Past Productions
You were the only folk out of five thousand who got through – you’re legit badass.”

25 October – 10 November 2018 | Sheffield Theatres – Studio | Tickets

Round my way, the boys would drive to the top of the car park – they’d drive to the edge full speed. I wanted to get involved. They said oh aye Sarah, no bother – if you sit on Gerro’s knee, he’ll hold you nice and tight. Well, I thought to myself, that sounds like a full breach of health and safety regulations.

So I joined the army.

I drive the car now lads. And get paid to do it.

Kate Bowen’s taut thriller about the first generation of British women in close combat roles looks at gender politics in the world’s most dangerous workplace.

Directed by Kate Wasserberg.

Kate Bowen is the recipient of a New Writer’s Award and Channel 4 Playwrights Bursary. Kate Wasserberg is Out of Joint’s Artistic Director and founder of the award-winning The Other Room.

Poster image: photo by Helen Murray


Cormack, Findlay and Davies are the elite. They are the first generation of female soldiers to serve in the British infantry in close combat roles, ever. They’ve aced physical tests only 5% of female soldiers can pass; they’ve been trained to shoot, fight and kill. They’ve proven their exceptional skill and discipline – while everyone around them questions whether they should even be allowed to serve. And now they’re about to join the action.

Kate Bowen’s taut, funny and powerful thriller follows three very different, pioneering young women in the world’s most dangerous workplace.

Featured in Observer critic Susannah Clapp’s best theatre of 2018.


Creative Team


Kate Bowen


Kate Wasserberg

Lighting Designer

Sarah Jane Shiels

Composer and Sound Designer

Dyfan Jones

Casting Directors

Sooki McShane CDG and Lucy Jenkins CDG

Fight And Movement Directors

Rachel Bown-Williams and Ruth Cooper-Brown from RC-Annie Ltd


Catriona Craig

Associate Designer

Ruth Hall

Assistant Director

Jesse Haughton-Shaw

Production Manager

Stephanie Balmforth

Stage Manager

Katie Bosomworth

Deputy Stage Manager

Bethan Dawson

Assistant Stage Manager

Hannah Birtwistle-Crossland

Close Quarters was featured in The Observer's Best Theatre of 2018 

Susannah Clapp, The Observer 30.12.18

Bowen’s intelligent, dramatic script is dynamically delivered by a crack theatre squad: set it in your sights...Here’s hoping that this Sheffield Theatres and Out of Joint co-production will be sent on a tour of duty around the rest of the country.

Clare Brennan, The Observer 4.11.18

Overall, the script is strong, with a sense of the different dialects for each character, and a nice balance between comedy and drama; action and reflection...The direction and choreography keep the play tight and engrossing. The set is used well with action happening at multiple heights and clever integration of props and scenery, along with a few unexpected surprises.

It's an engaging watch, and though some of the themes may feel familiar, there's plenty of innovation in the setting, dialogue and production that makes this well-worth seeing.

Ruth Deller, Broadway World

Close Quarters is ... a play that explores the ongoing battle women, both soldiers and civilians, face every day. Close Quarters throws a grenade at the topic of gender and the army and leaves tales of friendships, relationships, the past, and the future as shrapnel across the Studio’s stage.

Sheffield - Alive After Five

The top 10 theatre shows of 2018:
10. Close Quarters
Crucible, Sheffield
Military drama “dynamically delivered by a crack theatre squad”, said Clare Brennan.

Susannah Clapp's top 10 theatre shows of 2018, The Guardian

Educational opportunities

Alongside the production of Close QuartersOut of Joint offered a number of education opportunities for schools and young people:


We held 2-hour workshops run by actors from the company and offered a number of free workshops to schools in the Sheffield area. The workshops were a hands-on opportunity to gain insight into how Out of Joint create shows, designed specifically with the Live Theatre Review section of exams in mind.

Close Quarters – Page to Stage Q&A –  Wed 31 October

We held a Page to Stage Q&A with the Close Quarters cast and Director, Kate Wasserberg. We invited teachers to submit questions beforehand that their students may have wanted to ask about the rehearsal process, and taking the play from script to performance. This post-show talk was filmed to be shared in class and for students to view it outside of school at their leisure to help prepare them for their Live Theatre Review exam.

Directing Masterclass – 3rd November

Led by Close Quarters director Kate Wasserberg, this sold out masterclass explored how to create gallows humour and how to find the balance between tension and relief.

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