight general or specific human rights violations. Badac Theatre Company has become established as one of the UK’s most controversial and confrontational theatre companies. Their unflinching work highlighting the travesties of human rights violations around the world has drawn praise from major figures in the theatre world alongside critics and audiences alike – as well as unreserved thanks from the campaigning groups who work to end the suffering and help the victims of it.

‘Lambert gives an exhausting, powerful performance as the soldier, a true tour-de-force. This is compelling theatre that delivers a potent message.’ British Theatre Guide ★★★★

Founded in 1999, this is Badac’s 12th original, uncompromising, production. As creators of extreme political art and students of Antonin Artaud’s ‘Theatre of Cruelty’ their unflinching work is brave, dark, all-consuming and stunning in every meaning of the word. It provokes extreme reactions and polarises critics and audiences alike. Some find its brutality intensely moving and affecting, some leave, shocked and shaken.

In recent years they have collaborated on productions with politically motivated theatre companies in Italy, Israel, Palestine and Denmark. Other past Badac shows include Anna (about the murder of Russian journalist AnnaThe Factory, The Cry, Crucifixion, Ashes To Ashes, The Devoured, Cage, Lunatics and Al Nakba. Celebrity fans include Steven Berkhoff who said ‘The power of their work is extremely rare’.

‘Frontline theatre in a war for truth’ ★★★★ Exeunt (Anna)

‘The formidable Badac Theatre Company create brutal calls to arms’ The List, Scotland

Listings info:
The Box by Badac Theatre Company
The use and effects of solitary confinement come under the spotlight in new play from acclaimed company specialising in confronting human rights issues

Wednesday 11th January 2017 8pm
Norwich Arts Centre St Benedicts Street Norwich NR2 4PG
£pay what you can 01603 660352 <>