Stop and Search | Arcola Theatre

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9 January–9 February 2019

Arcola Theatre in association with Maya Ellis present

Stop and Search

by Gabriel Gbadamosi

Directed by Mehmet Ergen

A driver picks up a young man crossing Europe. Two police officers work a surveillance case. A passenger directs her taxi to the edge of a bridge. Three conversations grow increasingly uneasy.

From award-winning writer Gabriel Gbadamosi comes a visceral new play, exploring a time of distrust where the lines blur between conversation and interrogation. Stop and Search explores our deep ambivalence about the ways we police each other.

Gbadamosi said today, “The play opens the question of why a tactic aimed at policing drugs, violence and terrorism (and that stops seven black people for every one white person) has grown into a flashpoint for wider, and deeper, flaws in a volatile and frightened social psyche. The Arcola is an incubator of London’s future culture: multicultural, far-seeing, cutting edge. I can only imagine developing such a departure from the old state of the nation play as we have with Stop and Search through the active engagement of the artistic team under Mehmet Ergen’s direction.”

Gabriel Gbadamosi is an Irish-Nigerian poet and playwright. Stop and Search marks his London stage debut. His theatre credits include Eshu’s Faust (Jesus College, Cambridge), Hotel Orpheu (Schaubühne, Berlin), Shango (DNA, Amsterdam); and for radio, The Long, Hot Summer of ’76 – winner of the first Richard Imison Award. Gbadamosi’s novel Vauxhall won the Tibor Jones Pageturner Prize and Best International Novel at the Sharjah Book Fair.

Artistic Director of Arcola Theatre Mehmet Ergen is an award-winning director. His recent theatre credits for the company include Richard III, BlissThe Cherry OrchardDronesBabyDrones, An Enemy of the PeopleThe Cradle Will Rock and Clarion.

Post-show Q&A | Tuesday 15th January: Join a panel of creatives working to tell the stories of refugees through creative interpretation and companies working directly with Refugees to create art, including Christine Bacon (ice&fire).

The panel will include Oladipo Agboluaje and Suzanne Gorman, the creators of The Croydon Avengers;  Sophie Besse of Borderline; and Gabriel Gbadamosi, the writer of Stop and Search who will discuss who has the right to tell the stories of refugees. Entry is free.

Jeannie’s Theatre Conversations | Thursday 24 January | a post-show Q&A with the cast and creative team, chaired by Jeannie Farr. Free entry.


Munashe Chirisa


Tyler Luke Cunningham


David Kirkbride


Shaun Mason


Jessye Romeo



Gabriel Gbadamosi


Mehmet Ergen


Eleanor Bull

Lighting Design

Richard Williamson

Sound Design

Daniel Balfour
Best £22 (£20 previews)
Standard £20 (£16 previews)
Value £15

Standard tickets are £12 or less with Arcola Passport.

Monday - Saturday, 8pm
Saturday matinees at 3.30pm

Press night: Monday 14 January 2019, 7pm


  • Students / 26 & under - 20% off Standard seats, or join Young Arcola for free to book Value seats at £10
  • 65 and over - 20% off Standard and Value seats
  • People in receipt of disability benefits - free companion with full-price Standard seat or 20% off Best, Standard or Value seats
  • People in receipt of unemployment benefits - Value seats at £10 or 20% off Standard seats
  • Theatre union members - 10% off Standard and Value seats
  • School and college groups (10+) - Best available seats at £12 for Mon–Wed evenings and Wed matinees, one free teacher per 10 students
  • Groups (10+) - eleventh ticket free

    Pay What You Can Tuesdays – limited allocation of tickets available in person, each Tuesday from 6pm. More info »

  • Suitable for 14+

    Press enquiries: Freya Cowdry —

    24 Ashwin Street, Dalston, London, E8 3DL
    020 7503 1646

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    Arcola Theatre Production Company is a registered charity no.1108613. Registered as a company limited by guarantee in England no.5242988. Registered Office: 24 Ashwin Street, Dalston, London E8 3DL.

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