Richard III

Richard III by William Shakespeare

The War of the Roses is over. King Edward IV, the great patriarch of the House of York, has seized the throne from the Lancastrian pretenders. However, all is not well. Brother to the King and decorated war hero Richard Duke of Gloucester has decided that he wants the crown for himself, and will stop at nothing to achieve his goal. The result? Shakespeare’s slickest, sexiest thriller!

The action that follows makes for some of the most gratuitously violent, profoundly disturbing, and dazzlingly funny work that Shakespeare ever wrote. Join Richard’s inexorable rise to the heights of power and, as we witness his decline and fall, peer deeply into the deformed soul of a monster.

Warwick University Drama Society presents a witty and disturbing portrait of one of the greatest villains in the history of the English stage.

The Last Days of Judas Iscariot

The Last Days of Judas Iscariot – “This ain’t your Grandmother’s Gospel”.

A dark comedy that has been noted as a ‘philosophical meditation on the conflict between divine mercy and human free will’, Stephen Adly Guirgis’ The Last Days of Judas Iscariot is a riotous courtroom drama, set in the business end of ‘Purgatory’, a small town called ‘Hope’. This is not a world of clouds and white waiting rooms however, but rather ruthless litigation; a place where troubled souls wait, sometimes for an eternity, to be permanently assigned to either heaven or hell.

Fabiana Aziza Cunningham, an agnostic defence lawyer who has managed to obtain a signed writ from God himself, has forced the retrial of perhaps the Bible’s most notorious sinner, Judas Iscariot. Standing in her way however, in what could be the biggest court case in history, is Egyptian prosecution lawyer Yusef El-Fayoumy, up from Hell for the job of representing God and the Kingdom of Heaven and Earth.

With testimonials made by a plethora of characters ranging from Mother Teresa and Sigmund Freud to Jesus and Satan himself, this is a play that manages to inject both joviality and hilarity into a politically barbed polemic. The Last Days of Judas Iscariot strives to prompt a re-examination of everyday betrayals, personal lapses of belief, and ask who exactly we need to look to for forgiveness.

Look Back In Anger

Look Back In Anger by John Osbourne – In 1956 John Osborne’s Look Back In Anger irrevocably changed the course of British theatre. The play sparked instant controversy for its gritty realism and squalid domestic setting, heralding the era of the kitchen sink drama. Jimmy, the central character and anti-hero, bristles with intellect and wit, choosing to channel them into acerbic verbal abuse against his flat-mates. In an atmosphere charged with sexual tension and fraught with frustrated energy, this emotional and powerful play speaks fervently of the young in the post war era.

MacMillian thought Britain "had never had it so good". Osborne begged to differ.

The Vertical Hour

The Vertical Hour by David Hare. – Jumping between the idyllic garden of a Welsh border home and the offices of Yale University’s Politics department, David Hare’s intimate yet explosive play studies the relationship between personal philosophy and global politics in response to the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Ten years on, do we consider Iraq a contemporary or historical event? How has it changed us? Why should we still care? On a warm evening in 2007 Nadia Blye and Oliver Lucas demand answers to these questions of each other. But, what they unearth about themselves could end up being just as disturbing. After all, just whose vertical hour is it?

 

Blackbird by David Harrower. – Why now? Why here? What does she want from him? He was 40. She was 12. It wasn't right, but despite what they said he was never 'one of those'. Ray has done his time. Now, 15 years later, he just wants to get on with his new life. But today she has come and found him again.

Memory

Memory by Jonathan Lichtenstein. – East Berlin, 1990. The wall has just been pulled down. A man arrives at the flat of his grandmother with awkward questions about the past. Meanwhile, a generation later, in Bethlehem the Israeli security barrier is going up. Played out by a company of actors as they rehearse these tense, and sometimes painful scenes, Memory is a new play which brings the past and present together in an intimate exploration of division, destiny and the undimmed potency of memory itself.

Pornography

Pornography - “From today, you have it in you to do whatever it is that you want to do. Here is where the rules end. Today is the day when the law stops working.”

London, July 2005. In the course of one week Britain will experience a chain of events that will change it forever, for better or worse. With the eyes of the world watching and a camera on every street corner, the actions of four young British men will bring the country crashing from euphoria to desolation. But who is innocent and who is guilty in a culture where everyone is breaking the rules? Combining Simon Stephens’ visceral play with uncompromising performance and design, this production will ask you to consider your own responsibility for a national tragedy.

