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Pay What You Decide Info

Age: 14+

Running time: Approx 1hr 15mins

BSL Logo BSL interpreted

Seating: Unallocated - Theatre Style

In rooms like this room people lie. Not little lies, the kind of lies that kill people, or worse…

In this room, or in rooms like this room, language is laundered. They cover up their dirty words with clean ones.

In complex times full of manipulated distractions, ‘the truth’ is slipping from our grasp. Politicians, pundits, and press are pouring out endless spin through twisted words and rictus grins, and no-one knows who is really in charge.

The stage is set, and the room is familiar – a screen, a mirror, a table, and an obvious plant. Two players are about to spar and shift and scramble for the truth and for all the power that comes with it.

Dead Cats by Proto-type blends new writing, performance, and film-making to show, not tell, the truths behind the fictions.

(Please note: Unfortunately, due to illness, we are no longer able to offer BSL interpretation on Dead Cats. We apologise to anyone this affects. If you are able to use it, the Theatre has a t-coil loop system covering rows A-K (the best positions are seats 1-4 and 13-16 on each row, with the weakest signal in the centre of the row). To use the loop system you will need turn your hearing aid to the T- position.)

Two seated performers on the stage of Dead Cats. Next to them is a large plant.

Dead Cats is part of Proto-type’s critically acclaimed Truth to Power Project – a socially engaged exploration of power, democracy, truth-telling, protest, privacy, conspiracy, and control. | #DEADCATS


Praise for Proto-type’s Truth to Power Project, including A Machine they’re Secretly Building & The Audit (or Iceland, a modern myth):

“This is coolly reasoned theatre, produced by Proto-type Theater with stylish aplomb.” – Lyn Gardner, The Guardian

“Proto-type’s team have such imagination and clarity of vision… a great antidote to [a] tangled political landscape” – Exeunt Magazine

“The kind of theatre that seeps into the sub-conscious.” – The List

“It made me want to headbutt a bank.” – Audience Response


If you’re interested in Dead Cats, watch A Dangerous Thing, a new digitally animated work by Proto-type Theater and their long-time collaborator, visual artist Adam York Gregory, created in response to a world full of uncertainty:


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  • Credits

    Written and Directed by Andrew Westerside
    Devised and Performed by Rachel Baynton and Gillian Lees
    Film and Design by Adam York Gregory
    Original Sound by Paul J. Rogers

    Produced by Gillian Lees
    Marketing & Comms Rachel Baynton
    Production Assistants Curtis Clapham and Elisha Pearce
    Technical Manager Myk Hoyle
    Stage Manager Dan Firth
    Set by Alex Kent & Lincoln Performing Arts Centre

    Dead Cats is part of Proto-type Theater’s socially-engaged Truth to Power Project and has been made possible through funding from Arts Council England as well as through the continued support of ARC (Stockton), Lincoln Performing Arts Centre, The Lowry (Salford), Theatre-in-the Mill (Bradford) & hAb/Word of Warning (Manchester).

    With thanks to the following organisations and funds who have supported and championed our work across The Truth to Power Project so far:
    AMATA (Falmouth), ARC (Stockton), artsdepot (North Finchley), Attenborough Arts Centre(Leicester), BBC Lincolnshire, Bite Size Festival – China Plate, Cambridge Junction, Carriageworks Theatre (Leeds), The Civic (Barnsley), The Crucible (Sheffield), CURVE (Leicester), Derby Theatre, EnableUs – University of Sheffield Drama Studio, Farnham Maltings, Futures for Women, Greenbelt Festival (Northampton), hAb/Word of Warning (Manchester),Lancaster Arts at Lancaster University, Lincoln Performing Arts Centre, The Lowry (Salford), mac(Birmingham), Northern Stage (Newcastle), Norwich Arts Centre, Nuffield Theatre (NST City,Southampton), Oxford Playhouse, Performing House (York St. John University), Pulse Festival -New Wolsey Theatre (Ipswich), Settle Stories Festival, Slung Low (Leeds), The Southbank Centre, The Spring Arts and Heritage Centre (Havant), Summerhall – Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Tramway (Glasgow), The Tron (Glasgow), Theatre-in-the-Mill (Bradford), Trestle Arts Base (St Albans), Warwick Arts Centre, York Theatre Royal, Yorkshire Festival, The Britten-Pears Foundation, Arts Council England, and the British Council.

  • The Truth to Power Project

    The Truth to Power Project is a socially-engaged exploration of power, democracy, truth-telling, protest, privacy, conspiracy, and control.

