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Playbox Theatre stage contemporary drama Martyr

How far will you go for what you believe?

“Benjamin won’t do swimming at school. His mum thinks he’s on drugs or has body issues. But Benjamin has found God and mixed-sex swimming lessons offend him.”

Fundamentalism and tolerance clash in this provocative play by German playwright, Marius von Mayenburg. Martyr considers how far we should go in accommodating another’s faith, and when we should take a stand for our own opposing beliefs.

The play by Von Mayenburg was first seen at Berlin’s ground breaking Schaubühne Theatre in 2013 and is a piece that is confrontational in its look at religious fundamentalism. Written in response to the rise of Islamic fundamentalism and the attack by extremists on both Islam and Western liberal democracies, the play considers the way in which any doctrine can be distorted to become an unforgiving, intolerant and ultimately violent framework for how to live.

Martyr tackles some of the most complex and challenging ideas in this funny, intelligent and thought-provoking play.

Globally there are many examples of how doctrine can be manipulated as hate, intolerance and violence.

“I found, and still find, the way people in Western Europe proudly present our society as based on ‘Christian values’ completely hypocritical. They don’t seem to know much about the values as proclaimed by the book that this religion is based on. I wanted to show that you can take the Bible and make it the source of an extremist ideology that deeply contradicts our democratic values” – Marius Von Mayenburg

Playbox Theatre stage Martyr in a production directed by Founding Director, Mary King in a unique cruciform staging with a cast of 8 young people: Hayden Coward, Katie Crowfoot, Jesamine Dempsey, Teagan Gough, Dani Horton, Ben Jeffery, Noah Lukehurst, Katie Walsh.

The show is suitable for those aged 14+ and contains strong language.

Playbox Theatre’s production of Martyr is at The Dream Factory, Warwick Thurs 15th – Sat 17th November, 7.30pm. Tickets are £15 Standard and £9 Concessions and can be booked online at or by calling 01926 419555 ext 2.

About Marius Von Mayenburg

Marius Von Mayenburg is an author, director and translator. He studied playwriting at the Universität der Künste Berlin. Since 1998 collaborations with Thomas Ostermeier include translations for his Shakespeare production Hamlet (2008), Measure for Measure (2011) and Richard III (2015), as well as for his own production of Much Ado About Nothing (2013). Since 2009 he has directed his own plays Perplexed (2010), Martyr (2013), A Piece of Plastic (2015) and Peng (2017) at the Schaubühne. At the Residenztheatre in Munich he directed the plays Call Me God by Spregelburd/Cervo/Ostermaier/Mayenburg (2012) and Banbury by Oscar Wilde (2013).

About Playbox Theatre

Playbox Theatre is a professional creative organisation developing theatre for and with young people. Based at its own custom-designed complex in Warwick, it aims to develop the skills talent and confidence of young people in the performance arts through exciting and innovative methods.

Founded in 1986 Playbox serves young artists and audiences across the Warwickshire and West Midlands regions with training and performance studios supporting its main creative base. Playbox Theatre places at its heart young people as artists and audience.

The Dream Factory is a creative collaboration between Playbox Theatre, Glenn Howells Architects and Sceno-Plus (Montreal). It stands on land provided by Warwickshire County Council.

Playbox Theatre is a key client of Warwick District Council, providing artistic quality and experience for young people in the region.

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The Dream Factory

Stratford Road

Warwick CV34 6LE

United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)1926 419555

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