When We Have Sufficiently Tortured Each Other

When We Have Sufficiently Tortured Each Other

3.1 (21) · New Writing

Twelve Variations on Samuel Richardson's Pamela


“Go on then: lock the doors and see what happens. Show me how much power you really have.”

This new play breaks through the surface of contemporary debate to explore the messy, often violent nature of desire and the fluid, complicated roles that men and women play.

Using Samuel Richardson’s novel, Pamela, as a provocation, five characters act out a dangerous game of sexual domination and resistance.

The production reunites Martin Crimp (Attempts on her Life, In the Republic of Happiness) and director Katie Mitchell (Waves, Cleansed). Cate Blanchett makes her National Theatre debut alongside Stephen Dillane, who returns to the National Theatre for the first time since The Coast of Utopia in 2002.

* Due to limited ticket numbers and anticipated high demand, a ballot will operate across all performances of When We Have Sufficiently Tortured Each Other instead of a general sale.

Critic reviews

A smart interrogation of power dynamics within gender and sexuality, but it doesn’t give the audience an easy ride

The Upcoming

What a tedious waste of time it is

London Theatre

The result is more of a post-grad discussion group with occasional offbeat gags than a compelling piece of theatre

Broadway World

The couple bicker and insult each other, but few barbs land

Arts Desk

Blanchett brings presence, but it's not for the faint-hearted

The Telegraph

Cate Blanchett's charisma can't redeem torpid show

Evening Standard

So much effort and care has gone into it, yet it is too prolix and solemn to shock, to incite, or to engage


Arduous and opaque

The Stage

It's explicit but hardly shocking

The Guardian

It’s a chilly sort of play – all about surfaces, not much about the heart – but she sure makes those surfaces gleam

The Independent

Date & time

Show ended
Wed 16 Jan - Sat 2 Mar, 2.30pm & 8pm


South Bank SE1 9PX London, UK · Get Directions
out of 5 stars
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