Arcola Theatre

Shrapnel: 34 Fragments of a Massacre

Anders Lustgarten

Directed by: Mehmet Ergen

December 2011. Watching video footage from a drone, Pentagon officials see a huddle of people – unarmed smugglers, with mules – treading their familiar path across the Turkish-Iraqi border. Hours later, Turkish Armed Forces drop bombs on the group. 34 civilians are killed.

The Roboski massacre is one of the most controversial episodes in the ‘war on terror’. Piecing together the fragments of the tragedy, Anders Lustgarten’s startling new play dares to ask what a massacre is made of.

Directed by Arcola Artistic Director Mehmet Ergen, Shrapnel is a story of malicious commands and mournful commemorations; an urgent, powerful insight into the state of modern warfare.

“There is no such thing as a happy colonised people.
Never has been and never will be.
That is our basic delusion.”

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World premiere

★★★★★ “One of the most powerful and harrowing pieces of political theatre ever.” “As brutal, unapologetic, and incendiary as the evil it derides.” “Savagely important and brutally true. More hopeless and bleak than anything you’ll have ever seen” — Grumpy Gay Critic

★★★★★ “Left me physically shaken, in tears, and feeling sick – and I cannot thank its writer, director and cast enough … A high-impact wake-up call … a massive slap in the face” — Stage Review

★★★★ “Makes its point with a controlled ferocity” — The Guardian

★★★★ “Anders Lustgarten provides succinct and intelligent dialogue. Every line has power” — The Upcoming

★★★★ “This is a heartbreaking, terrifying story that needs to be told.” — Remotegoat

★★★★ “A highly accomplished and impressive performance. (…) A strong combination of great acting, writing and direction as well as set, stage and lighting design.” — Everything Theatre

★★★★ “An angry and sweeping account of the Roboski airstrike. A slick production.” —

★★★★ — Exeunt Magazine

“This play deserves to be seen and its subject matter that should be a concern to us all.” — The Public Reviews

Post-show Discussion

with playwright Anders Lustgarten, actor Lucy Ellinson and journalist Paul Mason

Wednesday 25 March — Free for ticket-holders

Shrapnel is one of 2 urgent world premieres directed by Mehmet Ergen in our current season. It precedes Clarion by Mark Jagasia – a black comedy about free speech, nationalism and the state of the British media.