Stop and Search

Stop and Search

3.2 (5) · New Writing

Arcola Theatre in association with Maya Ellis present

Lyn Gardner avatar
10 January 2019  ·  Follow on Stagedoor
“How do we police society and each other? Why are some sections of the population policed more than others? These are the questions being asked in Gabriel Gbadamosi’s play, exploring the police tactics that make some people feel fearful just walking down the street. The Arcola’s artistic director, Mehmet Ergen, directs and the play is staged at a time when giving the police more power to stop people without “reasonable grounds” is being discussed.”


A driver picks up a young man crossing Europe. Two police officers work a surveillance case. A passenger directs her taxi to the edge of a bridge. Three conversations grow increasingly uneasy.

From award-winning writer Gabriel Gbadamosi comes a visceral and poetic new play, exploring a time of distrust where the lines blur between conversation and interrogation. Stop and Search explores our deep ambivalence about the ways we police each other.

Age Recommendation: 12+

Critic reviews

Intriguingly poetic, if muddled, play about living in a climate of distrust

The Stage

The show's focus on multilayered black experiences is to be commended; however a more considered approach to both pacing and delivery would have made it easier for us as the audience to connect


The writing has an unnerving poetry but can seem overwrought as it switches between cryptic slipperiness and a rather portentous topicality

The Evening Standard

Begins promisingly, but then struggles to deliver the message it’s hoping to give

Theatre Weekly

There's no empathy established for anyone - that's needed in a tight studio over an intense hour and a half

Broadway World

A murky view of modern-day Britain

Arts Desk

The menacing note the play ends on isn’t what will stay with me – it’ll be the moments of compassion and trust between strangers which Ergen spins out from the actors


Intriguing but fatally convoluted drama about an obnoxious white Brit who picks up an African migrant

Time Out

There is a strange wisdom about Chirisa’s quietly composed Akim. Here is a man who has seen more than we could ever imagine: here is the man we should be listening to

The Guardian

Unfortunately, what is proving to be a hard- hitting piece fails to deliver an ending with any lasting effect

A Younger Theatre

Date & time

Show ended
Wed 9 Jan - Sat 9 Feb, 3.30pm & 8pm


24 Ashwin St E8 3DL London, UK · Get Directions
out of 5 stars
5 user reviews
Loading user reviews…

Seen the show? Add your review now!

Open in app