Belarus Free Theatre in association with The Albany

Tomorrow I Was Always A Lion

Based on I morgen var jeg alltid en løve by Arnhild Lauveng

Directed by: Vladimir Shcherban

Arcola Theatre is currently closed in order to avoid contributing to the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus). Find out more »

Belarus Free Theatre’s Tomorrow I Was Always a Lion is a theatrical investigation into the nature of psychosis and recovery. Based on the extraordinary memoir by Arnhild Lauveng, it tells a unique personal story of living with and recovering from schizophrenia.

Then the Captain came. The first time I met him I was writing in my diary, and I suddenly realized that one of my sentences ended in a different way than I had wanted.

This raw and imaginative new production explores Lauveng’s controversial text to challenge our perception and understanding of the condition.

I was picked up by the police and a doctor and brought to a closed ward. But it was too late. I had already disappeared into the forest. It was a dense forest, and it took me years to come back out.

Belarus Free Theatre is the only theatre company in Europe banned by its government on political grounds. Following BFT’s furious production of Sarah Kane’s 4.48 Psychosis, which is blacklisted in Belarus, BFT have fearlessly continued to use theatre to excavate social taboos. Tomorrow I Was Always a Lion continues this journey of provoking and challenging the deepest questions of our humanity.


Every performance of Tomorrow I Was Always A Lion will be followed by Belarusian cuisine and a post-show discussion/facilitation in partnership with Antiuniversity Now. Audiences will share their responses to issues raised in the production such as the nature of schizophrenia, recovery from mental illness, social and cultural stigmas, the brains of dictators and the impact of imprisonment on the brain. Each post-show facilitation will be unique, run by different facilitators and collaborators every night. This is an incredible opportunity to participate in a call to action surrounding mental health issues both individually and as a society.

Antiuniversity Now is a collaborative experiment to revisit and reimagine the 1968 Antiuniversity in an ongoing programme of free and inclusive radical education events. It was set up to challenge academic and class hierarchy through an open invitation to teach and learn any subject, in any form, anywhere. For the Belarus Free Theatre production, Antiuniversity Now invited collaborators to devise after show sessions, looking at the issues explored in the play from the Antiuniversity perspective of social, cultural and political self-actualisation and collective resistance.



Relaxed performance – Saturday 29th October, 3pm

Relaxed Performances are specifically designed to welcome people who will benefit from a more relaxed environment, including (but not limited to) people with an Autism Spectrum Condition, sensory and communication disorders, or a learning disability.


Part of our  WINTER SEASON 


Post-show events

Thu 20th – Antiuniversity Now session led by Sue McAlpine and Sara Haq
Fri 21st – PRESS NIGHT – no aftershow
Sat 22nd (matinee) – Antiuniversity Now session led by Caragh Du Toit, Grace Gelder, Jodie Chinn and Antiuniversity Now organisers
Sat 22nd (evening) – Vladimir Shcherban, director of Tomorrow I was Always a Lion, in conversation
Mon 24th – Antiuniversity Now session led by Simona Ciocoiu, Delia Spatareanu, Jacob Woods, Rosa Irwin Clark and Mark Woods
Tue 25th – Helen Fisher, Senior Lecturer, Institute of Psychiatry (Kings College) & Jonny Benjamin, mental health campaigner & film producer
Wed 26th – Antiuniversity Now session led by Hit the Ground (@hitthegroundtc)
Thu 27th – Performance Artist the vacuum cleaner invites the audience into Madlove – his Designer Asylum
Fri 28th – Dolly Sen – writer, film-maker and mental health consultant
Sat 29th (matinee) – Hearing Voices Cafe
Sat 29th (evening) – Q&A with the actors and creative team from Tomorrow I was Always a Lion

For a full listing including event description and organisation information, please click here.