HAMPSTEAD DOWNSTAIRS / CELIA ATKIN PRESENT
BY REBECCA WATSON
ADAPTED FOR THE STAGE BY MIRIAM BATTYE
DIRECTED BY KATIE MITCHELL
Running time: 1 hour, 35 minutes without an interval
I have drifted significantly. Thinking for the sake of thinking. Filling my mind… To block out.
5 Nov - 11 Dec 2021
Box Office: 020 7722 9301
★★★★★ ‘There is not a false note anywhere. I’ve never seen – heard – anything like it.’ The Observer
★★★★ ‘The experimental comes gloriously to life, with a performance that has an element of music about it’ The Times
★★★★ ‘A superb staging, this version of the dazzling book achieves the same lingering power using a quartet of actors’ The Guardian
★★★★ ‘A meticulously choreographed vocal performance - terrific cast and mesmerising sound design’ Independent
★★★★ ‘Rebecca Watson’s novel works magnificently on stage. Miriam Battye and Katie Mitchell have turned 24 hours inside a frenzied mind into something like a piece of music’ Evening Standard
★★★★ ‘A virtuoso articulation of a remarkable piece of writing’ Time Out
★★★★ 'A rhythmic and psychological audio experience in which Mitchell plays with artistic control' WhatsOnStage
★★★★★ ‘A breathtaking exploration of trauma’ The Stage
★★★★★ ‘Blisteringly honest and unflinchingly intimate, little scratch is extraordinary – and indispensable’ The I
Adapted from Rebecca Watson’s ‘daringly experimental debut’ novel (Guardian), little scratch is a fearless and exhilarating account of a woman’s consciousness over the course of 24 hours. The charged narrative records in precise detail her impressions of a deceptively ordinary day - the daily commute, office politics and a constant barrage of texts on WhatsApp – and as the day goes on, she gradually starts to unveil the trauma of a rape that is consuming her. Exploring how the human mind internalizes, distracts, and survives the darkest moments, Katie Mitchell, with sound score by Melanie Wilson, brings Miriam Battye’s adaptation to compelling life.
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Rebecca Watson is one of The Observer’s 10 best debut novelists of 2021 and was shortlisted for this year's Desmond Elliott Prize.
Miriam Battye makes her Hampstead debut. Recent credits include Scenes With Girls at the Royal Court, Big Small Lost Found Things at Bristol Old Vic and All Your Gold at Theatre Royal Plymouth.
Katie Mitchell returns to Hampstead Theatre for the fourth time, having previously directed Say it with Flowers, small hours and The Trial of Ubu. Other credits include When We Have Sufficiently Tortured Each Other and Cleansed (National Theatre), Orlando (Schaubuhne, Berlin) and Lesson in Love and Violence (Royal Opera House).
The cast features Morónkẹ́ Akinọlá (The Niceties, Finborough Theatre), Eleanor Henderson (Pass It On, Lyric Hammersmith), Eve Ponsonby (Longing, Hampstead) and Ragevan Vasan (Name, Place, Animal, Thing, Almeida).
Our promise to you
In the event of little scratch being postponed, you can choose between a full refund or credit to be used for any show at Hampstead.
Hampstead Theatre is delighted to open little scratch following Government advice. As always, our audience, company and staff are our top priority. For more information about how we’re keeping you safe, please click here.
'This version of the day-in-a-life book, directed by Katie Mitchell, achieves the same lingering power using a quartet of actors'
'Words are sent rippling up and down the line of actors, overlapping, chiming or bringing chilled silence.'
'The story works on several levels and, within a minute, can draw both wry humour and gnawing horror from office life, and find weary familiarity and startling surprise in everyday routines.'
'The staging finds its own careful balance of airy exuberance and intense anger, and it carries the same lingering power.'
Chris Wiegand, 12 November, 2021
'Miriam Battye and Katie Mitchell have turned 24 hours inside a frenzied mind into something like a piece of music'
'Hats off to Hampstead for some thrilling programming: Rebecca Watson’s formally experimental debut novel, shortlisted for both the Goldsmiths and Desmond Elliott Prize this year, has been brought to the stage by cool new playwright Miriam Battye and super director Katie Mitchell. Watson’s book takes us into the mind of a young woman, working in a dreary office job and coping with the aftermath of a sexual assault. Words and sentences are all over the page like a pinball machine. So does it work on stage? Yes, magnificently.'
'Four actors – Morónkẹ́ Akinọlá, Eleanor Henderson, Eve Ponsonby and Ragevan Vasan – each stand beneath a light and in front of a microphone, in plain black clothing. What they create together is like a piece of music, as this woman’s consciousness alternatively soothes and argues with itself.'
'So this is a work about trauma, but it’s also about the frustrations of language and the chaos that goes on inside our heads. The attempt to bring that unnerving lack of quietness to the stage is strangely comforting. Amidst the cacophony, there’s an illuminating and unusual sense of beauty.'
Jessie Thompson, 12 November, 2021
'Katie Mitchell returns with a virtuoso stage version of Rebecca Watson’s stream-of-consciousness novel'
'This version by playwright Miriam Battye is beautifully musical, picking up on the natural rhythm of Watson’s wild paragraphs – which often feature two simultaneous trains of thought – but also skilfully, even slickly reengineering a lot of the text so it overlaps symphonically'
'Mitchell’s usual sound designer Melanie Wilson is on hand to add atmospheric flourishes, notably an injection of ambient dread at the right moments and a few swish surround sound effects.'
''little scratch’ is a virtuoso articulation of a remarkable piece of writing.'
Andrzej Lukowski, 12 November, 2021
'Director Katie Mitchell brilliantly rises to the challenge of adapting Rebecca Watson’s innovative debut novel for the stage'
'Blisteringly honest and unflinchingly intimate, Rebecca Watson’s debut novel is astonishing – a moment by moment account of a day in the life of a young woman who has been raped.'
'This play, adapted from Watson’s book of the same title by Miriam Battye and directed by Katie Mitchell, brilliantly meets its challenges. Performed by four actors, each voicing quicksilver slivers of the woman’s consciousness, it has a flavour of Sarah Kane’s later work; and as with her stage version of Virginia Woolf’s The Waves, Mitchell employs Foley sound effects and multiple perspectives to help create a dizzying vortex of restless storytelling.'
'This is not just a clear-eyed examination of the outrage of rape and its corrosive aftermath; it is an experiential testament to what it is to move through the male-dominated world as a woman. It’s extraordinary – and indispensable.'
Sam Marlowe, 12 November, 2021
ADAPTER FOR THE STAGE
Gwen Smith of iNews speaks to little scratch author Rebecca Watson, adaptor for the stage Miriam Battye and director Katie Mitchell about bring this radical work to the stage.
Sarah Hemming of Financial Times speaks to the team bringing little scratch to life Downstairs - novelist Rebecca Watson, adapter for the stage Miriam Battye and director Katie Mitchell.
HAMPSTEAD THEATRE ANNOUNCES THE WORLD PREMIERES OF LITTLE SCRATCH, BY REBECCA WATSON, IN AN ADAPTATION BY MIRIAM BATTYE, DIRECTED BY KATIE MITCHELL, AND NELL LEYSHON’S FOLK DIRECTED BY ROXANA SILBERT
Hampstead Theatre is delighted to announce the remaining two world premieres for its Downstairs space in 2021.
First five performances: All tickets £5
Performances thereafter: £25
Seniors*: £15 (matinee only)
Under 30s and Students: £10