BARBARIANS By Barrie Keeffe


Central St Martins School of Art

29th September – 7th November 2015

In association with Soho Theatre

Made possible through the generosity of Soho Estates


‘Tooting Arts Club is proving to be a new theatrical force’

★★★★ Observer (Top 10 plays of 2015)


‘For anyone mourning Shane Meadows’ ‘This is England’ saga.. Barbarians makes for a deliciously grim dessert… sucks the breath from your lungs’

★★★★ Time Out Critics’ Choice


‘The breath-of-fresh-air Tooting Arts Club returns with another high-quality evening of site-responsive theatre’

★★★★ Evening Standard


Barbarians consists of three separate short plays featuring the same characters at different stages in their lives. Killing Time was first presented by the National Youth Theatre at the Soho Poly Theatre Club (now the Soho Theatre) in 1977, with Dotun Adebayo, Robert Glenister and Michael Kelly. Abide With Me was first presented by the Soho Theatre Company at the Soho Poly Theatre Club (now the Soho Theatre) in 1976, with Karl Johnson, Philip Davis and Elvis Payne. In The City received its first production at the Greenwich Theatre, London in 1977, with Nick Edmett, Karl Johnson and Jeffery Kissoon.

Abide With Me – the first part of Barbarians to be written – was originally commissioned by Verity Bargate, co-founder of the Soho Theatre, and later Barrie Keeffe’s wife. The Verity Bargate Award for new writing is presented by the Soho Theatre every two years. The 2015 winner will be announced on 5 November 2015.

Barrie Keeffe, who wrote the film The Long Good Friday, and whose other works for the stage include Sus, Not Fade Away, A Mad World My Masters, Only A Game, My Girl and King of England, was born and brought up in the East End of London. He was an actor with the National Youth Theatre of Great Britain and worked as a journalist before becoming a playwright.

Barbarians is directed by Bill Buckhurst, who also directed Sweeney Todd for Tooting Arts Club (Harringtons Pie and Mash Shop and West End). He previously co-directed the international touring production of Shakespeare’s Globe’s Hamlet alongside Dominic Dromgoole. Also for Tooting Arts Club, Bill has directed Tinderbox in 2011, Barbarians in 2012 and A Midsummer Night’s Dream in 2014. His other directing credits include The Vegemite Tales in the West End and numerous touring productions for Shakespeare’s Globe.



Paul: Thomas Coombes

Jan: Jake Davies

Louis: Josh Williams


Director:  Bill Buckhurst

Designer: Simon Kenny

Sound Designer: Joshua Richardson

Lighting Designer: Rob Youngson

Casting: Marc Frankum

Producer: Rachel Edwards (for Tooting Arts Club)

Co- Producer: Hilary Williams