Theatre (drama, international)

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  • ZOO Playground - Playground 3
  • 13:35
  • Aug 26
  • 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Suitability: 16+ (Guideline)
  • Country: United Kingdom - England
  • Group: Bound By Theatre
  • Warnings and additional info: Contains Distressing Themes, Nudity, Scenes of a Sexual Nature, Scenes of Sexual Violence, Strong Language/Swearing
  • Accessibility:
    Wheelchair Accessible Toilets
    May not apply to all performances. You'll find more information about accessibile performances and how to book tickets in the accessibility tab below.
  • Babes in arms policy: Babies do not require a ticket
  • Policy applies to: Children under 2 years


‘You know you get to choose what happens to you, right?’ That’s what John tells Julie when they meet at a kink-play party in New York City. She’s an aspiring college drop out living in the shadow of her famous artist parents; he’s her father’s too-old-to-be-unknown intern. The two instantly connect and, with knives bared, wits at the ready and sex an open question, tensions run high as Julie and John teeter between pain and play, fear and fun. The audience is left questioning: who really has the power?

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General venue access

  • Wheelchair Accessible Toilets
  • Accessible entry: Through main door and down a short corridor
  • Wheelchair access type: Level Access

  • Stairs: Information not supplied

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

Lois P 99 days ago

This play is certainly thought-provoking, and you may be alarmed by the thoughts it provokes. ;) Whether you're curious about kink or jaded by the scene, or simply enjoy some intense theatre, this play has plenty to offer. My friend and I were both impressed - the writing and acting are impressive and we left with plenty to discuss. There's a huge amount going on in the script and the audience is not patronised. The two actors bring a lot of complexity and honesty to their characters. Recommended!

James Dodd 103 days ago

@BoundByTheatre ‘s production of Smoke is a knock-out. Fascinating subject matter, devastating performances, startlingly good. @KristinBWinters gives a brilliantly edgy performance which constantly keeps you questioning what’s going to happen next - and boy do the shocks keep coming. Book now. We absolutely loved it.

Deborah Curtis 104 days ago

Smoke is an intense and harrowing experience. Time, space and the awkwardness of humanity feels all too real in this intimate venue with nothing but a couple of excellently charismatic and existential characters: a worktop, fridge and some kitchen knives. Being the audience in this intimate venue is as voyeuristic as the Scene portrayed, challenges us to be.

The acting is exemplary as Kristin Winters (as Julie) and Vincent Santvoord (as John) inhabit their roles in a spooky and confident realism where we forget where we are, as flys on a peculiar, yet ordinary kitchen wall. The playful, ironic banter and chemistry between them leavens the harrowing and disturbing subject matter and ensures it doesn’t take us too far into the dark.

Non-the-less Kim Davies’ play is more than a cany, confident and deft rendering of the kink scene: it is a metaphor for our lost generations. As we inhabit the indulgent privilege of our affluent world on the brink of ecological breakdown, the mismatched and charged communication, desire, confusion and frustration feels only too real.

This brilliant, humble, funny and multi-layered play takes us to a dark place in the safety of the theatre and then enable us to reflect on our global predicament as we leave blinking into the sunshine. As a matinee performance, this is Edinburgh fringe at its most genius.

Cat A 106 days ago

In the kitchen of a New York kinky play party, twenty-year-old Julie encounters aspiring artist John and begs a cigarette. As the night unfolds and the sexual tension between them grows, a dangerous game begins. Who has power? And who will take it?

Such is the premise of Smoke, Kim Davies’ 2014 play, a loose reworking of Strindberg’s Miss Julie. Class. Family and desire remain key themes, but set against a backdrop of the modern city and, in particular, the hidden world of BDSM. Infused with the language and codes of the kink scene, John and Julie’s descent into darkness is both erotically charged and driven by their respective flaws. For those in the know, it is also a look at how to get kink very wrong indeed.

From the offset, John and Julie are in choppy waters. They share a connection that makes their liaison more than complicated; Julie’s bratty nature pushes way beyond any boundaries; and John, although an experienced dom, ignores normal rules of consent and safety. Early in the play, he takes the batteries out of the smoke alarm, a signal that things are about to get risky – and not in a fun way.

Coming from eighteen months of kink exploration, the play feels realistic and uncomfortable in ways that might not resonate with a ‘vanilla’ audience. Kristin Winters infuses Julie with a cynicism and worldliness that is nevertheless laced with naivety as she starts to play with forces she barely understands. This is common to new subs, especially young ones. And Vincent Santvoord’s John is full of frustrated energy, flipping into his dominant mode in a second. This performance is so convincing, so recognisable, I couldn’t stop thinking of someone I know on the London scene. The excellent acting from both leads creates electric chemistry and sex scenes that are viscerally erotic and unsafe at the same time.

The characters are complex enough to sustain the two-hander over a show of nearly one and a half hours, and the rather claustrophobic production heightens the tension. It even got the following accolade from my dom: ‘the only play I’ve ever enjoyed’. Well worth checking out, even if you have no clue about the kink scene – but definitely if you do.

HUBERT ESSAKOW 106 days ago

Smoke is a provocative and spellbinding intimate play I saw in London . Two excellent actors who have great chemistry ensure this challenging and intelligently directed and acted play is worth seeing .

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The Stage [paywall] (4/5 stars) 91 days ago

With Smoke, US playwright Kim Davies has created a fascinating and vaguely uncomfortable exploration of sado-masochism. John is an intern to an increasingly needy, but very famous, artist. Julie is the artist’s 20-year-old daughter, who has dropped out of college and has decided to explore her darker side. They meet...

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Broadway Baby (4/5 stars) 94 days ago

What happens when you’re at a private fetish party, and you bump into the daughter of your boss? Such is the premise of Kim Davies’ Smoke. Julie (Kristen Winters) meets John (Vincent Santvoord) in the kitchen of the flat – a supposedly neutral space in a wider environment of kink,...

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Participants - for further details on our audience and published review policies, including how to add or opt out of reviews, please click here.

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Participants - for further details on our audience and published review policies, including how to add or opt out of reviews, please click here.