Sound of the Underground

Written by Travis Alabanza, co-created by Debbie Hannan

Sound of the Underground Top / Details / Extras / The Company
Thu 19 Jan - Sat 25 Feb 2023

“Ladies, Gentlemen, and then all the legends that have realised gender is a trap – introducing the Sound of the Underground.” 

Out to the electric night, where the bassline jumps in the backstreet light. The true sound of the underground is tearing duct tape, frenzied costume fixes, lighting up cigarettes, jangling tips and a whole lot of chaos. This is not your average night at the theatre.

Legends of the London queer club scene come above ground to take over the Royal Court Theatre. Part-play, part-raucous cabaret, part-workers’ manifesto, join eight underground drag icons as they spill the tea, free the nipple and fight the shadowy forces that threaten their livelihoods. Bring some change. Tip generously.

Travis Alabanza’s first play for the Royal Court spotlights London’s iconic underground club culture and questions what it means to get your money’s worth when it comes to art.

Written by Travis Alabanza, co-created and directed by Debbie Hannan.

During the run of Sound of the Underground there will be an exhibition commissioned by Travis Alabanza and the Royal Court Theatre in our Bar and Kitchen. Read more about the exhibition

Post-show Talk Tues 31 Jan

A Q&A with Travis Alabanza & Debbie Hannan, chaired by Nazareth Hassan. This event is free with a ticket to that evening’s performance.

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

'Exhilarating. Breathtaking costumes, radical politics and filthy humour. A sheer joy to watch.'

The Guardian | Arifa Akbar Read full review

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

'It’s punk as hell: proudly queer, anti-capitalist and prepared to be divisive.'

The Independent | Isobel Lewis Read full review

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

'Sound of the Underground demonstrates the anger of those who make a living through an art form that is under attack.'

Attitude | Jack Pengelly Read full review

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

'Alabanza and Hannan have created an expansive, extraordinary piece of queer art that has to be seen to be believed.'

Broadway World | Katie Kirkpatrick Read full review

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

'Sound of the Underground is queer, urgent, important, necessary. This is the real deal.'

The Reviews Hub | Andrew Houghton Read full review

★ ★ ★ ★

'Triumphantly queer. If you’ve ever felt unrepresented on stage, take a trip underground.'

Time Out | Tom Wicker Read full review

★ ★ ★ ★

'Beautifully outrageous. This is an evening of party, celebration and confession.'

The Stage | Anya Ryan Read full review

Show more reviews

Jerwood Theatre Downstairs

Mon – Sat: 7.30pm (except 25 Jan, 7pm)

Sat matinees: 2.30pm (from 28 Jan)

Running time: 2 hours and 25 minutes, including an interval. Limited re-entry.

Age recommendation: 16+.

This show contains haze, strobe, flashing lights, sudden light changes, sudden and loud noise, strong language, nudity and audience interaction.

Content Warnings

Self-Care Guide (PDF)

Self-Care Guide (Word)

Read full details about your visit to the Royal Court

Ways to Save

Access Performances 

If you are a wheelchair user, please contact the Box Office who can assist you in booking the best tickets. Find out more about access tickets and seating.

Captioned: Wed 8 Feb at 7.30pm 

BSL-Interpreted: Wed 22 Feb at 7.30pm

Audio Described: Sat 25 Feb at 2.30pm (Touch Tour at 1pm) 

Relaxed Environment: Sat 18 Feb at 2.30pm

Sensory Synopsis (Word Doc.)

Sensory Synopsis (PDF)

Access information

General ticket information

Photography by Faith Aylward
Creative Direction by Mia Maxwell


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