The House That Will Not Stand

By Marcus Gardley
Directed by Indhu Rubasingham

Extra week added due to popular demand! Must end 29 November.

FOUR STARS ‘Unlike any other play in London’ The Guardian

FOUR STARS ‘The whole cast dazzles’ Evening Standard

FOUR STARS ‘Outstanding’ The Stage

FOUR STARS ‘Lively and lyrical’ What’s On Stage

Indhu Rubasingham ‘has discovered another fascinating story from black history’
The Stage

‘Startlingly beautiful… absolutely necessary’ The Daily Telegraph

‘Empowering’ Time Out

‘A richly ambitious new drama’ The Arts Desk

FOUR STARS ‘Terrific’ West End Frame

“You may be the wealthiest colored woman in New Orleans
but you built this house on sand, lies and dead bodies.”

New Orleans, 1836. Following an era of French colonial rule and relative racial acceptance, Louisiana’s ‘free people of color’ are prospering. Beartrice has become one of the city’s wealthiest women through her relationship with a rich white man.

However, when her partner mysteriously dies, the foundations of freedom she has built for herself and their three unwed daughters begins to crumble. Society is changing, racial divides are growing, and as the household turns on each other in their fight for survival, it could cost them everything.

A bewitching new drama of desire, jealousy, murder and voodoo.

Marcus Gardley was awarded the 2011 PEN/Laura Pels award for Mid-Career Playwright. He is the recipient of a Helen Merrill Award, a Kesselring Honor, the Gerbode Emerging Playwright Award, the National Alliance for Musical Theatre Award, the Eugene O’Neill Memorial Scholarship, and the ASCAP Cole Porter Award.


Cast includes Ronke Adekoluejo (The Colby Sisters of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Suspects), Ayesha Antoine (We Are Proud to Present…; Doctor Who), Michele Austin (The Riots; Casual Vacancy), Martina Laird (Moon On A Rainbow Shawl; Casualty), Tanya Moodie (The Piano Lesson; Sherlock), Clare Perkins (How Long Is Never?; EastEnders), Danusia Samal (Circles; Boom) and Paul Shelley (Earthquakes In London; Paradise Postponed)


Please Note: Latecomers will not be admitted to the show. This is because we now have fully allocated seating in the auditorium and there is no suitable point at which latecomers could be admitted without causing significant disruption to the performance.

This production is supported by Jon and NoraLee Sedmak.

Please note that three actors in this production will smoke cigars live on stage as an integral part of the action of the play.

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16 Responses for “The House That Will Not Stand”

  1. S. Shear Says:

    Is there a captioned perf. scheduled for this run?

  2. Tricycle Says:

    There is – our captioned performance will be at 7.30pm on Tuesday 11 November. You can see details of all our upcoming access performances at

  3. Dom Q Says:

    Do you know the running time?

  4. Tricycle Says:

    The approximate running time is 2 hour 18 minutes including interval.

  5. Nellie Tandoh Speaks To Ayehsa Antwoine About Her Role in 'The House That Will Not Stand' @ Tricycle Theatre Says:

    […] For more information and to purchase tickets go to: […]

  6. Martina Laird on her new play, Act For Change & TV vs Theatre Says:

    […] So when the opportunity arose to sit down with her to discuss those topics and her new play, The House That Will Not Stand, we were extremely […]

  7. Sloetry Says:

    The best piece of theatre I’ve ever seen. A perfect storm of writing, direction and set, and acting from the whole cast that was not only individually superb, but the cohesion between the actors was as if you were really there listening to conversation. These aren’t lines being delivered, it’s emotion. Totally blown away last night. Congratulations to all. And now, I have to research the issues raised. The play left me with that emotional duty to do.

  8. Arnold Powell. London. Says:

    Fine acting from every cast member. A gripping and fascinating evening that deserves a West End and Broadway run. A production that I can thoroughly recommend.

  9. Maxine Harrison Says:

    Fantastic production, an enjoyable evening of entertainment as well as a history lesson.

  10. Nyalissa Says:

    A fantastic story and performance. The cast were brilliant, engaging and really excellent performances from each and every member of the cast. it was thought provoking, raising issues not really spoken about today and remembering issues that existed at that time…
    THANK YOU !! Thank you Marcus Gardley and all the cast… Good luck for the future!!! Thank you to Cristel at Crossroads Women Centre for the invite, it was the best night in a long long time of theatre. Recommend everyone see it !!! Respect to the writer…

  11. Issy Says:

    Fabulous performances, wonderful language, a heart breaking story of victims of their time.
    But surely, there is no greater love than a mothers’!
    Congratulations to all who made it happen. You should rightly be so proud.

