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The Dogs of War

  • Old Red Lion Theatre 418 St John St London, EC1V 4NJ United Kingdom (map)

May 26 - Jun 20

Tuesday - Saturday (7:30pm), Saturday matinees (2.30pm), Sunday matinees (3.00pm), 140 mins with interval


The team behind the sold out and critically acclaimed production of The Fastest Clock in the Universe reunite at the Old Red Lion to stage Tim Foley’s brave dark comedy The Dogs of War - a volatile look at a group of people battling with the fear of change, isolation and separation. 

“First we had one, then another, then another, and now there's a pack of them and they're all barking mad. And they're not bright, they're not clever, that's a myth. I'll tell you what they are. Havoc.”

The Herming family have moved to rural Northern Ireland – also known as the middle of nowhere. The Dad makes stuff in his shed, the Mam pops pills in her armchair, and Johnny the son avoids them both as much as possible. So far, so normal. But when Johnny comes home from university, everything has gone a little strange. For starters, the family dogs have turned invisible and Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt (and local resident) has arrived unannounced. While Johnny wrestles with all that is seen and unseen, an ongoing conflict with a nearby farmer will have untold repercussions for his parents… Descend into madness, and ascend unto greatness, as the savage dogs of war tear this family apart.

Tim Foley is a London based writer with a penchant for the dark, the awkward and the absurd. This brilliant new black comedy explores how mental illness can severely impact a family and also their surrounding environment. In 2013, the play made it to the final 20 of the Verity Bargate Award. Since then, it has been developed with director Tom O’Brien and was followed by a recent reading at the Jerwood Space in London. The play is a brave new look at the effects of mental illness on a family and questions why there is still such stigma attached to illnesses which are now so common, and the production will be supporting Rethink Mental Illness charity throughout the run. 


“a taut, claustrophobic and extremely compelling experience” (Londonist)

 “very classy” (Time Out)

***** “disturbingly, inescapably sexy” (Fourthwall Magazine)