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Nick Lehane

The Pit

UK Premiere
Tue 21 - Sat 25 Jan
Tue - Sat 7.45pm, Sat mat 2.30pm

This event has now ended

60 mins / no interval
Age Guidance: 12+ (contains scenes that some people may find upsetting)
*Membership, Young Barbican, under-16, student, school, access, group and business discounts apply
£3 transaction fee applies online.
£4 transaction fee applies by phone.
Tel: 020 7638 8891

After-show discussion:
Thu 23 Jan

more venue details >

In this extraordinary and heartbreaking puppet play, a life-sized chimpanzee escapes the despair of her captive existence by piecing together memories of her childhood in a human home.

Now from her solitary cage in a biomedical facility, she reminisces about the comfort, curiosity and freedom she had growing up in a human family. Our chimp’s bleak present-day reality switches into vivid recollections of discovery and delight: scarves float into the air from a storage box, a teacup fascinates, opera music plays, a tiny toy baby is carefully cradled to her chest.

Three highly skilled puppeteers invest feeling, expression and delicately nuanced movement to the beautifully crafted creature of this poignant non-verbal production, which conveys shifts in time and place through haunting sound and lighting. Written and created by Brooklyn-based Nick Lehane, it is distilled from the real stories of apes once fostered into American families only to be abandoned to science as they reach maturity.

Download a digital programme >
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"Gorgeous … a meticulous, deeply felt memory play"

New York Magazine

"A delightful and superlatively moving account of memories and dreams"

Berkshire Fine Arts


Nick Lehane


Creative team
Nick Lehane - Creator, Director and Designer
Marika Kent - Lighting and Associate Set Design
Kate Marvin - Sound
Ayumu ‘Poe’ Saegusa - Associate Lighting
Avery Orvis - Associate Sound

Rowan Magee
Andy Manjuck
Emma Wiseman
Presented in association with Barbican

Supported by The Jim Henson Foundation and Cheryl Henson