China Plate and Staatstheater Mainz presents

A Family Business

A show about how not to blow up the planet.

Award-winning theatre-maker Chris Thorpe and director Rachel Chavkin reunite for A Family Business, a powerful production that focusses on the human story of the struggle for nuclear disarmament, and the group of people whose business it is to try to stop us from blowing up the planet.

Based on conversations with activists, academics and diplomats, this timely piece of theatre from China Plate and Staatstheater Mainz, about ordinary people who make extraordinarily important decisions, examines what qualifies a person to speak on behalf of huge parts of the global population – and asks why we don’t really talk about nuclear weapons much, even though they accompany us everywhere.

Event: Join us for a post-show panel discussion on the themes of the production on Thu 29 Feb with writer and performer of A Family Business, Chris Thorpe, Youth CND representative from the Manchester area, Sam Fairbrother, pacifist academic at University of Bradford whose works explores nuclear warfare, social justice, humanitarian and environmental issues, and human rights, Becky Alexis Martin, and Secretary of the UK / Ireland Nuclear Free Local Authorities and the UK / Ireland Chapter of Mayors for Peace, Richard Outram.

The panel will be hosted by Emmy Lahouel – an award-winning interdisciplinary Artist and Organiser working Nationally and Internationally across cultural organisations, venues and unusual spaces.

The panel will take place in the theatre space directly after the show. Entrance to this event is included with your ticket for the show.

Supported by Warwick Arts Centre and using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

Written and performed by Chris Thorpe
Directed by Claire O’Reilly
Developed with Rachel Chavkin and Lekan Lawal

"If you don't know the work of Manchester-based playwright Chris Thorpe, you should, because he is one of the UK's most thoughtful theatre-makers, tackling subjects and issues that others shy away from."


“another powerful, timely piece of theatre."

Scotsman (on Status, Fringe First Winner)

"A Family Business is brilliant. A show which encourages us to be part of the urgent conversation and action for the sake of present and future generations. A show full of hope and humanity”

Véronique Christory, Senior Arms Adviser for the International Committee of the Red Cross at the United Nations

“Cannot recommend it enough. Apart from the subject matter's urgency, its brilliant use of multi-lingualism, technology and staging has seared it in my brain”

Audience feedback

1 hour and 30 minutes

A panel discussion on the themes of the production will take place after the show on Thu 29 Feb. This is optional for audiences attending the show.

Running Time: 90 minutes

Age Guidance: 14+

Trigger warnings: Strong language, flashing lights and smoke, themes of nuclear warfare

Tickets from £15

HOME Friend and Member discounts apply

Accessible performances

British Sign Language Interpreted Performance: Sat 2 Mar

Captioned Performance: Thu 29 Feb, Fri 1 Mar, Sat 2 Mar