Knives In Hens

Knives In Hens

Knives In Hens / By David Harrower / National Theatre Scotland / tour / June 2011

Direction: Lies Pauwels

Lighting:  Lizzie Powell

Sound:    Mark Melville


it's not only about the power of metaphor and the radical forces released by the human imagination, but it's also framed by a production that in itself is ripe with metaphor.

Pauwels lets the story look after itself while her setting, crisply realised by designer Chloe Lamford, is both a modernist stage – most of the dialogue is delivered through microphones – and an end-of-the-pier funfair. The livestock is a vaulting horse, the mill wheel is a revolving red-and-white platform


the action erupts into a hell-for-leather maelstrom that looks part Olympic gymnastic display, part demented mardi gras.


Design and text collide with sparkling invention in Lies Pauwels’ sensual new production for the NTS of David Harrower’s breakthrough play of 1995. Against the dark and meaning-laden language, Chloe Lamford’s fairground sideshow design and Pauwels’ thrusting direction create a separate visual layer of narrative.