Deep Cut

By Philip Ralph

18 year old Private Cheryl James from Llangollen was one of four young soldiers who died from gunshot wounds at Deepcut Barracks between 1995 and 2002.

Cheryl’s parents wanted answers from the people responsible for their daughter’s care. But how do you begin to grieve when no-one seems to have a proper explanation?  What would give you the determination to continue asking awkward, demanding questions?

Taken from original source material and powerful first hand testimonies, Deep Cut is a bold and compelling account of one family’s journey through a time they thought they’d never experience, to places they hoped they’d never be.

“Plenty of questions remain unanswered. That’s the point. All the Jameses (Ciaran McIntyre and Rhian Morgan) want is openness and honesty, qualities they themselves radiate under Mick Gordon’s unfussy direction.” Time Out March 09 ★★★★★

“Philip Ralph’s play is in the great tradition of the Tricycle’s award winning political drama… one leaves the theatre feeling both moved and stirred to anger.” The Telegraph

This play highlights the plight of ordinary people coming up against the state. It illustrates how far we have to go to reach real democracy and accountability in this country.” Socialist Worker

‘Ciaran MacIntyre and Rhian Morgan give strong, understated performances…Deep Cut joins the Tricycle’s admirable list of verbatim dramas that use the public forum of theatre to ask the awkward questions and keep on asking them ’ Financial Times March 09

“Philip Ralph’s powerful verbatim play….the evening belongs to Ciaran McIntyre as James’s earnest, dogged father and Rhian Morgan as her quietly grieving mother” The Times March 09

“This docudrama packs a hefty punch….tightly directed…Ciaran McIntyre as Des and Rhian Morgan as the emotional Doreen bring great intensity to their difficult roles. You can almost taste the tragedy and experience the frustration… gripping…..The ever-excellent Simon Molloy is grippingly realistic..much praise, too, for Rhian Blythe’s lively performance….” Daily Express March 09

“Philip Ralph’s moving and powerful examination of the still-mysterious deaths is a perfect fit for the campaigning Tricycle Theatre’ The London Paper March 09

“Deep Cut is persuasive and moving” Metro March 09

“The success of Deep Cut lies in its ability to link top-level failings to ground-level emotions” Whatsonstage March 09

“A rigourous, intensely emotional piece of theatre’ Ham & High March 09

“Ralph’s implacable gaze …Gordon’s lucid production….Des and Doreen are brought to vivid, painful life by Ciaran MacIntyre and Rhian Morgan…the play raises disquieting questions about another political cover-up.” Evening Standard March 09

“Philip Ralph’s admirable verbatim drama…sterling performances” The Guardian March 09

“This is theatre at its most powerful, political and important….the must-see, sell-out show of the Fringe” The Observer

“The drama could hardly be more timely… it could find itself becoming part of political history…compelling” Daily Telegraph 

“Extraordinary, complex and moving…this remarkable show is essential viewing” The Guardian ****

Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award 2008
Scotsman Fringe First Award 2008
Herald Angel Award 2008

NB Evening performances of DEEP CUT will start at 7.45pm, and doors will open at 7.15pm.

There will be a number of post-show discussions on the 12th, 17th and 24th March.

Download this letter and send to your MP-  090313-draft-letter-for-tricycle


Join the petition

GuardianMark Lawson


10 Responses for “Deep Cut”

  1. DES JAMES Says:

    Just a huge thank you to the Tricycle for bringing this to London. There is a story to be told, although many would prefer it was not.

    If Deepcut does not achieve a robust and proper inquiry, we can never be sure we have done all we can to protect those recruits who follow Sean, Cheryl, Geoff and James.

    Des James
    Father of the late Cheryl James

  2. Nico Says:

    Fantastic that this is being brought to the Tricycle so that many more people will have the chance to see it.

    I saw it at the Sherman Theatre (Cardiff) back in October and it was one of the most powerfully moving pieces of theatre I’ve seen.

  3. Nina Says:

    I saw this in Edinburgh and thought it was fantastic! Thought-provoking material beautifully performed. I am just sorry I shan’t be seeing it in Kilburn as I (like some others) have tried the Tricycle’s seating scrum only to end up with seats with zero sight-lines. Hopefully it might get a transfer – well worth a go you other London studion spaces!

  4. Ash Akhtar Says:

    This is an excellent production. I first saw it in Edinburgh. Powerful and compelling, I cannot recommend this highly enough.

  5. Rhys Says:

    Missed this at Edinburgh, although I heard rave reviews then managed to catch it when it came back to the Sherman in Cardiff. Wasn’t really prepared for it. Great theatre, thought provoking, emotional. Well done to the Tricycle and to Sherman Cymru for bringing this to London.

  6. James Says:

    I’m so glad this show has come to the South East. I caught it in Edinburgh on the back of a friends recomendation in Cardiff. It is the first show which has ever brought me to tearswhich appeared without my knowing.

    The actor who plays Des James had so much presence to his charecter that by the end of the performace we felt almost as if we had lived those events oursleves. The overwhelming silence prior to the standing ovation said it all. Lets hope this play opens many more eyes the way it did mine and so many others. Thanks again to Sherman Cymru and the Tricycle.

  7. Simon Treves Says:

    A terrifically moving 80 minutes, wonderfully and sensitively performed, that leaves one outraged by the brazen manouevrings of the MOD and Army, and wanting in one’s own way to bang heads together to get the public enquiry the families rightly continue to demand.

  8. Alex Says:

    What an important piece of theatre. Left the theatre last night feeling appalled and angered beyond belief. It is utterly disgusting and extremely worrying what these four families have been subjected to.

    The MoD, IPCC, Police and the Government are unbelievable. They are farcical and so detached from humanity it begs the question ‘What can be done?’. From what i saw last night-very little. Justice and Democracy are a dying duo it would appear.

    This play not only needs to be seen, it needs to be read, put on peoples screens and given out as a guidebook entitled: The UK-what we are up against.

    A massive congratulations to everyone involved in this .

  9. Andrew Says:

    Theatre at its absolute best.

    Loved it.

  10. Nia Says:

    is asking kindly if everyone would go to and then go to and sign the petition to demand a public inquiry into the four unexplained deaths at the Deepcut army barracks in Surrey between 1995 and 2002.. Please help, thank you!

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Support Our Capital Project

Tue 10 Mar 2009 - Sat 4 Apr 2009

Monday 7.45pm & mid week matinees (Weds 18 and 25 March) - £10

Tuesday- Friday 7.45pm & Saturday matinee 4pm- £15

Saturday 7.45pm- £20

Mid-week matinees Weds 18 and 25 March at 2pm

Press night: Wed 11 March at 7pm



£8 Tuesday 10 and Thursday 12 March 7.45pm (first 80 seats)



£5 off first 50 full-price seats Friday 13 – Fri 20 March (EXCEPT Mondays) when requested and purchased before 16 March


Cast: Ciaran Mcintyre, Rhian Morgan, Rhian Blythe, Robert Blythe, Simon Molloy and Robert Bowman

Directed by Mick Gordon (Assistant Director Juliane Sivers)

Designer Igor Vasiljev
Lighting Designer Andrew Jones
Sound Designer Mike Furness