The Standard Short Long Drop

Theatre (drama)

  • theSpaceTriplex - Studio
  • 18:15
  • Aug 26
  • 50 minutes
  • Suitability: 14+ (Guideline)
  • Country: United Kingdom - England
  • Group: Ticking Clock Theatre
  • Warnings and additional info: Contains distressing or potentially triggering themes
  • 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 18 months


In York, 1885, Lewis "Ludley" Thornhill, is a young man condemned to die. His luck seems to change when he is offered a stay of execution but only if he will serve as the hangman for his cellmate, Alistair. Over their last days together, Ludley tries to get to the bottom of Alistair's mysterious past and supposed crimes. The Standard Short Long Drop is an exploration of class, cost of living, and the ever-looming threat of the end framed by the final days of two unlikely friends.

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General venue access

  • Wheelchair Accessible Toilets
  • Accessible entry: Level access via main entrance using a ramp.
  • Wheelchair access type: Level Access, Lift (Platform Lift)

  • 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

Sean Davis 29 days ago

Standard Short Long Drop (*****)
In the 1880s, a young horse thief, and older, thoughtful man are on death row not knowing what day they will be hanged. The naivete of the illiterate thief serves the play well as it invites his world weary cellmate to voice his criticism of the penal and industrial systems of that time. He even receives a book by an executioner that he reads out loud that describes the three ways to hang a man, including the “standard short long drop”.

This is the 7th most enjoyable of the 184 shows I have seen so far at the Fringe this year. I hope to see almost 200. You may see my other three-sentence reviews, in order from most enjoyable to worst, at my non-commercial website:

Claire C 30 days ago

This play deals with a heavy subject matter and potentially highly distressing themes, so do mind the content warnings before you go.

That being said, this play is an absolute must-watch. Darkly humorous, incredibly moving, and quietly horrifying, this show will draw you in from start to finish thanks to the incredible performances of its two leads, who are easily some of the most talented actors I've seen at this year's Fringe. They absolutely deserved a bigger audience than the one present when I went, although I think we made up for it by clapping as loudly as a full house would've.

Fred Warman 35 days ago

A must see. Brilliant acting and a funny but also emotional script really brings out not only the mental torture being suffered by Ludley he suffers from the situation he finds himself in. I found it really powerful, not least because of the actors bringing this completely to life.

Gary Nunn 36 days ago

A beautifully written play performed by two fantastic actors who throw everything into their respective parts.
The show is a real triumph and should be on everyone`s Fringe list.
A highly recommended watch.
Five Stars

David Campton 37 days ago

In a subterranean studio space that offers a fair context for a 2 handed play set in a 19th century prison cell, the two young actors offer a moving exploration of the nature of justice - both criminal and social... it may be set 150 years ago, but many of the issues of the injustices that the less privileged face apply equally in this era of wage disparity and policing/judicial failures. The older character seems to have been played by a different, younger actor than when the publicity shots were sent out, but the change has not impacted negatively on the staging of this interesting script. I saw this on a half-price deal, but, in retrospect, I would happily have paid full fee.

Saffire Stephens / Z Stephens - Moreish TV 37 days ago

What a absolutely brilliant show starring to fantastic actors in a great story about two guys due to be executed by hanging and build a friendship of sorts when they become cellmates and one gets a stay of execution if and only if he assists is some way to his cell mates execution
Without saying too much this has some truly funny bits in the show and some very emotional bits too

If you love theatre and drama with a great story that actually gets you gripped and makes you think then go see this
Highly recommended
☆☆☆☆☆ 5 Stars

carlijn nouwen 41 days ago

Go see! Superbly acted, this play is a stark reminder about injustices that provokes the audience to think about present day unfairness. Many inequitable treatments, both within and between countries, are legal but what if they are not moral? Alistair might have been a hero in other times - or later, even though that does not help his current case.
Fascinatingly, Alistair composure and seeming resignation with his fate, gradually crumbles as the inevitable inches ever closer. Some members of the audience broke when he did, remembering his daughter, and some, like myself, just a tad bit later when it seemed his efforts had not been in vain after all (won't say more to abouts further spoiler...). Deserves a much bigger audience and hope the reaching reviews will get it just that!

James Gordon 42 days ago

A quality script and two fine performances make for a compelling show in a basement space that serves well as a prison cell. Good rapport between the two actors and plenty of gallows humour, offset by some portentously solemn extracts from a Victorian hangman's manual. Expectations are repeatedly subverted - I was constantly re-assessing what I thought I knew about these two, as things previously said turned out to be less than entirely true. The ending is deliberately less well tied than a hangman's noose, leaving us to imagine how much (or whether) the play's events have proved transformative for feckless young Ludley.
Deserves a larger audience. Most of us last night were on our feet at the end.

Joly Black 45 days ago

Fantastic new writing and outstanding acting! I find it incredible when writers can make their new plays sound like classics, and actors who can pull it off… this show is great and I’d recommend watching.
Lady in front of me was crying!

Ciara Nolan 45 days ago

Really drew me in. Great story line and amazing acting in this two man show. Would 100% recommend.

Celeste Cahn 47 days ago

Great writing about extremely relevant topics and really fantastic performances.

Ian Cooper 47 days ago

What a wonderfully moving, measured and relevant piece. Unexpected smatterings of sharp gallows humour do well to bring moments of brevity to a weighty topic, handled admirably by the two leaders actors. Deserves to be seen by all, don’t miss it!

Justin Skelton 48 days ago

Beautifully written and performed. A truly moving performance. Sensitive poignant and relevant, utterly engaging from the start.

Nicky Payne and Donna Campbell 48 days ago

Amazing performance by both actors. Emotional, moving and captivating. Please go and see this.

El Rose 50 days ago

incredibly well performed and left me feeling very emotional. wonderfully written and wonderfully acted. very underrated and understated, i hope this is seen by the large audience it deserves. (and i hope you enjoyed your coffee)

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The Wee Review (4/5 stars) 27 days ago

As heartbreaking as it is gripping.

Read the full review

Daily Business Magazine (4/5 stars) 32 days ago

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