“Harrower’s play is a marvellous, mysterious thing: a drama of real passion written in a stark, puritan style…” The Guardian

“Phil Cheadle, as the miller, displays a nonchalance to his situation that masks his sense of loss and separation”
MusicOMH ★★★★

“Jodie McNee as the woman is particularly impressive” The Guardian ★★★★

“Martello-White is outstanding… This intense, unsettling young actor is sure to find wider stage very soon.” Independent

“Maria Rijo’s warm cello-playing hauntingly underlines this presence throughout the piece.” What’s on Stage

“His world is there, in front of my eyes. All I must do is push names into what is there, the same as when I push my knife into the stomach of a hen.”

In an imaginary, pre-industrial landscape, a profound and strange love triangle unfolds between a ploughman, his wife and a miller. Passionate and lyrical, the play maps a mythic journey from ignorance and innocence to knowledge and power.

Knives in Hens was David Harrower’s first play and established him as one of Scotland’s foremost living writers. Since its debut in 1995, it has been staged in over 70 productions in more than 20 languages.
Other plays included the acclaimed Blackbird (Olivier Award, Best New Play 2007), Kill the Old Torture Their Young (Traverse Theatre), Presence (Royal Court Theatre) and Dark Earth (Traverse).

Serdar Bilis makes a welcome return from Liverpool Playhouse to the Arcola where he directed Moliere’s Tartuffe and Ostrovsky’s Familiy Affair; both Time Out Critics’ Choice.

Cast: Phil Cheadle, Nathaniel Martello-White, Jodie McNee
With live music performed by
Maria Rijo

Director Serdar Bilis
Set & Costume Designer Hannah Clark
Lighting Designer Ian Scott
Sound Designer Elena Pena
Associate Designer David Woodhead