The Forbidden Zone - 14-18 NOW
14-18 NOW / Programme / The Forbidden Zone
Directed by Katie Mitchell

The Forbidden Zone


★★★★ A mesmerising production

The Guardian

★★★★ An exquisite machine

The Stage

Mitchell, who turns 50 this September, has been hailed as the closest thing British theatre has to a genuine auteur: a director with a strong, uncompromising vision of how theatre should be.

The Guardian

The ‘Chemists’ War’ of 1914-18 witnessed the deployment of the first weapon of mass destruction – poison gas. At the heart of the race to weaponise gas is the tragic story of the Haber family. Clara Immerwahr gave up her career in chemistry when she married the Nobel Prize-winning Fritz Haber. When Haber’s research turned to the development of Chlorine gas and its implementation in Ypres, Clara’s protests at this ‘perversion of science’ went unheard. Her fate was to be echoed in 1949 in Chicago when their grandchild, Claire Haber, saw her poison gas antidote research terminated as military funding turned to atomic warfare.

Renowned for her innovative staging and immersive theatrical worlds, Katie Mitchell is among the most inventive directors in Britain. This unique production used five video cameras and four film sets – including a moving subway train – to create a dynamic live cinema event. The Forbidden Zone had its world première at Salzburg Festival in summer 2014.

Written by Duncan Macmillan with texts by Mary Borden, Virginia Woolf, Hannah Arendt, and others.

Performed in English, German and French with surtitles

Co-produced by Salzburg Festival and Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz Berlin in collaboration with Managing Mayhem; UK live streaming co-produced by 14-18 NOW and the Barbican.

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