The use and effects of solitary confinement come under the spotlight in a new play from acclaimed company specialising in confronting human rights issues The Box is the new work from 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 after a UK tour makes its London debut at Draper Hall, SE1 on 13th and 14th January 2017.
The drama 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 after spending 3 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.
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.
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 The Box writer/director and actor Steve Lambert is available for interview about the play, why the inhumanity of prolonged enforced institutional isolation is so unnecessarily destructive and the ongoing dramatic philosophy of Badac Theatre.
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.
Friday January 13th & Saturday January 14th 2017 7.30pm
London Draper Hall 1 Howell Walk, London SE1 6TL (Elephant and Castle tube)