“And there’s blood pouring out of this man’s throat. Because these two women are beheading him – did I not mention that?”
Fringe First and Total Theatre Award-winning Breach (Tank, The Beanfield) restage the 1612 trial of Agostino Tassi for the rape of baroque painter Artemisia Gentileschi.
Based on surviving court transcripts, this new play dramatises the seven-month trial that gripped Renaissance Rome, and asks how much has changed in the last four centuries.
Blending myth, history and contemporary commentary, this is the story of how a woman took revenge through her art to become one of the most successful painters of her generation.
Breach is a multimedia performance company founded by Dorothy Allen-Pickard, Billy Barrett and Ellice Stevens, and produced by Ellie Claughton. They collaborate with actors to create politically engaged, formally exploratory shows that blend drama and documentary.
★★★★ “Extremely watchable… I was absorbed from start to finish.” – North West End
★★★★ “Gripping and charged… Kathryn Bond, Sophie Steer and Ellice Stevens give committed, passionate, and measured performances… A courtroom drama that roars with feminist rage.” Upstaged Manchester
“A clever, moving depiction of events that happened over 400 years ago, yet still have so much relevance today. Empowering and inspiring, yet also incredibly sad… This depiction doesn’t shy away from the challenge of translating it to a modern theatre… A gripping, poignant piece of theatre.” – Mancunion
★★★★ “A remarkable portrayal… This retelling of Artemisia Gentileschi’s story acts as love letter to all those who think they may be alone in their struggle… The piece feels contemporary.” – Quays Life
“Breach Theatre are one of Britain’s most exciting new companies… Sophie Steer is an incredible actor, and was absolutely superb as the defendant Agostino Tassi.” – Reviewer Number 9
“Uses verbatim theatre to launch a blistering assault on the legal system’s attitude to women in rape and sexual assault cases, and how patriarchal perspectives inform how our truth is perceived… The pace is excellent here, the 400-year-old court documents feel fresh, vivid and shockingly relevant to today.” – Live Art Alive
“Surpassed all my expectations of what a courtroom drama could be… Heart-breaking, eye-opening and truly gripping… I couldn’t recommend it more.” – Emma Reviews
★★★★ “A gripping court drama… Tremendous.” – The Guardian
★★★★ “It never feels that the play is preaching to the audience, rather instead, hammering home reality.” – British Theatre Guide
★★★★ “Staged with imaginative flair and unabashed theatricality… There is little to match this latest piece from the award-winning Breach Theatre.” – The Times (behind paywall)
★★★★ “Glitters with anger… considered, intelligent… Fascinating and potent.” – The Stage
“Beautifully fractures the male gaze into a kaleidoscope of strong colour, fury, and female self-expression.” – Exeunt
★★★★★ “It might be set in 17th-century Italy, but the consistently exciting Breach Theatre’s new show feels uneasily current.” – The Financial Times
Want to find out more about Breach Theatre?
- Visit the Breach Theatre website
- Follow @breach_theatre on Twitter