Acclaimed drama at Hawth explores evil and betrayal in occupied Iraq

The Collector
The Collector

Following acclaimed runs at the 2014 Edinburgh Festival and the Arcola Theatre, Kathryn Barker Productions brings Henry Naylor’s The Collector to The Hawth, Crawley, on Wednesday, October 19 (7.45pm).

William Reay, who reprises his role from the Edinburgh and Arcola runs, is joined by Anna Riding and Olivia Beardsley and Michael Cabot directs the production.

2003. Mazrat Prison, Iraq. Previously one of Saddam’s most notorious torture houses, where more than 10,000 people died, it is now under Allied command.

Nassir works here, translating for the American interrogators. He’s local, pro-Western, determined to bring liberal values to his country and is about to get married to Zoya, his sweetheart. But when he is recognised by Faisal, new prisoner and psychotic supporter of the old regime, his life becomes a living hell.

Born out of Henry Naylor’s own experiences of a visit to Bagram Airbase in 2003, The Collector is a tale of murder, evil and betrayal set in occupied Iraq. One of the most acclaimed shows at the 2014 Edinburgh Festival, it won a Scotsman Fringe First Award, which was followed by a sold-out run at the Arcola Theatre.

Henry Naylor is a British comedy writer, director and performer. He has written a number of plays including Finding Bin Laden, Hunting Diana and Echoes, which won the Spirit of the Fringe Award at the Edinburgh Festival and five awards, including Critic’s Choice, at the Adelaide Fringe Festival.

He is also known for working with comedy partner Andy Parsons in Parsons and Naylor’s Pull-Out Sections. He was head writer for Spitting Image and has written for extensively for television, with credits including, Alas Smith and Jones, Dead Ringers and Alistair McGowan’s Big Impression.

Olivia Beardsley plays Foster. The Collector is Olivia’s UK theatre debut. Her theatre credits include A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Centennial Park Open Air – Sydney), Charcoal Creek (Merrigong Theatre Company), Dusty – The Original Pop Diva, A Chorus Line, Promises Promises and Shakers (all Australian Institute of Music).

William Reay reprises the role of Kasprowicz for this national tour. His theatre credits include Flare Path (Original Theatre Company) for Chichester Festival Theatre, The Royal Hunt of the Sun, Richard III (Changeling Theatre Company), As You Like It (Iris Theatre Company) and The Tempest (Lord Chamberlains Men).

Tickets cost £15 (discounts £13, Hawth Friends £12.50, students £7.50). Call the box office on 01293 553636 or buy tickets online at

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