The Whip Hand - Birmingham Rep
Dates & Times
There are currently no events listed for this show.

Direct from the 2017 Edinburgh Festival Fringe

It's Dougie's birthday. He just turned 50 and his family are throwing him a party. But it's Dougie who has a surprise for them. A bombshell proposal.

He wants his ex-wife Arlene to back his new endeavour. He wants to serve a good cause, a global cause. He wants to make right a terrible wrong, even if it puts their daughter's future at risk. They can all sense a scam, but Dougie won't back down. He is convinced this is his only chance to do something truly glorious, but his motivation may not be as pure as it seems. As the touchpaper under his family is lit, no one escapes the fallout.

Written by Douglas Maxwell (Charlie Sonata, Promises Promises), The Whip Hand is an explosive new play about power, privilege, blood ties and our inescapable past, directed by The REP's Associate Director Tessa Walker (The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe, The Quiet House, Folk).

Director Tessa Walker
Designer Natasha Jenkins
Lighting Designer Simon Bond
Sound Designer Iain Armstrong

Please note: This show contains strong language.


A firecracker of a piece… Every single performance is flawless

Broadway Baby

The humour and wit of Maxwell’s script hit the mark perfectly, and yet the deeper sense of trauma behind the gags is equally hard-hitting

The Skinny

Hilarious… A riveting 90 minutes

The Times

Savage and dark humour, and an excellent cast

The List

New, clever and punchy, drama… Great performances

Young Perspective

An original and exciting piece of new writing that infuses vigour and energy into an atypical and enjoyable family drama

The Wee Review

A stimulating departure from some of Douglas Maxwell’s previous work, opening up possibilities and potentialities that make one hungry and impatient for whatever he may next set before us

Edinburgh Guide

Tangled family drama exploring social inequality and what it is to be privileged

The Stage

It has a gutsy energy and airs some big issues… Vivid performances

The Guardian

The writing is sharp… the whole cast is excellent

What's On Stage

Fiery family warfare that ramps up to nuclear level

British Theatre Guide

This play is a wonderfully nuanced examination of class, family and race with clever laughs, real dramatic tension and real characters I recognise… Thrilling


The dramatic action is relentless… a production that is entertaining and uncomfortable in equal measures

Across The Arts

There’s plenty of laughter... A splendid cast

Morning Star

A powerful modern tale… Maxwell is forever keeping the audience on their toes

The Student


The Scotsman

As ex-wife Arlene, Louise Ludgate is acerbic and biting, raising laughs with her putdowns. Jonathan Watson is excellent as Dougie… and there's good support from the rest of the cast


What starts out as sit-com style awkwardness awash with wicked one-liners erupts into an explosive treatise on class, racial prejudice, social aspirations, acquired familial guilt and some of the pretensions and hypocrisy that go with them

The Herald

Maxwell's writing is both down-to-earth and lyrical, heightened to intensify the atmosphere of the story

Tribune on writer Douglas Maxwell's Promises Promises

Company & Creatives
Ticket Information

Tickets from £10.

Group, family, disabled and school rates available via our box office.

Fees & Charges
If you pay by credit or debit card, cheque, gift voucher or Theatre Token we add a £2.50 charge per transaction from Monday 10 July. This covers administration costs and postage and enables us to provide a dedicated booking service. This charge does not apply to payment by cash, for transactions under £10, group bookings over 50 and school group bookings. We also waive this charge if you are a REP Friend.
Registered Office: Broad Street, Birmingham B1 2EP. Company No. 00295910
Join our Mailing List
Sign Up Now