The National Theatre in association with Out of Joint

The Overwhelming

Buy the script at a discount from our shop.

A chilling tropical thriller in which no-one is what they seem.

1994: An American family arrive in beautiful, tiny Rwanda and find themselves out of their depth. Struggling academic Jack Exley makes enemies when he tries to solve a mysterious disappearance. His teenage son finds adult trouble in Kigali’s nightclubs. And his ambitious new wife goes on a sightseeing trip that not even her Detroit childhood can prepare her for.

Then Jack discovers the lists… A gripping story of a country on the brink of genocide.

Director: Max Stafford-Clark
Designer: Tim Shortall
Lighting Designer: Johanna Town
Sound Designer: Gareth Fry

“The Overwhelming strikes me as not only the best new play I’ve seen this year, but also, and this is the really startling thing, one of the most entertaining… Max Stafford-Clark directs a superb production for the NT and Out of Joint”
Daily Telegraph – Charles Spencer (19 May 2006)

5 STARS
“A gripping political thriller… a visceral, deeply provoking work”
Time Out – Rachel Halliburton (22 May 2006)

5 STARS
“A fast, frightening, watchable play.”
Daily Mail – Quentin letts (19/05/06)

4 STARS
“A powerful new play”
The Independent – Paul Taylor (22 May 2006)

4 STARS
“The Overwhelming gives political theatre serious allure.”
Evening Standard – Nicholas de Jongh (May 2006)

4 STARS
“Under Max Stafford-Clark’s masterful direction the tension grows, imperceptibly, to the point of suffocation… The theatre is a tribunal whose task is to present the bloody evidence and ask what you think of yourself as a member of the human race. I have seldom seen this task performed with such unprejudiced but devastating power.”
Sunday Times – John Peter (28 May 2006)

4 STARS
“Max Stafford-Clark’s fluid, fast-moving and superbly performed production grips like an old-fashioned-thriller.”
Mail on Sunday – Georgina Brown (21 May 2006)

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