No weird, psychological dramas in York? Foxglove Theatre fill the gap with experimental play Rabbit at Theatre@41

George Green and puppet in Foxglove Theatre’s premiere of Rabbit at Theatre@41, Monkgate, York

YORK company Foxglove Theatre have identified a need for weirder, more experimental theatre in the city, focusing on “psychological exploration through innovative visual storytelling”.

Here comes their debut new work, Rabbit, booked into Theatre@41, Monkgate, from Thursday to Saturday with a warning: “This is not a play for children”.

Why? Rabbit contains:

Disturbing content; physical harm/violence (explicit); suffocation; vomiting; flashing lights; jump scares; sudden loud noises; use of haze.

What happens? Rabbit is lost. Rabbit is scared. She will die by the end of the night. Waking up lost in a murky forest, this brave bunny is determined to find her way home to Mumma.

Foxglove Theatre’s poster for psychological drama Rabbit

However, an innocent bunny is not prepared for the trials and tribulations of the real world, where the wind cuts deep, teeth slice flesh, and a mothers hug falls short.

Blending puppetry and visual storytelling effects, Foxglove Theatre’s performance explores the psychological damage that develops from even the smallest mishandlings of our childhood selves.

Focusing on attachment and loss, Rabbit invites this week’s audiences to place their inner child under a magnifying glass and watch it burn.

Vowing to bring impactful, new age, daring theatrical productions to York, Foxglove Theatre made their debut in Summer 2002 at Theatre@41 with Welsh writer Brad Birch’s thriller The Brink: a dark comedy replete with blood, murder and death, sexual imagery and ephebophilia (sexual attraction to post-pubescent adolescents and older teenagers, aged 15 to 19).

Sam Jackson’s Nick comes face to face with Abel Kent’s Mr Boyd, the head teacher, in Foxglove Theatre’s inaugural prodiction, Brad Birch’s psychological thriller The Brink, in 2022

“As young people exploring our creative boundaries in York, we identified a gap in York’s theatre scene, a need for weirder, more experimental performance, and through Rabbit, our first new-work piece, we hope to begin to address this blind spot,” says producer Ione Vaughan.

“This 60-minute production aims to invite our audience into a space for self-reflection, while also refusing to diminish the negative repercussions of allowing poor mental health to fester. Combining modern contemporary theatre technology with the traditional medium of puppetry, we are utilising everything live performance has to offer to provide an impactful and immerse experience for our audience.”

Foxglove Theatre was formed by producers Ione Vaughan and Ivy Magee and director Nathan Butler. “Deciding to dedicate our work to bringing innovative theatre to this brilliant city, we also chose to champion the growth of young creatives like ourselves, offering flexible and malleable opportunities to develop their creative practice while with our company,” says Ione.

“This has been a success with our performer, George Green, as we developed a unique skill to add to their repertoire: puppetry. George learnt a range of puppetry techniques, both those required by the performance and beyond, including training with Leeds puppetry company The Object Project to support their overall development as a performer.”

Foxglove Theatre in Rabbit, Theatre@41, Monkgate, York, Thursday to Saturday, 7.30pm. Recommended age: 16 plus. Box office:

George Green in a scene from Foxglove Theatre’s Rabbit