Twelfth Night

Twelfth Night - “I am all the daughters of my father’s house, And all the brothers too...”

Shipwrecked in a foreign land and separated from her twin brother Sebastian, Viola must find her place in a society obsessed with its own image. Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night is a dark comedy about status, identity, and the lengths people will go to for love.

Incorporating a performance style inspired by the theatre work of Robert Wilson, as well as live music written in the style of Tom Waits.

The Pillowman

The Pillowman - “There are no happy endings in real life.”

A writer in a totalitarian state is interrogated about the gruesome content of his short stories and their similarities to a series of child murders that are happening in his town.

The Pillowman is a hypnotically tragicomic play about freedom of expression, the power of storytelling and dark childhood experience.

Merging Practical Aesthetics with a live cello score and minimalistic set design, this production challenges the concept of ‘meaningful’ art, and blurs the lines of reality.

Age: 16+

“Sometimes you don’t even know what you’ve been craving until the real thing comes along.” New York Times on The Pillowman

A Clcokwork Orange

A Clockwork Orange - “Beethoven. He gave heaven and you turn it into hell.”

Anthony Burgess’s ‘A Clockwork Orange’, published in 1962, tells the story of Alex, a juvenile delinquent who is brainwashed by the government. The novel foresaw a world where bored and disaffected youths addicted to ‘ultra-violence’ and ‘the old in-out’ would terrorise the streets, and where freedom of speech and free will would cease to be valued by those in charge.

Fifty years on, Burgess’s prediction seems worryingly accurate, and in light of the recent UK riots, the story of Alex and his ‘droogs’ gains a new relevance.

WUDS presents a modern retelling of this cult classic.

The Real Thing

Faustus - “Oh, what a world of profit and delight.”

It‘s 2007 and the City of London is alive with the sound of money. But not for long. Soon, bankers will risk more than they can afford, all for the sake of a few extra pounds. Faustus is one of these people.

This exciting and innovative new production from award-winning Warwick University Drama Society mixes Marlowe‘s four-hundred year old verse with music, dance and animation to highlight the excesses of modern life and create a new and original staging of this classic text.

The Real Thing

The Real Thing - “Love, music, art etcetera... it‘s all very exciting.”

One way or another, we all fall in love. With a partner or an ideal, with stability or passion, with possession or freedom, or with the act of falling in love itself. In 1980s London, the lives of a group of actors and playwrights, struggling against each others‘ different views on music, writing and love, become entangled as they find art imitating life and reality carrying on with fantasy. Yet we find that they all have one thing in common: like us, they‘re all looking for The Real Thing.

Brokenville

Brokenville - “What do you do when you have nothing left?”

“Just tell stories. That’s all you can do in this place.”

In a post-apocalyptic future a group of young people stumble across an old abandonded theatre. They have no name and no identity, and are forced to call one another by their physical features. It seems there is no hope for them in this broken society. Until they start to tell stories...

Philip Ridley’s Brokenville is a dark and compelling play about the “redemptive power of storytelling”, brought to life by the multi-award winning Warwick University Drama Society.

Antony and Cleopatra

Antony and Cleopatra - “The soldier’s pole is fall’n: young boys and girls. Are level now with men...”

The fiercest battle ever fought, the strongest love ever felt - welcome to every child’s playtime. The Warwick University Drama Society’s radical reinterpretation of Shakespeare’s epic romance places the action of the play within the expanse of imagination that is a children’s playground.

War games rage as passions grow, tempers flare up and tantrums are thrown. Antony and Cleopatra kissing in a tree, Enobarbus following his leader and two gangs coming face to face in a game where pax is out and Caesar’s coming to get you. Ready or not here they come... Play has never been so serious.

How to Disappear Completely and Never be Found

How to Disappear Completely and Never be Found - “What makes you who you are? A name? An address? A random collection of experiences, a few memories? You are who you can prove you are. You are what people think. And that’s the easiest thing in the world to change.”

When successful advertising executive Charlie Hunt reaches breaking point and decides to disappear, he pays a visit to an old family friend on Southend seafront. Haunted by visitations from a pathologist who swears he is already lying flat out on her slab, he begins to re-live the nightmarish final hours that see his body retrieved from the Thames, stripped of everything that made him who he was.

