Attempts on Her Life - National Theatre - video design by Leo Warner @ 59 Productions


Director: Katie Mitchell

Designer: Vicki Mortimer

Lighting Designer: Paule Constable

Video Designer: Leo Warner for Fifty Nine Productions

Video Design Assistant:Robert Sharp for Fifty Nine Productions

Music Paul Clark

Sound Designer: Gareth Fry


Kate Duchene

Michael Gould

Anastasia Hille

Kristin Hutchinson

Sean Jackson

Liz Kettle

Paul Ready

Jonah Russell

Attempts on Her Life

National Theatre

Selected Reviews'Attempts on Her Life arguably contains the most sophisticated, layered use of film in the theatre to date.'


'[Mitchell's] superb ensemble...mercurially play film industry hacks, journos, porn stars and pop stars with satirical wit, icy callousness, then surfacing fear and despair. This is all while they are filming each other live, appearing both on the stage and on several giant screens....Mitchell's staging is fantastically orchestrated, intelligent and haunting. She and her team emerge here as world class avant-gardists. Attempts On Her Life is a fascinating follow-up to Mitchell's multimedia dramatisation of Virginia Woolf's The Waves'

Independent on Sunday

'In Katie Mitchell's dazzling new treatment you never feel that anyone on stage is unclear about the material. Their authority deepens our doubt. Who is Anne? Artist? Terrorist? Porn queen? Stories about her jostle in darkness. The key props are cameras which, you suspect, always lie. In a virtuoso alliance of theatre and film'

The Observer

'Everything is edgy, dark, uncertain. There is particularly good stuff on the pseudy inanities of arts programmes, while Crimp's apprehension of a climate of terror and random violence seems prophetic, post-September 11. Mitchell's constant use of video also suggests an age in which we observe the world through the glass of our TV and computer screens, darkly.'

The Telegraph

'Always impressively imaginative and visually exciting. There's little doubt that this production rocks.'

The Stage

'In this hugely ambitious production, the action is entirely played out on screens above the stage. On to these are projected the movements and speeches of the cast in a huge variety of filming techniques - noirish close-ups of the feet of a murder victim morph into overlit television commercials and grainy police videos. In many cases this video work is spectacular and effectively evokes a society in which life is lived through a lens and every action is filtered by the media.'

The Independent

Very clever and disturbingly true... it would be hard to better [Mitchell's] witty, super-slick staging, which fills the Lyttelton stage with cameras, screens and microphones around which the versatile actors scurry. They create pop videos, advertisements, documentaries and art works, conduct one dialogue as a cop-show interrogation and another as a mischievously funny parody of Late Review.'

Financial Times

'Katie Mitchell's revival in the NT Lyttelton elevates it into something else: a brilliant, updated (with instant video replay, projections, microphones and music) application of Brecht?s alienation effect in considering the slippery identity of an all-purpose 1990s woman....The video designs of Leo Warner are crucial to the impact of what has clearly become a classic of contemporary theatre....You will see nothing else like it all year.'

'Katie Mitchell broke new ground with her use of video in her last production, Waves, and Attempts on Her Life arguably contains the most sophisticated, layered use of film in the theatre to date. Imagine the split screen effect in Mike Figgis' movie Timecode, except that one of the screens is the stage.'


and the Daily Mail...

'People used to say the British would not tolerate totalitarianism. We were too bloody-minded, individualist and sensible. Given how an audience put up with two hours of debasing trash at the National Theatre last night, that may no longer be the case. Any society which can endure such fare without shouting ‘rot’ and angrily demanding a refund is a society in severe decay, a society which will take force-feeding like a tethered French duck…'