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Headlong Theatre

Led by award-winning Artistic Director Rupert Goold, Headlong is dedicated to new ways of making theatre. Headlong collaborates with some of the most exciting and adventurous theatre artists in the country and provides them with the time, resources and creative support to allow them to make their most challenging work. Headlong is interested in theatre that asks provocative questions about the world we live in today in the most vibrant and theatrical forms they can imagine. The focus of Headlong’s work is new writing but they also look to develop new and emerging artists through dynamic and ambitious revivals.

Funding awards

  • 2012-2013: £675,877
  • 2013-2014: £691,422
  • 2014-2015: £709,399

Video feed

Spring Awakening Audience Feedback

Hear what the audience at Nuffield thought about the show. Music: "Bully" by Josh Woodward -

Spring Awakening Trailer

SPRING AWAKENING BY FRANK WEDEKIND. IN A NEW VERSION BY ANYA REISS. DIRECTED BY BEN KIDD A HEADLONG, WEST YORKSHIRE PLAYHOUSE AND NUFFIELD CO-PRODUCTION Unnerving, entertaining, funny and dark, Wedekind's definitive play about youth caused riots when it exploded onto the stage in 1906 and has lost none of its provocative power. Brought bang up to date by award-winning young playwright Anya Reiss and director Ben Kidd, this new version examines the exuberance, intensity and confusion of teenage life today. Spring Awakening asks important and pressing questions about how young people are shaped for their future by a generation that doesn't understand them. Following our recent sell out productions of new plays Chimerica and The Effect, and our remarkable versions of 1984, The Seagull and Romeo and Juliet, we breathe fresh life into another classic text, with co-producing partners West Yorkshire Playhouse and Nuffield. Anya Reiss is winner of both the Evening Standard and the Critics' Circle Awards for Most Promising Playwright.

Dr Paolo Gerbaudo on Social Media and Political Activism

Dr Paolo Gerbaudo discusses the use of social media by political activists, including those involved in the Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street. He also examines the ways in which social media can be used by the state as a tool of repression. To watch the full version of this video, visit:

Dr Btihaj Ajana on Surveillance

Dr Btihaj Ajana discusses surveillance in contemporary society and its relationship to the image of the surveillance state that is imagined by George Orwell in 1984. To watch the full version of this video, please visit:

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Dr Btihaj Ajana on Privacy

Dr Btihaj Ajana discusses the importance of privacy in contemporary society and how digital technologies are changing our understanding of what privacy is. To watch the full version of this video, visit:

Prof Alex Callinicos on 1984

Prof Alex Callinicos reveals how Orwell's politics and the world in which he lived shaped his vision of 1984. To watch the full version of this video, visit:

1984 Trailer

April, 1984. 13:00. Comrade 6079, Winston Smith, thinks a thought, starts a diary, and falls in love. But Big Brother is watching him - and the door to Room 101 can swing open in the blink of an eye. Its ideas have become our ideas, and Orwell's fiction is often said to be our reality. The definitive book of the 20th century is re-examined in a radical new staging exploring surveillance, identity and how thinking you can fly might actually be the first step to flying. This new major production explores the world inside Winston Smith's head, as well as the world without, and catches the euphoria and bliss buried deep underneath the cold face of Big Brother. Headlong's version explores why Orwell's gaze is as applicable to the here and now as it ever was. Headlong continues to interrogate our most important cultural texts, following productions of Faustus, Six Characters in Search of an Author, King Lear, Medea and Romeo and Juliet. A co-production with Nottingham Playhouse

Colin Haigh on Playing Petr

Colin Haigh talking about playing Petr in The Seagull

Rudi Dharmalingam on Playing Semyon

Rudi Dharmalingam discusses the character of Semyon and his love for Masha.

Catherine Cusack on Playing Polina

Catherine Cusack talks about her approach to playing Polina in The Seagull, focussing on the most important relationship in the character's life.

John Elkington on Playing Ilya

John Elkington discusses the character of Ilya and his relationship to the other characters in Chekhov's The Seagull.