Fin Kennedy’s extraordinary play is brought to life by the multi-award winning Warwick University Drama Society.

“Just occasionally you find a piece of new writing that restores your confidence in the future of theatre...an exciting, exhilarating, extremely funny and deeply distressing parable of contemporary consumerism.” - The Stage

The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui

The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui - Recession has come home in leafy Greenwich. The half-human half-cauliflower grocers are growing greedy and plead with the trusting Dogsborough for a bail out. Meanwhile in the shadows lounges the lazy Arturo Ui, grumpy and disconsolate with his lack of influence. In the hearts of the devious grocers he spies a chance for power. Abetted by the brutish Roma and the seedy Givola, Ui begins his bloody and resistible rise.

Brecht’s parody of Hitler’s rise, originally set in the cauliflower racket of Chicago, is brought up to date and into Greenwich.

Five Kinds of Silence

Five Kinds of Silence - “I love my family... What’s different about me, see, is that I love them more than what you might call normal...”

Whilst a man is having a severe epileptic fit, his two daughters take his gun and shoot him. The police arrive and the women confess to his murder without coercion. The strange nature of this confession sparks a series of interrogations and examinations which reveal that these are no ordinary murderers... they are the victims.

A twisted history of degradation and control unfolds; of love and obsession at its darkest. This is about the untold stories, the ones you don’t hear on the news. In this story, the dead do tell tales.

The Lady’s not for Burning

The Lady’s not for Burning - Humphrey: “I’ve heard it before. He say’s the Day of Judgement is fixed for to-night.”

It is a warm, breezy afternoon in April in the town of Cool Clary. A war-weary soldier, calming to be the Devil, climbs through the bay windows into the Mayor’s living room and politely demands to be hung for murder. Unfortunately, he has surprised an engagement celebration and no one pays him much attention. Suddenly, a beautiful woman bursts into the house pursued by an angry mob accusing her of being a witch. She is immediately apprehended and sentenced to be burned at the stake the coming morning. But now there’s a problem...

The soldier and the bored fiancé have fallen in love with the Witch, the servant runs off with the bride-to-be, the Judge admits putting the Devil to torture and all the while, the Mayor’s cold is getting worse.

Originally set in the 1400s, this dark, witty farce moves to 1946. The Lady’s Not for Burning reads as both a challenge and parable for our own troubled time, as well as society after the Second World War. The language stuns and surprises, accompanied by a surrealist design, fabulous characters and metaphors about love to rival Shakespeare.

Measure For Measure

Measure For Measure - “Some rise by Sin; And some by Virtue fall.”

In the bombed-out rubble and moral confusion of post war Vienna comes an innovative and exciting production of one of Shakespeare’s darkest and most human plays. The city is falling apart and the Duke leaves his seemingly spotless deputy Angelo in charge to try and bring some discipline to the madness, and to see if Angelo is as perfect as he seems. Into this world of dangerous power comes Isabella, religious and innocent. She hopes to save her brother from execution by Angelo’s harsh new rules. But if the price to pay for her brother's freedom is her virginity and honour then should she give them up? When no one is what they seem and sex and death fester under the surface of law and order, who is there to turn to?

Warwick University Drama Society brings you a beautiful and shocking play that explores our darkest desires and the lengths that we will go to fulfil them.

By The Bog of Cats

By The Bog of Cats

Set in rural Ireland, ‘By the Bog of Cats’ is an “uncompromising tale of abandonment and shocking self-sacrifice”. Hester Swane is a woman born of gypsies and tied to the bleak landscape where she has lived her whole life. Her lover, Carthage Kilbride, with whom she has a young daughter, is about to be married to another woman who will bring him land, wealth and respect. Discarded and ignored, Hester sets out with a reckless fervor to reclaim the life that she had.

In this loose retelling of Euripides’ Medea, Marina Carr blends the mythic with the modern, populating the Bogs of Cats with misfits, witches, and ghosts.

A Midsummer Night‘s Dream

A Midsummer Night’s Dream - “Lord, what fools these mortals be!”

