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When We Have Sufficiently Tortured Each Other

12 Variations on Samuel Richardson’s Pamela
a new play by Martin Crimp

From 16 January to 2 March 2019
Running Time: Approx. 2hr 5min without an interval. Please note: running time is subject to change during preview performances until 23 Jan

When We Have Sufficiently Tortured Each Other

‘Go on then: lock the doors and see what happens. Show me how much power you really have.’

This new play breaks through the surface of contemporary debate to explore the messy, often violent nature of desire and the fluid, complicated roles that men and women play.

Using Samuel Richardson’s novel, Pamela, as a provocation, six characters act out a dangerous game of sexual domination and resistance.

The production reunites Martin Crimp (Attempts on her Life, In the Republic of Happiness) and director Katie Mitchell (Waves, Cleansed). Cate Blanchett makes her National Theatre debut alongside Stephen Dillane, who returns to the National Theatre for the first time since The Coast of Utopia in 2002.

Content advisory

Please note: This production contains adult themes and violent scenes of a sexual nature, that some people may find distressing. If you require further information, contact details are provided in our Help centre.

Photography inside the Dorfman theatre is not permitted at any time.

Ticket availability

When We Have Sufficiently Tortured Each Other is sold out. 
Day Tickets: On the day of the performance, a limited number of cheap day tickets are available in person from the Ground Floor Box Office when the National Theatre building opens at 9.30am.
Day Tickets may offer a restricted view. For popular productions, queues may start well before 9.30am outside the main National Theatre entrance. Tickets for this production are limited to 2 per customer - if you have already bought tickets for this show, you cannot buy further Day Tickets.
PLEASE NOTE: Day Tickets are not transferable - the person who queues for Day Tickets must also attend the show.

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Talks and events.

(please note these events will go on sale at 9.30am on Tue 11 December)

Martin Crimp and Katie Mitchell In Conversation Wed 30 January, 6.30pm
Sound Design with Melanie Wilson Thu 31 January, 6.30pm
Katie Mitchell’s Work at the National Theatre Thu 14 February, 2pm
Exploring Martin Crimp’s Plays Fri 15 February, 2pm

You might also be interested in:
In Conversation with Playwright Martin Crimp Sat 9 February, 11.30am

What is Samuel Richardson's Pamela?

Martin Crimp on reading Richardson’s Pamela

A 15-year-old servant (Pamela) is approached by the master of the house (Mr B), who solicits her for sex. She resists and he abducts her. Encouraged by his housekeeper (Mrs Jewkes), he tries and fails to rape her. More twists and turns ensue, they realise they’re in love, they marry.

This is the plot of Samuel Richardson’s Pamela, whose anonymous publication in London on 6 November 1740 was an immediate and scandalous success. By 1742 it had already gone through six editions, and a 15th edition appeared in 1810. Widely translated, it also formed the basis of plays by Voltaire – Nanine, ou le préjugé vaincu (1749) – and Goldoni – Pamela nubile (1750) and Pamela maritata (1760).

(Find the full article by playwright Martin Crimp, as well as further writing by Amia Srinivasan on the politics of desire, in the play programme for When We Have Sufficiently Tortured Each Other available at the NT Bookstore)

Smart caption glasses

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People wearing Smart Caption Glasses at a performance in the theatre


Production team

Photography (Cate Blanchett and Stephen Dillane) by Gillian Hyland.

Help Centre

For general ticket information

Browse the frequently asked questions for tickets

For general ticket information

Browse the frequently asked questions for tickets