    The project began in 2015 as a response to the UK political climate and has since manifested as a wealth of creative, cultural, and participatory activity that seeks to shed light on the complex, hidden systems that govern how we live our lives.

    Works in the series include a trilogy of contemporary theatre (including A Machine they’re Secretly Building Part of the British Council Edinburgh Showcase, long-listed for the Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award), digital animation A Dangerous Thing, BBC Radio drama The Forgotten Suffragette, the Manifestos for the Future Artist Summer School (with Mansions of the Future), UK-wide Rich Tea & Currency conversation cafés, workshops, mentoring, knowledge exchanges, public talks, lectures, publications and more.

    Find out more here.

  • About the Company

    Proto-type are a company of multi-disciplinary artists led by Rachel Baynton, Gillian Lees, and Andrew Westerside.

    They create original performance work that is diverse in scale, subject and medium. Recently, this has included touring theatre (A Machine they’re Secretly Building), digital animation (A Dangerous Thing) a two-week theatre and pervasive technology experience (Fortnight), a multimedia opera featuring a live laptop orchestra (The Good, the God and the Guillotine) and a radio drama with the BBC (The Forgotten Suffragette).

    They’ve been making work and supporting young artists in the US, the Netherlands, Russia, China, Armenia, France, Zimbabwe and the UK since 1997. Critics have called their work ‘an intriguing brush with altered reality’ (New York Times), ‘Smartly intelligent… coolly reasoned theatre’ (The Guardian) and ‘enthralling’ (Zambezi News).

    Find out more here.

  • Collaborating Artists

    Film and Design by Adam York Gregory
    Digital artist Adam York Gregory has worked on an eclectic range of projects including: comics (The Flowfield Unity, 2006~); music video animation (Fingerprints and My Black Dog, 2007; Popinjay – The Joy Formidable, 2010), and film for live performance (Bar of Lost Souls – Imitating The Dog, 2010; Complicity Simplex and Two Peas without a Pod – Levantes Dance Theatre, 2011).

    Adam’s work spans Live Art, animation, coding, print, digital design, and technology development. He has worked with Proto-type on previous projects Third Person, Fortnight and The Good, the God and the Guillotine.

    Original Sound by Paul J. Rogers
    Paul J. Rogers is a sound sculptor, producer and composer, whose recently published work includes a collaboration with Philippe Petit on Vinyl 10” on Alrealon Musique (France) and CD albums with The Sevens Collective on Beta-lactam Ring Records (USA).

    Paul currently has a number of film soundtracks being performed internationally at major film festivals in Canada, Australia, USA and across Europe, including a set of animations with English cartoonist Steven Appleby. Paul has an experimental approach to electro-acoustic composition and sound manipulations. His research-based work focuses on junk aesthetics and environmental field recordings.

  • A Dangerous Thing - Watch Online (Free)

    A Dangerous Thing is a new, digitally animated work created in response to a world full of uncertainty.

    Proto-type Theater have worked with their long-time collaborator, visual artist Adam York Gregory, to continue their socially-engaged exploration of power, democracy, truth-telling, protest, privacy, conspiracy, and control.

    Expanding on ideas explored in their recent, critically acclaimed theatre works (A Machine they’re Secretly Building and The Audit or Iceland, a modern myth), A Dangerous Thing wants to punch its way out of the screen and into our homes.

    It wants to shake us up, to wake us up, and to hunt down all those insidious lies, hiding in plain sight, and running ahead of us with their boots on.

    Mashing and melding animation styles, original sound and composition, contemporary performance and story-telling, A Dangerous Thing is coming, and it cannot be stopped.

    Running time: Approx. 30mins

    Age recommendation: 14+ | Some swearing and complex themes that younger viewers may find challenging

  • Theatre: Access Information

    Seating Accessibility Information

    Seat size

    In our theatre the seats are 38cm (15″) wide and 44.5cm (17½”) deep. The seats are 44cm (171/3”) from the floor, and have an 8cm (3”) gap between seats.


    Seats have armrests on either side of the seat which cannot be removed completely. Seats on rows A, C and D have armrests which can be folded away and slot between the seat backs. On all other rows armrests are fixed and cannot be folded or removed.


    There is 30cm (112/3“) of legroom in front of each seat, with additional legroom in rows D and L, and in Box 1 and Box 2.

    Further information

    If you have any questions about accessibility our Box Office team are always happy to help and can be contacted on 01642 525199 or by emailing [email protected] - you can also tell us about your access requirements when prompted to do so during the online booking process.