Hermia dreams of marrying the man she loves despite her father’s wishes. The Fairy King dreams of stealing a beautiful changeling boy from his disobedient Queen. Nick Bottom simply dreams of putting on a play. During one night in an abandoned playground in the outskirts of Athens, lovers, fairies and budding actors collide in Shakespeare’s romantic comedy which tells of patriarchal authority, the fickle nature of desire and the power of sexuality.

‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore

‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore - John Ford’s controversial masterpiece is given a noir sheen; plunging the young lovers into a world inhabited by crooked cops and corrupt clergymen.

The streets are controlled by Don Florio and his men. The Catholic Church has found itself becoming more and more involved in the Prohibition. At a time when compassion has all but vanished, true love appears between Giovanni and Annabella. The only problem is... they are brother and sister.

Much Ado About Nothing

Much Ado About Nothing - “Friendship is constant in all other things. Save in the office and affairs of love”

Shakespeare’s sharp comedy, Much Ado About Nothing, places a story of jealousy, deception and quick wits against a rich, Sicilian backdrop. As one of Shakespeare’s most dark and dazzling comedies, the play skilfully sets mischievous flirtation beside faithful sincerity. [more]

Under Milk Wood

Under Milk Wood - To begin at the beginning... You can hear the houses sleeping in the streets, in the slow deep salt and silent black bandaged night…

So begins Dylan Thomas' poetic masterpiece, vividly brought to life by members of Warwick University Drama Society in a deeply imaginative interpretation of this classic radio play. You are invited to join the cast in their voyeuristic journey into the weird and wonderful world of Llareggub where the eccentric inhabitants go about their daily business.

Under Milk Wood is at once funny and tragic, a heartbreaking and heart-warming glimpse of a way of life that is now almost entirely lost. [more]

Elephant’s Graveyard

Elephant’s Graveyard - It was September and there was a Town.

There was a Circus.

There was a Railroad.

A Circus arrives, bringing fun and colour to Erwin, Tennessee, the town that couldn’t even remember its own name. As the parade makes its way down the muddy main street on the first day a series of unexpected events leads to a tragic accident.

What happens when small town life becomes more circus-like than the Circus itself? The show becomes dangerous and cruel.

Set in 1916, Elephant's Graveyard combines historical fact and legend, exposing the deep routed American craving for spectacle, violence and revenge. [more]

100

100 - Imagine.

That you must choose one single memory from your life - everything else will be erased forever.

That choosing this memory is your only way of passing through to eternity.

That you have one hour to choose.

Choose now.

From your whole life, from all you’ve ever done, felt or thought... what is the one thing you treasure most?

In December 2008, Warwick University Drama Society took its touring production of ’100’ to Queen’s University Belfast Drama Studio. ’100’ is a fantastic production devised by the imaginary body in 2002, winning a Fringe First Award at Edinburgh. Revived by Warwick University teaming up with Queen’s University, it is a show that makes you think about your own life, and what the things are that you treasure the most. [more] Use the player below to hear the 100 interview on BBC Radio Ulster.

Macbeth Macbeth - One of Shakespeare’s most gripping and compelling plays, Macbeth is a startling exploration of human authority, and the influence it has to corrupt and destroy. This fresh reworking delves into the depths of the human psyche, and shows that this classic - full of blood and steeped in mystery - still has the power to shock. Complicity is not limited, and everyone must play a part. Prepare for complete immersion, and sensory overload.

In a world where everyone is guilty, where can you find redemption? [ more ]

Blood Wedding Blood Wedding - Desire. Desperation. Death. ‘Blood Wedding’ is human passion set afire. Lorca's masterpiece tells the true story of a bride who must decide between the lover she desires and the one society requires. [ more ]
The Skriker

The Skriker - Don’t you want to feel global warm and happy ever after? Warm the cackles of your heartless. Make you brave and rave. Look at the colourful, smell the tasty. Won’t you drink a toasty with me?

The Skriker, a creature of incessant hunger for love and revenge, enters the city to hunt two young mothers. With her, she brings the altered fragments of British folklore. Join WUDS for a promenade production of Churchill’s greatest play of linguistic complexity and bodily sensation. Feast, dance and play court to the Skriker as she tells you the tale of a world which is consuming the future to feed the present.

The Pitchfork Disney

The Pitchfork Disney - Agoraphobic chocoholic twins Presley and Haley Stray are having another night in. But it's interrupted by the arrival of a bizarre nightclub entertainer, Cosmo Disney and the evening assumes a very sinister direction.

