Ward No.6

8 - 27 Feb 2011
Camden People's Theatre
An absolutely superb mix of psychological heft and energetic physical theatre… an imaginative and dynamic production, realised with passion and wit

Innovative and imaginative theatre company DogOrange followed their critically acclaimed production of A Woman Alone with the London transfer of their Stage Award nominated production of Ward No.6

Stuck in a thankless job in a small town, Dr Ragin finds himself in the company of a young inmate in the asylum known as Ward No. 6. Their conversations lead him to reject the definitions of madness and sanity he has taken for granted, and to question his role in keeping the patients locked up. Betrayed by his friend, he ends up imprisoned himself – trapped in an ‘enchanted circle’ formed by his former patients’ rituals and superstitions.

By turns comic, tragic and absurd, DogOrange’s punchy, vivid style brings the cast of bizarre and stylised characters to life. Director Matthew Parker has embraced a style of storytelling that owes much to absurdism & theatre of cruelty and which blurs the boundaries between comedy and tragedy. The play expands and complements the original story, giving life to the inmates of the Ward as they re-enact the downfall of Dr Ragin. The production was nominated for Best Ensemble in The Stage Acting Excellence Awards.


  • Charlotte Blake
  • Oliver Lavery
  • Michael Linsey
  • Harry Lobek


  • Writer: Matthew Parker adapted from Chekhov
  • Director/Choreographer: Matthew Parker
  • Producer: Saba Burali for DogOrange Theatre
  • Designer: Suneeda Maruthiyil
  • Stage Manager: Tim Berryman
  • Lighting: Allan Ramsay
  • Assistant Director: Cat Gerrard
  • Production Assistant: Luke Holbrook

The production is excellent… Ward No 6 was nominated for best ensemble at the 15th Annual Stage Award following its Edinburgh run, and it is easy to see why… The darkly serious subject matter is set off by some fittingly dark physical comedy, which the cast carry off with aplomb.


Parker’s absurdist interpretation of Ward No. 6 releases the kinetic energy of Chekhov’s words in a production that is often as exhilarating to watch as it is disturbing… this production is like an adrenaline shot. It moves with manic energy, sweeping up the audience with it… strangely graceful in its lunacy.


an engaging cast – directed meticulously – who manage their character shifts with real style, and present us with a drama which has a question of real substance at its core.

Fringe Report

Photographer: James Oaten
Poster Image: Jide Fado/Michael Linsey