Dances of Death

The world premiere of Howard Brenton’s radical version of Strindberg’s The Dance of Death parts one and two, compressed into a rapid two-act drama. Michael Pennington played Edgar, Linda Marlowe played Alice, and Christopher Ravenscroft played Kurt.

OffWestEnd Winner – Michael Pennington, Best Actor

OffWestEnd Nominations – Best Lighting, Best Sound

★★★★★ The Telegraph ★★★★ Times ★★★★Independent ★★★★ WhatsOnStage ★★★★ OneStopArts

★★★★★ CRITICS’ CHOICE “Tom Littler’s production of Howard Brenton’s admirable adaptation follows Dürrenmatt in presenting the plays as a series of short scenes, like rounds in some vicious wrestling match. The production is full of an intelligent awareness of context … The ways in which thing could go horribly wrong are myriad. The drama begins at an almost unendurable pitch of violent loathing, which rises steadily for the next two hours. The action takes the form of a hateful dance in which the parties engage, then retreat before advancing again. A single false note would be enough to ruin everything … But Littler’s production has a magical assurance. James Perkins’s design, the lighting by William Reynolds and the sound by George Dennis are perfectly pitched. And the performances by the three central characters are astonishing: of a nuance and intensity that is terrifyingly magnified … At the interval one of my colleagues remarked that the emotional tension was such that she’d gnawed a small hole in her raincoat. When critics start chewing their garments, you know that something remarkable is happening onstage.”
Jane Shilling, The Telegraph

★★★★ “Michael Pennington provides a monstrous portrait of smiling, vengeful malignity … notably well directed by Tom Littler on a superb design by James Perkins.”
Michael Coveney, The Independent

★★★★ CRITICS’ CHOICE “You won’t find a more ferociously intense performance this summer… Directed by Tom Littler with filmic speed, sudden blackouts, and tremendous crashes of drums, gales and ominous music.”


Michael Pennington (OffWestEnd Best Actor – Winner), Linda Marlowe, Christopher Ravenscroft, Ed Franklin, Richard Beanland, Eleanor Wyld

Creative Team

Set Designer – James Perkins
Lighting Designer – William Reynolds (OffWestEnd Nomination)
Sound Designer – George Dennis (OffWestEnd Nomination)
Costume Designer – Emily Stuart 
Libby Purves, The Times