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DYP PLYMOUTH 10 Foto Camilla Adams DYP PLYMOUTH 10 Foto Camilla Adams
DYP PLYMOUTH 10 Foto Camilla Adams

Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead

by Complicité

Based on the novel by Olga Tokarczuk

Directed by Simon McBurney

Co-production with Complicité

German Premiere

I see the Earth in eclipse. I see us moving about blindly in eternal Gloom, like May bugs trapped in a box by a cruel child. It’s easy to harm and injure us, to smash up our intricately assembled, bizarre existence… I see nothing but Catastrophes. But as the Fall is the beginning, can we possibly fall even lower?’ - Janina Duszejko, Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead

Based on Nobel Prize winning author Olga Tokarczuk’s novel of the same name, Drive Your Plow over the Bones of the Dead is a new work for theatre conceived and directed by Simon McBurney. Tokarczuk’s controversial, violent, genre defying novel – part thriller, part comedy, and part blistering poetic manifesto for the rights of animals and the environment – caused an uproar in its native Poland upon publication.

In the depths of winter in a small community on a remote Polish mountainside near the Czech-Polish border, men from the local hunting club are dying in mysterious circumstances and Janina Duszejko – an eccentric older local woman, ex-engineer, environmentalist, devoted astrologer and enthusiastic translator of William Blake – has her suspicions. She has been watching the animals with whom the community share their isolated, rural home, and she believes they are acting strangely…

DYP artwork
Artwork by Patryk Hardziej
Olga Tokarczuk Łukasz Giza
Olga Tokarczuk © Łukasz Giza
Simon Mc Burney Jorri Kristjánsson
Simon McBurney © Jorri Kristjánsson

Adapted from the novel by Olga Tokarczuk
Directed by Simon McBurney
Set and Costume Design: Rae Smith
Lighting Design: Paule Constable
Sound Design: Christopher Shutt
Video Design: Dick Straker
Additional Direction: Kirsty Housley
Dramaturgy by Sian Ejiwunmi-Le Berre and Laurence Cook
Movement Direction: Toby Sedgwick
Original compositions: Richard Skelton
Assistant Director: Gemma Brockis
Associate Costume Designer Johanna Coe
Wigs Designer: Susanna Peretz
Original Novel Translated by Antonia Lloyd-Jones
CDG Casting: Amy Ball

Cast: Thomas Arnold, Johannes Flaschberger, Amanda Hadingue, Kathryn Hunter, Kiren Kebaili-Dwyer, Weronika Maria, Tim McMullan, César Sarachu, Sophie Steer, Alexander Uzoka

Additional Movement: Crystal Pite
Associate Lighting Designer: Lucia Sánchez Roldán
Sound Associate: Ella Wahlström
Video Associates: Jachym Bouzek, Jakub Xiv for Mesmer
Associate Video Designer: Ross Flight
Associate Set Designer: William Fricker
Design Assistant: Ruth Hall

Production Manager: Niall Black
Company Stage Manager: Sally McKenna
Deputy Stage Manager: Emma Rangel
Assistant Stage Manager: Naomi Ireland-Jones
Wardrobe Supervisor: Heather Judge
Costume Assistant (Wigs): Fay Boswell
Lighting Programmer: Tamykha Patterson
Lighting Supervisor: Tom Pritchard
Production Electrician: Samuel Baker
Stage Supervisor: David Hill
Sound Supervisors: Sean Gallacher and Amir Sherhan
Original Video Programming: Salvador Bettencourt Ávila
Video Programmer: Caitlyn Russell
Video Supervisor: Ben Walden
Animator: Gustaf Lindstrom
Model Box Assistant: Catherine Morgan
Dramatherapist: Wabriya King
Access Consultant: Aisling Gallagher
Audio Description Consultant: Benjamin Wilson for Hear the Picture
Audio Describer: Jo Mousley for Hear the Picture
Additional Video directed by: Adam Smith @flatnosegeorge
Additional Video Production Company: Treatment Studio
Shoot Producer: Matt Cummins
Treatment Studio Producer: Sam Brickman
Editors: Iain Finlay and Warren Chapman
Animators: James Rushton, Noah Campeau and Charlie Broome
Technical Supervisor: Dylan Steenkamp
DOP: Ricky Patel
Art Director: Jake Shepherd
Archivist: Matthew Sanger
Runner: Austin Shaw
Thanks to: Patrick Hickey

Senior Producer: Tim Bell
Project Producer: Josie Dale-Jones
Creative Engagement Producer: Rima Dodd (Maternity Cover)
Executive Director: Amber Massie-Blomfield
Artistic Director: Simon McBurney
Creative Engagement Producer: Natalie Raaum (Maternity Leave)
Finance Manager: Louise Wiggins
Adminstrative Assistant: Amy Sze


Tour Management and Booking - Great Leap Forward
General Manager: Jennie Green for Great Leap Forward
Associate General Manager: Marlous Lang-Peterse for Great Leap Forward
Tour Booker: Kayte Potter for Great Leap Forward
Production Assistant: Sara Cormack for Great Leap Forward
Production Assistant: James Miller for Great Leap Forward
Marketing Director: Emma Laugier for Emma Laugier Marketing
Marketing Manager: Suzannah Bowles for Emma Laugier Marketing
Marketing Assistant: Matthew Meldrum for Emma Laugier Marketing
PR: Kate Hassell and Ben Chamberlain for Bread and Butter


Complicité thanks The Mirisch & Lebenheim Charitable Foundation, John Ellerman Foundation, John Lyon’s Charity, Backstage Trust, Maria Björnson Memorial Fund and the Polish Cultural Institute, London for their generous support of this production and the surrounding education and community projects.

Complicité is an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation.

Running time: 3 hours

Age: 12+

Language: in English with German surtitles

Foto: Camilla Adams

A Complicité co-production with Ruhrfestspiele Recklinghausen, Barbican London, Belgrade Theatre Coventry, Bristol Old Vic, Comédie de Genève, Holland Festival, Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg, L'Odéon-Théâtre de l'Europe, The Lowry, The National Theatre of Iceland, Oxford Playhouse and Theatre Royal Plymouth.

Supported by Ministerium für Kultur und Wissenschaft des Landes Nordrhein- Westfalen

Ministerium Fuer Kultur Und Wissenschaft Nrw Farbig Cmyk
Duration: 3h 0m
incl. intermission