The Pitchfork Disney is a dreamlike, surreal play dealing primarily with storytelling, childhood fears and mans double-edged attraction to the Grotesque. Immerse yourselves in the claustrophobic world of the Stray siblings which teeters on the edge of insanity. A one-act play set in real time that will challenge your perception of the world on either side of your front door.

Rhinoceros Rhinoceros
Edmond Edmond - Edmond is a play that pulls no punches. It depicts the startling, visceral journey of one man, Edmond Burke, through the hellish underworld of 1980s New York. In 23 short, dazzling scenes, we follow the protagonist on a journey out of domestic safety, and into his own, devilish mind.

He descends into the dark city in search of sexual fulfilment, experience, and ultimately redemption. Edmond is the very antithesis of the theatrical hero. He is flawed, he is pathetic, he is a monster. We follow him not out of empathy, but out of morbid curiosity. Whilst at first we may identify with his social displacement, we soon see the extremes to which he is prepared to go to find himself.

Dinner

Dinner - ‘...embrace the silence that’s to come. Cleave the dark, And say nothing.’

Dinner is a sharply observed black comedy that examines themes of apathy, paralysis and the relationship between money and personal fulfilment. It was first performed in the Loft at the National Theatre in 2002, and was nominated for the Olivier Award for Best New Comedy. Watch as a practically dumb waiter serves the most unlikely dinner-party guests, culminating in the play’s terrifically dark twist.

The Lonsome West The Lonesome West - WUDS bring you Martin McDonagh’s The Lonesome West, a play at times barbaric, but at times full of sensitivity. Set in Leenane (Galway), Western Ireland’s beautiful desolate landscape is marred by an iconoclastic community.

Brothers Coleman and Valene Connor have bickered all their lives. Possessive Valene marks his belongings with a ‘V’, while Coleman’s sole mission in life is to antagonise his brother. He waters down his poteen, melts his beloved figurines and cuts the ears off his dog, Lassie. Starting at a funeral, a well natured Priest sets out to remedy a family's violent relationship... but amidst this crumbling society, where murders and suicides are a regular occurrence, what will happen to the broken community that resides there?

The Love of the Nightingale

The Love of the Nightingale - What is a myth? The oblique image of an unwanted truth reverberating through time.    

Timberlake Wertenbaker’s play The Love of the Nightingale is a stunning reworking of Sophocles’ lost play Tereus, finding modern resonance in a myth that is thousands of years old.  

The Winslow Boy The Winslow Boy - Terence Rattigan’s ‘The Winslow Boy’ is set in early 20th Century Britain, spanning the course of two years. Young Ronnie Winslow, accused of theft, is expelled from the Royal Naval College at Osborne. What follows is an inspirational story of honour, determination and sacrifice, exploring the lengths to which a father will go to prove his son’s innocence and recover his family’s honour.
Iphigeneia at Aulis Iphigeneia at Aulis - Written in 410 BC, Iphigeneia at Aulis is the last surviving work of the playwright Euripides. First produced four years after his death, the play won first place at the Dionysia. The play revolves around Agamemnon, the leader of the Greek coalition during the Trojan War, and his decision to sacrifice his daughter Iphigeneia to allow his troops to set sail and preserve their honor by doing battle against Troy.
Metamorphosis Metamorphosis - Steven Berkoff’s stage adaption of Kafka’s famous story in which a young man who is the sole financial supporter of his family until he awakes one morning in the form of a giant dung beetle and thereby becoming a nuisance to his family, who must now learn to rely upon themselves.
Happy Jack Happy Jack - Against the oppressive backdrop of the West Yorkshire coalfield, ‘Happy Jack’ and his effusive wife Liz take us through the final years of the last great industry, and its bittersweet impact on 50 years of their lives together.
Bouncers Bouncers - 4 Bouncers, 4 Beer Barrels, 4 Handbags for a different clubbing experience.
Ghosts Ghosts - As Oswald Alving makes the long journey home, burdened with a vain struggle for light and truth, he finds himself returning to a past steeped in regret and dark memories half forgotten. Within the intimacy of the Chaplaincy space, Ibsen’s Ghosts are free to murmor to us of lives unlived and chances lost in the name of reputation.