Victory: Choices in Reaction

Victory: choices in reaction by Howard Barker

4th March – 4th April 2009

Co-Production with Arcola Theatre

(Associate Producer Evie Dawnay)

ROAST: ‘Mrs Bradshaw, the Government is in possession of your husband’s body’

BALL: ‘Oh, Brian is so poop official!  We have the rat-gnawed, stinking thing you clutched in bed once. That is what we have.’

A raucous treat for the senses – Barker’s brutal, poetic, and gruesome Restoration tale of kings’ whores, bankers’ gold and a widow’s quest to salvage a life from the debris and chaos of England at war. Oh. And her husband’s body parts…

As she is forced to react in a world of shifting loyalty, trust, power, and money, she discovers that the court of Charles II is as dirty and dangerous as any battlefield.

“What kind of monarchy is this?” demands the king of his mistress, with his breeches round his ankles. Drawing parallels between the political deceptions of the 17th Century and those of today, Victory is a powerful and cutting edge play.

Cast (in order of appearance)

Scrope Karl Theobald
Boot Leander Deeny
Shade Emil Marwa
Wicker Gemma Johnson
Darling Chris Porter
Gaukroger Simon Thorp
Bradshaw Geraldine James
Roast Tom Godwin
Ball Matthew Kelly
McConochie Leander Deeny
Cropper Evie Dawnay
Charles Stuart Nicholas Rowe
Nodd Emil Marwa
Clegg Tom Godwin
Hambro Simon Thorp
Southwark Karl Theobald
Cleveland Gemma Johnson
Gloucestershire Leander Deeny
Hampshire Matthew Kelly
Ponting Chris Porter
Devonshire Evie Dawnay
Feak Emil Marwa
Pyle Gemma Johnson
Edgbaston Simon Thorp
Bank Guard Matthew Kelly
Mobberly Tom Godwin
Parry Leander Deeny
Undy Chris Porter
Street Karl Theobald
Moncrieff Gemma Johnson
Gwynn Evie Dawnay
Footman Chris Porter
Beggar Leander Deeny
Beggar Tom Godwin
Milton Chris Porter

Creative Team

Director Amelia Nicholson
Set & Costume Design Anna Bliss Scully
Lighting Design David Holmes
Composer & Sound Design Francoise Ogier
Movement Director Tom Godwin
Assistant Director Catherine Hooper
Costume Supervisor Lucy Jane Martin
Wig & Make Up Mistress Claire Quick
Dramaturge/Researcher Bronwen Carr

Production Team

Technical Manager Richard Williamson
Production Manager Oliver Luff
Sound Engineer Joe Tate
Stage Manager Matt Hudson
Assistant Stage Manager Naomi Jones, Jo Hinton
Student Design Placements Fran Day, Yoko Doyama, Elizabeth Foottit, Sophie Lewis-Parry, Harriet Shillito, Rebecca Slade, Jaeyun Kim
Assistant Producer Bethany Ann McDonald
Press Agent Anne Mayer


‘Barker relishes writing about sex, money and power, and this drama is so meaty and juicy that it makes what currently passes as political playwriting seem bloodless and trivial.  That is particularly so in a production as good as this one.’

The Guardian ****

‘The excellent cast clearly relish Barker’s brutally poetic (and frequently filthy) dialogue. Geraldine James gives an outstanding performance, Matthew Kelly is equally impressive.’


‘Nicholson’s pungent production offers a grotesque yet horribly pertinent image of the state of the nation’

Time Out ****

‘The Cast is spot-on. Leading them is Geraldine James, who gives an extraordinarily brave, unflinching performance as Bradshaw with terrific support from Matthew Kelly.’

The Guardian ****

‘The ambitious Iceni fields a production of this dark, dangerous play that boasts a powerful, poignant performance from Geraldine James.’

Sunday Express ****

‘Add Scully’s luscious period costumes and multi-layered set to Nicholson’s breathtakingly adventurous direction and you have an evening which is gripping from dark and sinister beginning to painfully optimistic end.’

British Theatre Guide