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HighRise Entertainment: The UK Drill Project

The Oxford Samuel Beckett Theatre Trust Award

A man wearing a face covering holds white flowers in front of a block of flats. Three men stand in a group behind him.

Challenging myths about UK Drill music and its links to youth violence, this radically honest and direct show takes real-life experiences to explore the truths behind the headlines.

Drill originated from Chicago’s Southside rap scene that gained popularity in the early 2010’s. With its melodic and dark undertones, its coded lyrics often explore the aspirations and struggles of young people.

Developed through conversation with artists on the scene, this new show explores the perceived relationship between musicality and criminality. With the criminal justice system putting this music on trial and the ensuing moral panic in the media, can we as a society really blame an art form for a spike in violence?

HighRise Entertainment are an acclaimed theatre collective whose work uses original music, video projection and first-hand testimony to represent unheard voices and forgotten communities. Led by Artistic Director Dominic Garfield, they are winners of the Oxford Samuel Beckett Theatre Trust Award in 2022.

Running time: 1 hour, 30 minutes (including an interactive exhibition on UK Drill culture and the history of oppressed musical subcultures in the UK.)

Age guidance: 14+ (contains some upsetting scenes of an adult nature)

Tue 8 Nov, 7.45pm 
BSL-Interpreted performance followed by a post-show talk (also BSL-Interpreted).

Wed 9 Nov, 7.45pm 
Relaxed performance

Take a look at our Accessible Events page to find out more about the accessibility of our venues.

Presented and co-produced by the Barbican

Image credit: Tristan Bejawn

Members and Members Plus enjoy 20% off ticket prices for this show.

No booking fee. Discounted tickets subject to availability.

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Corporate Members enjoy discounted ticket prices to this performance. 

2 tickets max per booking. 

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Aged 14–25? Join Young Barbican for free. 

Subject to availability 

Wheelchair spaces, free companion seats may now be booked online.  
Please select the relevant preferences on the access registration page during your booking so we can provide you with the correct information and discounts.  

Booking a wheelchair space: Select a seat displaying the wheelchair user icon and then select wheelchair user ticket type. The ticket will be priced at the lowest price for that event. If you need an essential companion, please select the E icon next to the wheelchair space you have selected.  

Booking essential companion tickets: Please select at least two tickets and one of them will be automatically discounted to zero in the basket.  

Booking British Sign Language or Captioned Seats: Select seats in the area appropriate to your needs. 

Under 16’s 
Save 50%. Proof of age required on collection.

Save 50%. Proof of ID required on collection.

£8, subject to availability 

Groups can book at a 20% discount, subject to availability. Contact [email protected] to make a group booking. 

*Excludes £3 booking fee


‘An articulate, amusing and angry political rant through the medium of Grime.‘
The Stage on Merryville (Remastered)
‘Their rapport with each other makes sharing a room with them a thing of laughter and pleasure.‘
Maddy Costa, The Guardian


Relaxed performances

The performance on Wed 9 Nov, 7.45pm will be Relaxed. A Relaxed performance is ideal for those who would benefit from a more informal approach to noise and movement in the auditorium, or would feel more at ease knowing they could enter and exit freely. 

Please note that this performance has not been sensory adapted and will include loud music and lighting effects. Further information can be provided on request.

For this production:

  • The house will be opened early to allow you more time to find your seats.
  • A member of the Front of House team will lead a pre-show welcome talk.
  • The Front of House team are briefed on providing an more informal service and relaxing the standards in regard to audience behaviour during the performance.
  • Latecomer and re-admittance points will be relaxed to allow people to leave and re-enter the auditorium more freely. 
  • Auditorium doors will be kept open during the performance to assist you in entering and exiting the theatre during the performance.
  • Some seats are kept off-sale so you can move around during the performance more freely (within reason and managed by the Front of House team).
  • The performers are briefed about Relaxed performances, and know that you may need to move around and make noise.
  • A quiet chill out space is provided with comfortable seating.

To request further information regarding sensory triggers in the show or if there is anything else you would like to discuss further before making a booking please get in touch with us. Contact the Theatre team at [email protected].

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