Courting controversy . . . Mask Theatre is challenging city audiences

Mask Theatre Company is challenging Peterborough audiences with a double dose of ground-breaking drama this month.

Thursday, 16th March 2017, 6:06 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 11:08 am
The Pillowman Photo: Tom Davies.

Blackbird - which deals with an illicit, child/adult relationship - opened last night (March 15) at the John Clare Theatre. And later this month The Pillowman, which deals with child murder and torture takes to the Key Theatre Studio stage.

Blackbird which was first staged at the Edinburgh Festival,has since been performed in the West End, and has won the Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Play.

It centres on Una and Ray who, 15 years earlier, had a relationship - she was 12, he was 40.

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They haven’t set eyes on each other since. Now, years later, she’s found him again. Set in one claustrophobic room, their harrowing past, and uncertain future, spills out across the stage in an unbroken hour and a half of intense drama, shocks and revelations.

Directed by Matthew Clift, it features Peter Crerar in the role of Ray and Hannah Drury as Una.

Peter says: “Working on Blackbird has been a challenging and often uncomfortable journey for Hannah and me, but we are very excited to be performing this ground breaking drama for Peterborough audiences.”

Matt Clift, who chose this play for his Peterborough debut, added: “It was interesting to see how such a difficult subject could be so gripping whilst providing an incredibly emotional experience for the audience and actors alike.”


You can see Blackbird at the John Clare Theatre in Broadway until Saturday. Tickets are £10 available from and on the door. Performances are only suitable for ages 15-plus.

Running from March 29 to April 1 at the Key Theatre Studio, The Pillowman is a brutal dark comedy.

In an interrogation room in an unnamed totalitarian dictatorship, Katurian Katurian, a writer, is being questioned by two detectives.

Next door, Katurian’s mentally disabled brother Michal waits. The detectives want to know why Katurian’s stories feature gruesome plots about child murder and torture, and in particular, why they seem to mirror a string of recent child murders in the area.

Mask Theatre is once again challenging Peterborough’s audiences with controversial subject matter through this terrifying, yet darkly comic production.

Martin McDonagh’s Olivier Award winning play is a dark, twisty, and utterly unforgettable masterpiece.

Director Helen McCay says: “This play is about story telling, and how violent and horrific stories can affect our minds. Playing on this theme I wanted to combine traditional acting with physical theatre to bring the horror to life.”

Chair of Mask, Emma Goldberg added: When Helen approached me with her idea for this project, I knew we had to try it.

“Mask has tackled controversial subject matter before, but this will prove the most unsettling and exhilarating experience we have delivered for our Peterborough audiences.”

Tickets cost £10 available at the Key Theatre Box Office 01733 207239 and online.