The Panopticon


A whipsmart 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 ever 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.

Warning: contains scenes of a sexual nature, violence, sexual violence, suicide and drug use.

Written by Jenni Fagan. Directed by Debbie Hannan.

Running Time:

2 hours, 15 minutes

Accessible performances available:

  • Wheelchair Accessible

  • Autism Friendly

  • Captioned

  • Touch Tour

  • Audio Described

Recommended Age Guide:



Creative team



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When society dehumanises individuals we are all on the route to a horrifically dangerous world.”  Jenni Fagan shares her journey as a writer, making The Panopticon, and her experience of the care system.

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From System to Stage

Go behind the scenes with Jenni Fagan, as she reflects on the making of The Panopticon for the stage.

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Behind the Costumes of The Panopticon

Learn more about how designer Max Johns constructed the visual identity behind The Panopticon.

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Learn more about access for The Panopticon

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Audio Flyer



The National Theatre of Scotland reserves the right to alter casts, performances, seating or ticket arrangements.

Please note that The Panopticon is being presented as part of the Eastern Promise festival at Platform. Your ticket will give you access to The Panopticon performance and other events taking place on Friday at the venue.

The Panopticon is supported by Malin Group, Culture and Business Fund Scotland and Binks Trust