Portrait of a woman, her face partially obscured by shadow

The Panopticon

Traverse, Edinburgh and Platform, Glasgow

October 2019


0 Stars

A snarling counter culture outlaw, a bohemian philosopher in sailor shorts.

Fifteen-year old Anais Hendricks is smart, funny and fierce. She has also been let down by about every adult she has never met. Sitting in the back of a police car she is taken to the Panopticon, a young offenders institution.

Inside the circular, controlling Panopticon the residents develop intense bonds. All have experienced the failings of the care system, Anais refuses to be defined by it.

Brought for the first time to the stage, The Panopticon is a visceral, bloody and brutal testament to life and friendship.

We have a new kind of heroine for the 21st century.

A National Theatre of Scotland Production.

Age recommendation: 16+ (contains scenes of a sexual nature, violence and drug use)


  • 4 Stars

    The Panopticon is a very palpable hit.

    The Telegraph

  • 5 Stars

    It is theatre at its best, working to illuminate the darkest corners of an unforgiving world, which most would prefer to ignore.

    Young Perspective

  • 4 Stars

    A show that blazes with brilliance throughout.

    The Scotsman

  • 4 Stars

    Intense and brutal tale of a loveless childhood.

    The Guardian

  • 4 Stars

    As Anais, Russell-Martin is a revelation.

    The Herald

  • 4 Stars

    Features a striking central performance.

    The Stage

  • 4 Stars

    Russell-Martin’s empowering performance gives a voice to those failed by the care system.

    The Wee Review

  • 4 Stars

    Bloody, bold and fierce.

    Reviews Hub

  • 4 Stars

    A hard-hitting and emotionally charged show.

    Edinburgh Guide

  • 4 Stars

    An ensemble production with an almost overwhelming star performer in its midst.

    Broadway Baby

  • 4 Stars

    A shining star on the theatrical horizon

    Edinburgh 49

  • 4 Stars

    A production that pulsates with life.



Creative team