David Beames on Playing Yevgeny Dorn

David Beames discusses the character of Yevgeny Dorn and his place within Irina Arkadina's social circle in Chekhov's The Seagull.

Eddie Eyre on Playing Yakov

Eddie Eyre discusses the role of the character Yakov in Chekhov's The Seagull and his approach to playing him.

Chimerica Trailer

Tiananmen Square, 1989. As tanks roll through Beijing and soldiers hammer on his hotel door, Joe -- a young American photojournalist -- captures a piece of history. In New York, 2012 Joe is covering a presidential election, marred by debate over cheap labour and the outsourcing of American jobs to Chinese factories. When a cryptic message is left in a Beijing newspaper, Joe is driven to discover the truth behind the unknown hero he captured on film. Who was he? What happened to him? And could he still be alive? Writer Lucy Kirkwood NSFW (Royal Court), It Felt Empty When The Heart Went At First But It Is Alright Now (Clean Break at the Arcola) and director Lyndsey Turner Philadelphia, Here I Come! (Donmar Warehouse), Posh (Royal Court and West End) make their Almeida debuts with Chimerica, a provocative new play which examines the changing fortunes of two countries whose futures will come to define our own. A co-production with the Almeida Theatre.

Pearl Chanda on Playing Nina

Pearl Chanda discusses her approach to playing the role of Nina and how the character has been re-imagined by the writer John Donnelly.

Gyuri Sarossy on Playing Boris Trigorin

The actor Gyuri Sarossy discusses the character of Boris Trigorin in Chekhov's The Seagull and explains his approach to playing him.

The Seagull Trailer

A play about unrequited love - a story about how we create stories - and one of the greatest plays of the modern era. In The Seagull, Chekhov explores emotion, creativity and romantic conflict with the clarity of a doctor and the heart of a poet. John Donnelly's new version brings to startling life the rawness, beauty and humour of Chekhov's first major play. John Donnelly is a past winner of both the PMA Award for Best New Writer and the NSDF Sunday Times Playwriting Award. His plays include Bone (Royal Court), The Knowledge (Bush Theatre), Encourage the Others (Almeida Projects) and Little Russians (Tricylce Theatre). John is currently a visiting lecturer at Central School of Speech and Drama and is working on a new commission for the Royal Court. Blanche McIntyre, 'a rising star' (Evening Standard), is widely recognised as one of the most exciting young directors at work in British theatre today. Winner of the Critics' Circle Award for Most Promising Newcomer and the Off West End Theatre Award for Best Director in 2012, she was previously Associate Director at Out of Joint and Director in Residence at the National Theatre Studio. A co-production between Headlong and The Nuffield Southampton in association with Derby Theatre.

The Seagull - First Read Through

Writer John Donelly and Director Blanche McIntyre give their response to hearing their new version of The Seagull read out by actors for the very first time.

The Effect - Interview with Billie Piper

Billie Piper on playing the role of Connie in The Effect.

The Effect - Gareth Smith on Treating Mental Illness

Psychiatrist Dr. Gareth Smith shares his experience of treating mental illness with the cast and creative team of The Effect.

Dr Mark Payton on Drug Development

Dr Mark Payton, the CEO and Chief Scientific Officer of the biopharmaceutical company Oxagen, explains how new drugs are developed and why drug development is vitally important for our future health.

The Effect - Aimee Dumbleton on Taking Part in a Clinical Drugs Trial

Aimee Dumbleton gives an insider's view of what it's like to take part in a clinical drugs trial.

Prof Val Curran on The Effect

Psychopharmacologist, Val Curran, on the science behind The Effect.

The Effect - Dr. Chris Chambers on Brain Research

Dr.Chris Chambers explains how cognitive neuroscientists use techniques such as fMRI and TMS to investigate how our brains work.

The Effect - First Read Through

Interviews with Rupert Goold, Lucy Prebble, Jonjo O'Neill and Ben Power after the first read through of The Effect (Headlong/National Theatre co-production) in September 2012.

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Contact details

Berwick Street


51.514019, -0.13391

  • 51.514019 -0.13391

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