Foreign Body

A beautifully crafted solo show about healing after sexual assault.

1 in 3 of our women have survived sexual violence. We are all affected. We are all responsible.

Foreign Body is the beautifully crafted debut solo show by Imogen Butler-Cole about hope, healing and forgiveness after sexual assault. Uniquely told from the perspective of the survivor and perpetrator of the same assault and including the testimonies of 8 other survivors, Foreign Body is a brave, liberating and life-affirming story. It uses a charged combination of verbatim, physical theatre and a stunning original soundtrack.

The play aims to destigmatise dialogue around sexual violence and offers opportunities for audience members to explore the play’s themes through post show Q&As alongside representatives of women’s rights organisations.

Foreign Body premiered at Southbank Centre WOW Festival in March 2017 and then toured the UK and to Dhaka, Bangladesh. The show had a sell-out run at Soho Theatre in August 2017.


This piece contains descriptions of sexual assault that some may find triggering.

Foreign Body and Stegosaurus Combo Deal Save £6 (£3 off each ticket) when booking to see Foreign Body and Stegosaurus. Simply add a ticket to both shows into your basket to take advantage of the offer.
Post Show Panel Discussions:
Wed 7.3.18: The Psychology of Recovery

Nina Burrowes, Psychologist and Campaigner on Sexual Violence & Sejal Chad, Psychotherapist

Thur 8.3.18: Portrayal of Sexual Assault in the Media

Nathalie McDermott, Founder, On Road Media & Sirin Kale, Associate Editor, Broadly

Fri 9.3.18: Global Impact #MeToo

Rachael Krishna, Journalist: BuzzFeed, The Second Source & Laura Haynes, Chair, UN Women National Committee

Sat 10.3.18, 3pm Performance: Gender and Sexual Assault

Tanaka Mhishi, Poet, Performer, Playwright

Sat 10.3.18, 6pm Performance: Activism and Sexual Assault

Nimco Ali, Co-Founder, Director, Daughters of Eve & Lucy-Anne Holmes, Founder, No More Page 3

Sun 11.3.18: Race and Reporting Sexual Violence

Sharmaine Lovegrove, Founder, Dialogue Books & Sereena Al Noor, Founder, An Essential Woman

1hr 00m
The Vaults
07 — 11 Mar 18:00
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About the company

Imogen Butler-Cole

Imogen trained at RADA and LISPA and has directed and acted in theatre and TV in Brasil, New Zealand, France, Belgium, Bangladesh, India and the UK. She produced The Tempest in Bangla for Shakespeare’s Globe, was Casting Director for Bishaash, a BBC TV series in Dhaka, Bangladesh and created Dui Desher Golpo, a film exhibition charting the lives of immigrant Bangladeshi women in London.

Imogen trains business professionals in communication for The Old Vic, Aspire Leadership, and RADA in Business, for whom she designed and delivers Confidence and Presence, a course for graduate women. She directs Shakespeare and Devising on the Young Actors’ Summer Schools at RADA and has lectured in Drama and Creative Writing departments at the Universities of Oxford, Westminster, Loughborough, Jadavpur (Calcutta), Kalina (Mumbai) and Jahangirnagar (Dhaka).

Foreign Body is her debut solo show.

Artistic Team
Writer & Performer
Imogen Butler-Cole
Fran Moulds
Artistic Advisor
Kath Burlinson
Ana-Ines Jabares Pita
Lighting Designer
Ali Hunter
Music and Sound Design
Tara Franks, Filipe Sousa
Executive Producer
Ine Van Riet

Press & Reviews

Breaking the Forth Wall

★★★★1/2 A number of shows… have addressed the male gaze and the objectification of women. However, none illustrates the ramifications of this quite so powerfully as Foreign Body

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The Stage

★★★★ This gentle work of physical theatre… capture[s] the fragility felt by the invaded body, and the courage needed to forgive the man, or men, who invaded… a reminder of how important individual action is in creating political change.

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Reviews Hub

A surprisingly uplifting and courageous piece of theatre… A brave and challenging work… approaches its emotive subject calmly and with respect, giving a much-needed voice to the voiceless women who experience sexual violence.

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Dhaka Tribune

A striking piece – the personal approach of the performance forces the audience to not only listen, but to look into the eyes of a survivor and question the rape myths that we are surrounded by.