  12. Veronica Colley Says:

    An amazing piece of theatre.
    Deep, moving and gri[pping throughout.
    The actresses were outstanding, the staging was amazing.
    The play is worthy of the West End!

  13. Obiquiet Says:

    Truly magical

  14. Marsha Prescod Says:

    I saw this this afternoon, the matinee performance.
    The cast is phenomenal, but the standout is Martina Laird as Beartrice. If she’s not in the running for theatre awards in the next 12 months, then the whole awards system is a travesty. I look forward to seeing her play Medea, and Lady McBeth. And hope she follows Judi Dench and Helen Mirren to film glory, she has the charisma for the big screen.
    Bold, gutsy performance as a woman who has spent her life maneouvering within a colour-caste system that enables her to be ‘free’ only to enter into a contract to be the mistress of a rich slave-owner. She has a perfect foil in Tanya Moodie as Makeda the house slave who is housekeeper, nanny and knows and sees all. Cunning, feisty, determined, she yearns for freedom and this is the first play I’ve seen that looks at the fact that free people of colour had black slaves. The trifecta of brilliance is completed by Michele Austin, who plays Beartrice’s bitter rival, with verve and fantastic dramatic and comedic timing, and the verbal sparring between the two is awesome. I really hope this play gets transferred to the West End. I want to get friends and families to see it- the whole audience this afternoon was enthralled. Bravo, Tricycle!

  15. monica Says:

    An astonishing play brought to life by brilliant direction and an unbelievably astounding cast. Art in its most purest form. Gravitationally moving! The tears still flowing the morning after. The performances were so honest that the courage and bravery needed had to be off the charts. Every single cast member had a chance to shine. I would see it again in a heart beat if it was on in the west end at west end prices and drag family members along, the young and the old. The play had a sort of shakespearian feel to it and could maybe rival the language. The dialogue, sweet jesus the dialogue; mined for all it was worth. Nothing wasted.

    My 15 year old son saw it with me. He’s a drama student and he tells great tales so i’m trying to get him to write more. This may have done the trick. He was moved too and says he’d love to see it as a movie.

    And thank you. The cast, staging, the words, the acting gave us so much. No price can be put on the gifts we received last night.

  16. Victoria Says:

    I am completely gutted!!!! i have only just become aware of this play and it is January 2015. Please PLEASE bring this show back (and email me know when you do). It is a story i am SURE many other women would want to here.

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Support Our Capital Project
Thu 9 Oct 2014 - Sat 29 Nov 2014

Evening Performances begin at 7.30pm

Prices shown include £1 online booking fee.

Previews: 9 - 16 Oct
£11 - £17

Running Time: 2 hours 18 mins (approximation. Including interval)

Mon 7.30pm & midweek Mats £13 - £21
Tues - Thurs 7.30pm, Sat Mats at 3pm £17 - £27
Fri & Sat 7.30pm £19 - £29


Registered Disabled, Unemployed - £2 off Full Price ticket in all zones (excluding Monday & midweek matinees).
Individual Students - £2 off Full Price ticket in all zones (max x2 per booking)
Over 60s - £2 off Full Price ticket in all zones, matinees only.  

Midweek Mats at 2pm
Wed 29 Oct, 12 & 19 Nov

Weekend Mats at 3pm
Every Sat (except 11 Oct)

Audio Described performance Thur 6 Nov

Captioned performance Tue 11 Nov


Group bookings: Buy 10 tickets and get the cheapest 11th FREE.

£10 Under 26 Tickets Click here for more information.

Schools Tickets: £10 schools tickets are available on performances Mon - Thurs

Offers are limited and subject to availability.


Director: Indhu Rubasingham
Tom Piper
Lighting Designer: Paul Anderson
Sound Designer: Carolyn Downing
Composer: Paul Englishby
Movement Director: Lucy Hind

Ronke Adekoluejo
Ayesha Antoine
Michele Austin
Martina Laird
Tanya Moodie
Clare Perkins
Danusia Samal
Paul Shelley