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Unexploded Ordnances (UXO)

Split Britches

A photo showing a character called Lois Weaver in glasses, wearing a black jacket on the phone. It is a red coloured phone and is on a table with some paper. In the background there is a clip from Dr. Strangelove the film

Combining a Dr Strangelove-inspired performance with a daring forum for public conversation, this show explores ageing, anxiety, hidden desires and how to look forward when the future is uncertain.

The stage features a round table, doomsday images projected on a screen, echoing the War Room in Stanley Kubrick’s film. In our Situation Room, twelve audience members are invited to become a Council of Elders to discuss the global issues of the day, as the company weave in satirical insights and spirit-lifting humour.

Adopting the characters of a bombastic general and ineffectual president, Peggy Shaw and Lois Weaver of Split Britches lace this interactive piece with both playful urgency and lethargy, encouraging discussion about the political landscape.

The pioneering theatre-makers see unexploded ordnances (bombs and weapons) as a metaphor for the unexplored potential of older people and hope to uncover buried resources in us all.

1 hour 10 mins/no interval
Age guidance 16+
This performance contains strobe lighting

Thu 17 May: BSL-interpreted performance

Thu 17 May: Post-show talk (BSL-interpreted)
Free to same-day ticket holders

19–20 May: Weekend Lab led by Lois Weaver

Presented by the Barbican. Development supported by In Company Collective with additional support from the Barbican, Doris Duke Foundation and Queen Mary University. Part of Sky Arts Art 50

Performance Time



‘Since 1980 Split Britches have been turning the theatre world on its head‘
‘Split Britches’ longstanding interest in the personal and political impact of aging‘
‘Internationally celebrated for their off-kilter, satirical and queer performance pieces‘

Part of The Art of Change

Our 2018 season explores how the arts respond to, reflect and potentially effect change in the social and political landscape.


photo of peggy shaw

Watch: Peggy Shaw and Lois Weaver on Unexploded Ordnances

Watch Split Britches' Peggy Shaw and Lois Weaver introduce Unexploded Ordnances.

The Pit