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The Lightning Child

14 September - 12 October

By Ché Walker and Arthur Darvill

Running time: 2 hours 45 mins (approx) including interval 


Directed by 
Matthew Dunster

Designed by 
Paul Wills

Author of the Book / Co-author of the Lyrics
Ché Walker

Composer / Co-author of the Lyrics
Arthur Darvill

Charlotte Broom  


Moyo Akandé
Castor Semenya

Sheila Atim

Geoff Aymer
Cadmus/Lester Young  

Bette Bourne

Jonathan Chambers
Ladyboy Herald  

Tommy Coleman 

Phil Cumbus

Harry Hepple 
Shug/Neil Armstrong

Jess Murphy

Colin Ryan

Coral Messam

Clifford Samuel

Cat Simmons
Billie Holiday/ Maenad 

Clemmie Sveaas 

Finty Williams
Agave/Sports Doctor

  • Theatre/2013/The Lightning Child/GC/new

This production has now closed 

A musical remix of Euripides’ The Bacchae

History, sex, funk, gender schism, politics, repression, addiction, envy, tragedy and more sex collide in a psychedelic, anarchic remix of The Bacchae for the Globe’s first musical. Where are we? Everywhere. All at once.

In ancient Thebes – or is it contemporary London? – worshippers gather to join the orgiastic rites honouring Dionysus. Only the disapproving, woman-hating Pentheus seeks to put a stop to the fun. Elsewhere, in this ancient/modern city, the addicts Drax and Shug and the musician Louise and her flatmate Antonia are drawn towards their own forms of retribution.

From the inventive and anarchic team who brought The Frontline to the Globe in 2008 and 2009 comes a modern take on Euripides’ The Bacchae, combining crossdressing, drug abuse, internet porn and classical myth, all told with a Shakespearean disregard for the usual conventions of time and place.

Please note: Production contains filthy language, strong content and violence.  


Read more audience reactions here on Storify.

‘Ché Walker’s terrific modern play... a lifeaffirming show that celebrates our common humanity’
Time Out on The Frontline 2009

‘Matthew Dunster’s superbly orchestrated production ... is a lively rumble in the urban jumble’
The Times on The Frontline 2008



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