Theatre (absurdist, comedy)

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  • Babes in arms policy: Babies do not require a ticket
  • Policy applies to: Children under 2 years


A hedgehog has spontaneously appeared in Malcolm’s brain. No one knows how it got there. Malcolm just wants to know why, jeopardising his relationships with those around him in the process. With unavoidable themes including purpose, anxiety and hedgehog worship, Headhog by Tom Jensen is a dark comedy and an allegorical account of how we cope with the inexplicable absurdities of our every day lives.

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General venue access

  • Accessible entry: The Annexe is located next door to The Vault. Audiences leave the main foyer onto Merchant Street then access the Annexe via the Pend. There are 2 - 3 steps in the Pend then a narrow staircase inside the space. The audience enters at the rear of the raked auditorium.
  • Wheelchair access type: Not fully wheelchair accessible

  • Stairs: 6 - 10
    Number of stairs is provided as guidance and is not in addition to any wheelchair access type (lift/ramp etc) stated above.

Each venue can contain several space with different accessibly information. Visit the venue page for full venue accessibility info

How and when to make an access booking

Our access tickets service is available to anyone who:

  • Would like to book specific accessibility services, e.g. a hearing loop, audio description headsets, captioning units, seating in relation to the location of the BSL interpreter
  • Requires extra assistance when at a venue
  • Has specific seating requirements
  • Is a wheelchair user
  • Requires a complimentary personal assistant ticket to attend a performance

Izzy Stewart 118 days ago

Fascinating concept. Lightly humorous. Well-performed. Strong start… and then it became a bit more ambiguous.

I like to ramble so this is a bit of long review- lots of praise, some critique.

The cast as a whole are very strong actors. I appreciated the small ensemble; the audience were given ample opportunity to really get to know these characters and begin to care for them. Each scene they entered brought out different dynamics, revealed flaws, highlighted strengths too.

The actor playing Malcolm is commendable. Without revealing too much of the play, I will say I appreciated how his character had a duality within him, wrestling between how to respond to his circumstances, and the effects or consequences that come thereafter. I only wish that this idea, the ‘headhog’ would have been the sole focal point of the play. I was a little less interested in taking the headhog out than I was in seeing how those around Malcolm have been affected by this development. Admittedly this might have had more to do with the script itself than anything else.

This was why I found the actress playing Julie especially gripping. For an hour long show, she expertly took me on an emotional journey. To me, she found the right balance between the comedy and the more sombre moments without sacrificing characterisation. Between Julie and Malcolm as characters, they to me delivered the idea: “What would you do if there was a hedgehog in your brain?”.

This was what I felt characters such as the doctor and the dad Stanley, however well-acted, failed to address. I admired the doctor’s warring state of concern and professional detachment towards Malcolm. And I enjoyed the incongruity between the petite-ness of the actress playing Stanley and her quite genuine physicality of her dad character and treatment of her son.. However I felt between these characters, the script took itself away from its own absurdist nature and tried instead to take it anywhere else. Again, maybe this was to do with the nature of the script itself, because there were moments that were gold:

The same actresses playing the doctor and Stanley played the ecologist and the philosopher. I personally found the scene between them and Malcolm to be one of my favourites. Being an absurdist comedy, perhaps more scenes would have benefited from the same exploration and heights they took this one.

The dinner scene certainly did though it took a bit of back and forth to get there. I mean in particular for the ‘dinner table’ they carried, and how it shrunk suddenly into a tray they picked up with one hand, the awkward shuffling about of the cutlery, and then also the blocks (which they used as set) being moved about more than was needed. Sometimes less is more— especially since their set was quite minimal.

And less was much, much more. The dinner scene began and built and climbed with minimal effort on their part. I almost felt it would climax before it crashed back into realism, and to me, it worked. It was bold and fresh and I wanted more. But beyond these two scenes, and the increasingly vague theme written as we delved deeper into the play, I could only miss it.

The cast were proficient regardless, and carried on in their more realistic take of an absurdist idea. Directorially, some ideas worked better than others. Sound queues were impeccable, and lighting choices worked for the most part but had odder choices in others. This is in particular for the ending, where somehow I wasn’t sure if it truly was ‘The End’. Perhaps there would’ve been a way, perhaps with staging and lighting that could’ve made this more apparent.

When the play ended, I must say that I left loving the characters anyway. To me, the ensemble struck many more chords than the themes the story tried to address. The team have great potential.

Well done to Beacon Productions.

Jo 119 days ago

What a super show. Great story, great acting. I would have been disappointed if I had missed this prickly gem.

Mike Bomford 119 days ago

Brilliant story. Brilliant acting. Brilliant start to the day. Strongly recommend.

Linda Vesty 120 days ago

A very smooth, professional looking show. Well acted. Well thought out and the directors use of physical theatre, excellent. Moving with laugh out moments and only £7 what more could you want?

Esther 121 days ago

I found this show touching, funny and well acted. I laughed during so much of it but really understood the serious themes that were being portrayed. The whole team did a fab job with the scale of characters and passage of time, allowing the audience to really travel through the play nicely.

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FringeReview 118 days ago

In amongst the script there is a very decent idea that peaks its way out. The premise being that if something is in us, then it may influence us. This strikes me as a very decent start and at times the script had enough about itself to really show how...

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