Caryl Churchill's


Show details

Written by
Caryl Churchill

Directed by
Jaz Woodcock-Stewart

Assistant Directed by
Fred Wienand

Set & Costume Design by
Zoe Hurwitz

The Linbury Studio Theatre

Tuesday 10 November at 7.30pm
Wednesday 11 November at 7.30pm
Thursday 12 November at 2pm and 7.30pm

1 hour 30 mins

About the show

“You've too much time on your hands. You start thinking. Can't think when you're working in the field can you?”

This rarely staged work explores the lives of the downtrodden men and woman who worked the farms of the Fenlands in East Anglia. As land, passed down through the generations, is sold up to conglomerates, aspirations are thwarted. With nothing but years of drudgery and poverty ahead of them, the Fen-dwellers struggle to find meaning in their lives.

Caryl Churchill was born on 3 September 1938 in London and grew up in the Lake District and in Montreal. She was educated at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford. Downstairs, her first play written while she was still at university, was first staged in 1958 and won an award at the Sunday Times National Union of Students Drama Festival.

Caryl Churchill’s plays include: Owners, Traps, Light Shining in Buckinghamshire, Cloud 9, Top Girls, Fen, Serious Money, Ice Cream, Mad Forest, The Skriker, Blue Heart, This is a Chair, Far Away, A Number, Drunk Enough To Say I Love You?, Seven Jewish Children, Love & Information, Here We Go and Escaped Alone. Music theatre includes Lives of the Great Poisoners and Hotel, both with Orlando Gough. Caryl has also written for radio and television.

For the theatre, Jaz has directed Gulliver's Travels (Unicorn Theatre), Learning Piece (The Place), Civilisation (Underbelly), Lands (Bush Theatre, UK tour), The Bacchae (East 15 Acting School), Days Like This (BAC, BeFestival), You're So Relevant (Five Plays, Young Vic), If I Were Me (Soho Theatre), Where The White Stops (as co-creator; Underbelly, Bush Theatre, UK tour). Film includes: Emmeline (short) winner of BFI Future Film Award for Best Fiction.

Jaz was a finalist for the RTST Sir Peter Hall Director Award 2018, JMK Award in 2016 and Genesis Future Director's Award in 2017 and 2019. She is co-artistic director of Antler, an associate company at Bush Theatre 2017-2018. Last year she was nominated by The National Theatre as part of MITOS21, the European Network of National Theatres, to make a piece at Performance Laboratory Salzburg.

Photos: Alex Brenner


Angela, Deb, Mrs Finch
Zoë Armer 

Val, Ghost
Matilda Bailes

Shirley, Shona, Miss Cade, Mavis
Florence Guy

Mrs Hassett, Becky, Alice, Ivy
Caroline Letelier 

Wilson, Frank, Mr Tewson, Gregory
Dan Morris

Nell, May, Margaret 
Lucy Gray

Stagement Management Team

Stage Manager
Waverley Moran 

Deputy Stage Manager
Hayley Bowman

Assistant Stage Manager
Alix Mayhew