The Nether will host post-show Q&A talks during the play’s West End run at the Duke of York’s Theatre. With members of the creative team, as well as further guests from the worlds of theatre, the media, gaming and technology industries, there will be 6 Q&A talks after selected performances of the play.  All Q&A talks are free for The Nether ticket holders.



The Nether offers complete freedom – a new virtual wonderland providing total sensory immersion. Just log in, choose an identity and indulge your every desire.  An intricate crime drama and a haunting thriller set in the year 2050, The Nether follows an investigation into the complicated, disturbing morality of identity in the digital world, and explores the consequences of making dreams a reality


Previewing at the Duke of York’s Theatre from 30 January and opening on 23 February, Jennifer Haley’s critically acclaimed, multi-award-winning play The Nether, directed by Jeremy Herrin, is booking for 12 weeks only to 25 April 2015.  In a Headlong and Royal Court Theatre co-production, The Nether is produced in the West End by Sonia Friedman Productions and Scott M Delman in association with Tulchin Bartner Productions, Lee Dean & Charles Diamond, 1001 Nights, JFL Theatricals/GHF Productions.


Tuesday 17 February:  Jennifer Haley & Jeremy Herrin – In Conversation


How do you write a play about the ethics of online existence? How do you stage a virtual world? Playwright Jennifer Haley and director Jeremy Herrin discuss The Nether and the process behind creating Headlong and the Royal Court’s production of the show, in a discussion chaired by Royal Court Literary Manager, Christopher Campbell.


Tuesday 24 February:  Gaming


Are games a dangerous and anti-social addiction? Might gaming be able to save the world? How is gaming culture changing the kinds of stories that we tell and how we engage with them? Join playwright and gamer Lucy Prebble (ENRON, The Effect) and Iain Simons (Director of the GameCity Festival and co-founder of the National Videogame Archive) to explore how gaming has developed from Pong to Destiny and to discuss where gaming might take us in the future. Chaired by Royal Court Literary Manager, Christopher Campbell.


Tuesday 3 March:  Theatre and Technology


How do we create a theatre for the digital age? Is technology fundamentally changing the ways in which we engage with and make performance? Matt Adams (Artistic Director, Blast Theory) and David Sabel (Head of Broadcast and Digital at the National Theatre) discuss how digital technology is revolutionising performance, chaired by Headlong’s Artistic Associate, Sarah Grochala.


Tuesday 10 March: Online Policing and The Dark Web


How do you police the entire internet? And how much of the web do we know about? Join Susie Hargreaves (Chief Executive of the Internet Watch Foundation) and Jamie Bartlett (Author of The Dark Net) to discuss how our relationship with the web is constantly changing. Chaired by Headlong’s Artistic Associate, Sarah Grochala.


Tuesday 17 March: Living Online


Is the web changing us? How does spending time online affect our brains? Can you spend too much time online? Journalist, Liat Clarke (Associate Editor of Wired Magazine) and Spencer Kelly (Presenter of BBC News’s Click) discuss the implications.


Tuesday 24 March:  The Future of Theatre Design with panel led by Es Devlin


How is technology changing the way that we stage and design a production? What new possibilities might digital technology open up for theatre designers in the future? From the Deus Ex Machina of Ancient Greek Theatre to the invention of the electric lantern in the late nineteenth century, technology has had a huge impact on the ways in which we stage a performance.  Olivier Award Winning Set Designer Es Devlin (Chimerica, American Psycho, The Nether) and Luke Halls (I Can’t Sing!, Olympic and Paralympic Closing Ceremonies, Master and Margarita) lead a panel of experts to discuss how digital technology is revolutionising the world of theatre design.


The West End cast of The Nether comprises David Calder (Doyle), Amanda Hale (Morris), Ivanno Jeremiah (Woodnut) and Stanley Townsend (Sims) who are joined by Zoe Brough and Isabella Pappas who will alternate the role of Iris as they did at the Royal Court.  Set designs are by Es Devlin, with costume designs by Christina Cunningham, lighting by Paul Pyant, compositions by Nick Powell, sound by Ian Dickinson and video design by Luke Halls. 


Jennifer Haley’s other writing includes Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom, which premiered at the Actors Theatre of Louisville at the 2008 Humana Festival, Breadcrumbs for the Contemporary American Theatre Festival and Sustainable Living written in the 2011-2012 CTG Writers’ Workshop and featured at the Ojai Playwrights Conference.  Her play Froggy is in development with The Banff Centre and American Conservatory Theater.  Haley’s plays have been developed at the Sundance Theatre Lab, the O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, the Lark Play Development Center, PlayPenn, Page 73 and the MacDowell Colony.  She is a member of New Dramatists in New York City and lives in Los Angeles where she founded a writing collective called the Playwrights Union.


The Nether was the first play Jeremy Herrin directed for Headlong as Artistic Director.  Previously he was Deputy Artistic Director of the Royal Court Theatre from 2009 until 2012 where his credits included No Quarter, Hero, Haunted Child, The Heretic, Kin, Spur of the Moment, Off the Endz, The Priory, Tusk Tusk, The Vertical Hour and That Face.  Herrin directed the world premieres of Hilary Mantel’s Man Booker prize-winning novels Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies in two parts for the Royal Shakespeare Company – the productions transferred to the West End in May 2014 and will open on Broadway in March. He was the recipient of the 2014 Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Director for the productions. Herrin’s other recent credits include Another Country, Uncle Vanya and South Downs for Chichester Festival Theatre all of which transferred to the West End, This House for the National Theatre, Absent Friends at the Harold Pinter Theatre and The Tempest and Much Ado About Nothing for Shakespeare’s Globe.  Herrin’s production of David Hare’s The Absence of War will open at Sheffield Theatres next month prior to a UK tour.


The Nether is the latest in a number of collaborations between Sonia Friedman Productions and the Royal Court Theatre (Rock ‘n’ Roll, Clybourne Park, Jerusalem in the West End and The River on Broadway) and Headlong (1984 and Chimerica).





Theatre:                           Duke of York’s Theatre, St Martin’s Lane, London WC2N 4BG

Dates:                              30 January – 25 April 2015                     

Press Night:                       23 February at 7pm

Running time:                    1 hour and 20 minutes, with no interval

Post-show Q&A:                 Start at 9:15pm at selected performances          

Performances:                   Monday to Saturday at 7.30pm, Thursday & Saturday matinees at 2.30pm First midweek matinee 12 February 2015

Prices:                              Previews £10 – £35, then £10 – £52.50

Box Office:                        0844 871 3055


Facebook:                        HeadlongTheatre and theroyalcourttheatre

Twitter:                            @HeadlongTheatre and @royalcourt, #thenether