Arcola Theatre presents

The Cutting Edge

A new play by Jack Shepherd

Directed by Jack Shepherd

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Following his acclaimed play Half Moon, Jack Shepherd premieres a new tragicomedy about life, money and art.

“We all felt we were on the crest of a breaking wave. The future was ours.”

Anna and Chris have abandoned the lucrative world of art criticism for a self-sufficient life in the countryside. But seven years in, doubts are beginning to take root.

An unexpected visit from glamorous artist Elvira shakes the foundations of the couple’s new life, and brings a bygone era into startlingly sharp focus.

The Cutting Edge explores the tensions between creativity and capitalism, sustainability and progress, and questions what matters most in the modern world.


Jack Shepherd’s previous work at Arcola: Only When I Laugh (2009); Chasing The Moment (2007). As an actor: Home (2013); Small Craft Warnings (2008); Macbeth (2002). As a director: Measure for Measure; Macbeth; A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Jack trained as a painter before becoming an actor. He played the title role in Trevor Griffiths’ series Bill Brand (1976) and the detective drama Wycliffe (1993-98). He won the 1983 Olivier Award for Best Actor in a New Play for the original production of Glengarry Glen Ross.


★★★★ “A fine opening to the Arcola's 20th anniversary”ReviewsGate

★★★★ “This figure from a bygone era [Elvira] has much to teach about ‘Carpe Diem’”Breaking The Fourth Wall

“MUST SEE SHOW: This is first-class Shepherd”FringeReview

“Smart and hilarious in equal measure ... Steed's performance is a real joy to watch”WhatsOnStage

“Keenly observed ... spot-on performances”The Stage

“Maggie Steed’s stunning performance ... is both very funny and very touching”BritishTheatreGuide

“The extraordinarily talented Maggie Steed ... is gripping”The Morning Star