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The Destroyed Room

It begins with what seems to be the recording of a debate, as guests gather to digest world events. They sit among potted plants and standard lamps, discussing the things they have witnessed and debating the ethics of watching. Around them, cameras film their every word and every reaction, beaming them live onto a big screen. But as the debate intensifies, slowly and as if in a dream, the atmosphere begins to change.

The Destroyed Room is about the profusion of lenses, which brings the world right into our rooms but also keeps it at a distance. It’s about what we see and what we turn away from. And what’s coming.

The Destroyed Room takes its inspiration from Jeff Wall’s famous photograph, which shows a ransacked room, where every item of furniture has been torn up and destroyed. 

Recommended for age 16+

Performance dates

04 August - 08 August, 2016

The Lyceum
Edinburgh International Festival 

Supported by the National Lottery through Creative Scotland

27 April - 14 May, 2016

Battersea Arts Centre, London
020 7223 2223

09 March - 12 March, 2016

Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh
0131 228 1404

25 February - 05 March, 2016

Tron Theatre, Glasgow
0141 552 4267

19 February - 20 February, 2016

Eden Court, Inverness
01463 234 234


'The Destroyed Room is an aneurysm of a show, a leap into the eye of the shitstorm. Lenton pins down the complicity, complexity and contradictions of modern, mediatised life, in which awareness is inescapable, ignorance is wilful and inaction is - or at least feels - inexcusable.'
★★★★★ What's On Stage

'a bold and brave production, confident enough to take risks and pose big ethical questions without fretting over the lack of easily available answers. This is big, electric stuff – go and see it'
★★★★★ TVBomb

★★★★★ The Outlier Scotland

'This is what theatre is all about'
★★★★★ Edinburgh Guide

‘provocative, compelling and daring’
★★★★ The Guardian

★★★★ The List

‘burns itself into the mind…cuts close to the bone of our decaying western liberalism… visionary, perfectly realised’
★★★★ The Scotsman

‘Meticulously constructed… Remarkable… An intense and discomforting experience’
★★★★ The Herald 

‘Timely and incendiary… The Destroyed Room makes the whole audience complicit in the unfolding destruction, asking where our limitations in active participation lie. It may not be comfortable, or offer easy solutions, but it feels like both a timely and necessary piece of theatre.’
★★★★ The Stage

★★★★ The Arts Desk

★★★★ To Do List

'Taking its title from Jeff Wall’s famed photograph of a ransacked room, which makes the viewer wonder what happened to leave it in such a state, the latest from the brilliantly inventive Vanishing Point considers Western privilege and the threats it faces. Matthew Lenton’s productions have often had a particularly voyeuristic quality (one was entirely viewed through glass), and this one, touring Inverness, Glasgow, Edinburgh and London, teases at the ethics of what we look at and how we view and talk about the world from our window.'

The most unmissible culture of 2016, Lyn Gardner, The Guardian, 4th January 2016 

'while Vanishing Point's work begins as a theatre of ideas, in translation and execution, it becomes a theatre of poetry.' Behind the scenes for Vanishing Point's new show, Neil Cooper, The Herald, 5th January 2016

'This is a show that talks about the way that we perceive things through media. The cameras examine people’s behaviour in a microscopic way. How does a person’s behaviour change when they know they’re being watched – and when they’re no longer aware that they’re being watched? Is someone being emotionally truthful or not, and how can we tell?' The Destroyed Room, the panel show that tears down conversation Matthew Lenton talks to Susan Mansfield in The Scotsman about The Destroyed Room

'Vanishing Point frequently examines the audience’s perspective and director Matthew Lenton often offers an unexpected take on the world, too.' Plan your week's theatre: top tickets The Guardian




A co-production with Battersea Arts Centre 
In association with Eden Court and Tron Theatre
Created by Vanishing Point

Conceived and directed by Matthew Lenton
Design and Lighting Design by Kai Fischer
Sound and Music Composition by Mark Melville
Costume Design by Jessica Brettle
Creative Associates Elicia Daly and Pauline Goldsmith  
Assistant Director Sarah Short

Performers Elicia Daly, Pauline Goldsmith and Barnaby Power
Camera Operators 
Samuel Keefe & Daryl Cockburn

Production Manager Fiona Fraser
Stage Manager Lee Davis
Deputy Stage Manager Kara Jackson 
Lighting Supervisor Ashley Bolitho
Sound Supervisor Amir Sherhan
Video Supervisor Ellie Thompson
NIDA Student Placement Jacqueline Lucey

PR New Century PR (Lesley Booth)
Social Media Niall Walker
Photography Mihaela Bodlovic

Audio Equipment supplied by BLACKBOX Pro Audio


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