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The Permanent Way Tickets

London Play
David Hare's The Permanent Way arrives at The Vaults
David Hare’s award-winning play roars to life in a provocative new site-specific staging performed in The Vaults, London’s alternative subterranean venue beneath Waterloo Station. “What happened would simply not have happened under British Rail. It wouldn’t have happened. Not in the British Rail days.” Revelatory, witty, and moving, The Permanent Way is an astonishing interrogation of the chaos arising from the botched privatisation of Britain’s railways. Told through the first-hand accounts of those involved at every level, from passengers to Civil Service mandarins, this extraordinary verbatim piece asks challenging questions of responsibility and governmental mismanagement. Have we learned anything from recent history? “A searing piece of documentary theatre” The Evening Standard “Hare has made a serious, provocative, dramatically gripping contribution to an argument of urgent interest to us all” The Times “This intricately detailed study of a fatal privatisation is that very rare thing: a vitally necessary piece of theatre” Michael Billington, The Guardian Praise from the premiere run, Out Of Joint 2003 Casting to be announced. CREATIVE TEAM Director – Alexander Lass Set & Costume – Ruth Hall Music & Sound – Roly Witherow Casting – Ellie Collyer-Bristow CDG Producer – Debbie Hicks
  • local_play Tickets from only £30
  • date_range Sep 13, 2019 → Nov 17, 2019
  • assistant The Vaults
    Launcelot Street,London, SE1 7AD
  • subway Waterloo Station
  • access_time 1hr 40min (no interval)
  • supervised_user_circle This production is recommended for ages 14+ children 10 and under will not be admitted.
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From the Production


Rated 4.5 out of 5 (13 Reviews)
  • Review Avatar Sep 15, 2019

    Powerful play with opinions and experiences from a wide range of stakeholders in the railway industry. Thought provoking especially in current Brexit times.

  • Review Avatar Sep 28, 2019

    Well produced revival

  • Review Avatar Sep 29, 2019

    Excellent ensemble performances by a group of terrific actors in a serious play about an important and moving subject

  • Review Avatar Oct 13, 2019

    Excellent evening well acted

  • Review Avatar Oct 13, 2019

    You could not have a better match between the theatre and this David Hare play. The real trains rumble overhead adding to the play's atmospheric sounds. The cast work well and hard.to great effect. I was engrossed and the one Act of 100mins whizzed by. This is inevitably going to be of more interest to people of Liberal and socialist views and good managers of a 'certain age' It is a very steep and possibly abstract learning experience for people who were not alive or living as adults in this country in the 8os, 90s and 00s. in particular, I liked the performances of Jacqui Dubois, Paul Dodds, Tej Obano, Lucas Hare, Jonathan Coote and Anna Action. The set is minimalist, costumes basic, and stage area small and intimately connected to the audience. The Creative and Production teams were confident, competent and very effective. I would expect that David Hare thinks they did him proud. I thoroughly enjoyed this because it made me think!

  • Review Avatar Oct 19, 2019

    David Hare's polemical play combines a variety of views about Rail Privatisation, mostly hostile, with emotionally charged accounts of major rail disasters. The play probably packed more punch in the immediate aftermath of the Potters Bar crash in 2002 but most of the issues raised are still relevant today. Excellent and convincing performances from all the cast in the intriguing space of The Vaults Theatre beneath Waterloo Station.

  • Review Avatar Oct 20, 2019

    Superb! Riveting content. The momentum maintained. Deepest emotions brilliantly conveyed. Wonderful character acting from everybody! Successful venue - when you actually found it...!

  • Review Avatar Oct 21, 2019

    Good performance but the play is very dated.

  • Review Avatar Oct 30, 2019

    Having seen the original NT production at which the author harangued the audience for complacency, I found that this production was an interesting contrast. Problems? The usual - of audibility afflicting ‘in the round’ productions. This was compounded by the obligato of trains grunting in Waterloo station. By the end it was clear that this is a misplaced radio play.

  • Review Avatar Oct 31, 2019

    Great 90 minutes of entertainment. Powerful acting and thought-provoking dialogue.

  • Review Avatar Nov 8, 2019

    Very good play excellent acting

  • Review Avatar Nov 10, 2019

    Excellent play but paid over the odds for tickets from London Tickets agency

  • Review Avatar Nov 12, 2019

    An excellent production, well done to all the cast