The Strongbox

A new play about domestic slavery, love, and fennel soup.

Septuagenarian Ma and her daughter, Kat, keep a homeless teenager, Maudie, as a slave in their old London house. Now Kat’s away, expanding the family business. Ma’s old, and getting ill, and she finds she likes it when Maudie tells her stories.

And what will happen when Kat gets home?
So what what will Maudie do with her new-found power?

The Strongbox has been made by the all female team that brought you The Quick: ‘tough touching and witty’ Time Out ★★★★. Committed to creating unfamiliar and under-represented female voices they bring you three strong, violent, funny women aged between 17 and 75. Their story, which explores the hidden world of domestic slavery, is strange, chewy and unforgettable.

Based on a true contemporary London story, The Strongbox explores what we’re capable of if we let ourselves think others are less than human. It’s tense and savage, but funny and tender. It asks if we can live without trying to control each other, and who we’d need to be in order to make a more caring society.

The poetic language and caustic humour, the claustrophobic setting of The Vaults themselves, and the eerie original soundscape all give the story a heightened reality. Sometimes it feels like a horrible fairy tale. But then you remember that it is real.

Please note the starting time of this performance has changed to 18:05 for the evening performances and 15:05 for the matinee..

1hr 15m
The Vaults
28 Feb — 04 Mar 18:05
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About the company

Lucy Richardson and Stephanie Jacob

In 2011 Diverse City produced Stephanie’s play The Quick at Tristan Bates Theatre, directed by Lucy Richardson, where it was Time Out Critic’s Choice for its three-week run (“impressive, tough, witty and ever more tender”) (“moving, upsetting and powerful” Ian Rickson, director). Read the full review here.

Stephanie Jacob (Writer) has had readings and workshops at the National, seed-funding from Soho Theatre, been Writer on Attachment at the National Theatre Studio and recently won the Writer’s Guild Best Radio Drama Award for A Night Visitor (BBC Radio 4). The Strongbox is her seventh play.

Lucy Richardson (Director) has directed a wide variety of projects, from Debbie Isitt’s The Woman Who Cooked Her Husband in the West End to Clean Break’s HeartSpeak at the Arcola and Royal Festival Hall, as well as directing large-scale community projects in South Africa, Lesotho, Argentina and Lewisham for Project Phakama. She has developed plays with writers Polly Teale, Philip Osment and Jonathan Holloway as well as most of Stephanie’s plays. She is currently also developing a new play by Jake Boston for the Edinburgh Festival 2018 about bare knuckle fighting.

Artistic Team
Directed by
Lucy Richardson
Written by
Stephanie Jacob
Marketing Assistant
Anna Masing
Jelmer Tuinistra
Sound Designer
Lex Kosanke
Sol Angelluci
Stephanie Jacob, Joanna Wake & Hannah Morley