Offering a uniquely female perspective on war, science and the advance of chemical weapons, this is a multimedia show of epic scale and intricacy directed by Katie Mitchell, ‘British theatre’s true auteur’ (Guardian).
Clara Immerwahr, wife of the famed chemist Fritz Haber, is profoundly disturbed when her husband’s research leads to the development of chlorine gas during the First World War. Over 30 years later, her granddaughter, a scientist committed to finding a poison gas antidote, faces similar despair.
Interweaving multiple narratives across two time periods and continents, The Forbidden Zone features feminist texts by Virginia Woolf and Mary Borden, whose account of running a field hospital provides the production’s title. With elaborate period sets, including a moving subway train, the drama is heightened by the seamless, real-time creation onstage of cinematic-quality film, screened to intensify every meticulous move made by Schaubühne’s ensemble. Fräulein Julie, Mitchell’s previous collaboration with the famed German company, was praised for its mesmerising cast, staging of startling virtuosity and ‘non-stop coup de théâtre’ (Time Out).
Part of 14-18 NOW, a major cultural programme across the UK commemorating the centenary of the First World War
1 hour 10 mins/no interval
Age guidance 16+
Performed in English and German, with English surtitles
27 May Post-show talk Free to same-day ticket holders
Presented by the Barbican and 14-18 NOW, WW1 Centenary Art Commissions, supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England and the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Co-production with the Salzburger Festspiele in cooperation with the European Theatre Network (PROSPERO (Schaubühne Berlin, Théâtre National de Bretagne/Rennes, Théâtre de Liège, Emilia Romagna Teatro Fondazione, Göteborgs Stadstheater, World Theatre Festival Zagreb, Athens & Epidaurus Festival)