The Incident Room

The Incident Room

New Diorama Theatre · 11 FEB - 14 MAR

Received a 5 star review average from Stagedoor users for 2019 run

Lyn Gardner avatar
6 February 2020  ·  Follow on Stagedoor
“Olivia Hirst and David Byrne’s The Incident Room focusses on the failed police operation to catch The Yorkshire Ripper, unpicking some of the mythologies surrounding the case which was often cast as a battle between two men: the killer, and George Oldfield, the detective leading the investigation. The Incident Room suggests another narrative, one in which misogyny and sexism blinded the men in charge so they were unable to see the evidence in front of their eyes. The piece is very good at capturing the grey, baggy jumper washed out greyness of 1970s Britain and the way feminism had yet to make any impact on the workings of the police. I saw it in Edinburgh last summer where it was good, but I have confidence this should be bolder still by now with some of the clunkiness ironed out to create a complex and contemporary shock of a show.”


A forensic examination of the five-year police hunt for the Yorkshire Ripper.

It’s 1975. In Leeds, the Millgarth Incident Room is the epicentre of the biggest manhunt in British police history.

We follow Sergeant Megan Winterburn as she joins hundreds of officers working around the clock to find the man known as the Yorkshire Ripper.

With public pressure mounting, the investigation resorts to increasingly audacious attempts to catch one of Britain’s most notorious serial killers.

Following our award-winning productions of Secret Life of Humans and Down & Out in Paris and London, we go behind the scenes and investigate the case that broke the British police force.

It is co-production with The Pleasance and Greenwich Theatre, and is supported by Arts Council England.

Critic reviews

This is nearly very good, but still feels as if it needs layering so that it is less The Bill and something more contemporary and edgy

Lyn Gardner for Stagedoor

The murderer’s actions still dominate the storytelling and these women never feel like they get to take up the room they deserve


New Diorama’s beautifully crafted play casts doubt on titillating tales of the notorious serial killer, but can’t escape the clutches of morbid fascination

The Guardian

This recreation of the hunt for the Yorkshire Ripper is played with commitment and without sensationalism; with notably fine work from Peter Clements

The Telegraph

Powerfully acted, and compellingly argued, The Incident Room is a really impressive piece of work, ambitious in scope and effect


An intelligent and interesting docu-drama about the hunt for The Yorkshire Ripper from London’s New Diorama Theatre

The Stage

The ensemble cast are all excellent

The Scotsman

In every sense a triumph

Broadway World

Sharp set design and an engaging script make this essential viewing

Everything Theatre

As a theatrical experience, there are more red herrings than actual leads here


Date & time

Show ended
Tue 11 Feb - Sat 14 Mar, 3pm & 7.30pm


New Diorama Theatre
15 - 16 Triton Street, Regent's Place NW1 3BF London, UK · Get Directions
out of 5 stars
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