Inspector Sands

Inspector Sands is an award-winning, London-based theatre company, whose work has toured nationally and internationally to critical acclaim. The joint artistic directors are Ben Lewis, Giulia Innocenti and Lucinka Eisler. They have created work for UK venues including the Almeida, the Lyric Hammersmith, the South Bank Centre, the National Theatre and the BAC.

Inspector Sands create theatre that is irreverent, emotionally charged, often tragic, usually comic, sometimes silly and always serious. They have a particular interest in the way that global events and trends are reflected in the minutiae of everyday life. They seek the epic in the everyday and the everyday in the epic.

Past shows include Hysteria (Total Theatre Award, 2006) and If That’s All There Is (Edinburgh International Festival Fringe Award, 2009), both of which were selected for the British Council Showcase and went on to tour extensively in the UK and to countries including China, Russia, USA, Armenia, Romania and Germany.

China Plate have developed, produced and toured three of Inspector Sands’ recent projects – Rock Pool (a kind of crustacean Waiting For Godot for anyone over the age of 3), Mass Observation (commissioned for the Almeida Festival of new work) and A High Street Odyssey (a promenade audio-tour of the high street, which has toured sell out shows to UK town centres for three successive years).


The company has also been commissioned to create a series of new audio pieces for children by the Discover Story Centre in Stratford: Undiscovered, a site specific audio tour of the Discover building, Top Secret, a detective story trail installation, and The Librarian, which is currently touring to libraries in London.


China Plate presents


A dangerously unstable farce about growing old


By Inspector Sands

Commissioned by Harlow Playhouse

Supported by South Street Reading and Artsdepot

97 years go by in a flash.

An afternoon lasts an eternity

In a care home lounge somewhere off the A1, 97 year old Marsha Hewitt begins the last day of her life. But she cannot go quietly. As the radiators burn and Jeremy Kyle blares, rivalries, relatives and murderous impulses jostle for space on the Axminster carpet.

By teatime, a riot is brewing.

The award-winning Inspector Sands (A High Street Odyssey, If That’s All There Is, Hysteria) shine a spotlight on how we cope, or fail to cope, with ageing.



Broadway Baby

"has the uncanny ability to twist your heartstrings as often as it makes you laugh...wonderfully dark and surreal"


Three Weeks

"Inspector Sands doesn’t just deliver surreal, dark brave and confront the future in this dreadful lounge: it’s a moving and important story."


The Stage

"mischievous and pleasing, with a generous dash of the fantastical."


Supported by a Wellcome Trust Arts Award, The Sackler Trust and using public funds from The National Lottery through Arts Council England.



“The newest work by Inspector Sands, a young company with a big talent, is an acutely observed, often surreal and sometimes painfully funny comedy about the dysfunctional links between modern neuroses and the all-too-human need for love” The Times  

“Magnificently staged.  Delirious jolts of madness.  Perfect entertainment for anyone who has ever dreamed for a fleeting irresponsible moment of killing a loved one” The New York Times

"The terrific thing about this show is that it works on many levels and always underpins the comedy with real emotion… brilliant, slippery… deliciously sharp and witty” ★★★★ The Guardian           

"The excellent Inspector Sands… a wickedly funny and reassuringly well-honed piece in which situation comedy veers from everyday banality to surreal imaginings” ★★★★ The Herald


'This is a ceaselessly entertaining and massively memorable piece that will leave you grinning'. Get Reading

‘Quirky and perfectly pitched: 30 minutes long and as sweet as a Saturday morning stroll; thought-provoking without being weighty. We whipped out the binoculars and gazed up to look at the clouds in the sky. A busker began to play. And for a few seconds we were gazing up from the most interesting place in the world’. The Argus, Brighton



“A splash hit… in every sense of the word!” Western Mail ★★★★

"Delicately layered and thoughtfully crafted. It is utterly charming throughout.” British Theatre Guide

“Rock Pool is a lovely piece of theatre… there were smiles and cheers throughout the performance.” Everything Theatre ★★★★



“One of the gems of the London International Mime Festival... Hysteria is a rib and mind-tickling delight” ★★★★ The Times

“even as you howl with laughter, you can’t help but feel the edge of genuine anguish that underlies the comedy cantrips” ★★★★★  The Herald

“a funny, innovative and at times disturbing exploration of how human beings hang on to their sanity”★★★★ The Financial Times

“Painfully real…the hilarious Hysteria deserves to win Inspector Sands and Stamping Ground a raft of new fans” ★★★★★ The Metro


A couple are teetering on the brink of marriage. As the happiest day of their lives approaches, the panic begins to rise. And everyone’s watching.

Through the eyes of a jaded therapist and an awkward teenage girl, we witness a case study of longing, envy, disappointment and violent urges, examining our obsession with seeking happiness at any cost.

For anyone who’s ever wanted to stand on a windswept plain, howling for lost love…


Winner: Edinburgh International Festival Fringe Prize 2009 / The Guardian ‘Pick of the Fringe’ for “turning anxiety into an art form” / Shortlisted: Total Theatre Award 2009


Commissioned by The Lyric Hammersmith, If That’s All There Is was a sell out hit at the Traverse Theatre during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 09, and has since toured in the UK and internationally, most recently as part of the Brits of Broadway Festival in New York.


Commissioned by the Lyric Hammersmith.  Co-developed at South Street, Reading and The Nightingale Theatre, Brighton. Supported by Alleyn’s School, BAC and Arts Council England. Created by Inspector Sands/ Performed by Lucinka Eisler, Giulia Innocenti and Ben Lewis/  Director Lu Kemp /Set design by Yukiko Tsukamoto / Associate Set Designer Gabriella Gerdelics /Lighting Design by Jack Knowles / Sound Design by Carolyn Downing / Associate Sound Designer Elena Pena / Additional Choreography Miranda Henderson, Prodigal Theatre.


A play about panic, the apocalypse and table manners.


The world is ending. And it's happening at table 9…

A man and a woman are on the most awkward dinner date of their lives.

Caught in the middle is their mortified waiter, haunted by visions of global catastrophe.


Winner Total Theatre Award 2006 / Winner Brighton Argus Angel Award 2007 / Short-listed Carol Tambor Award 2006


Since it’s premiere in 2006, Hysteria has toured extensively, selling out performances at the London International Mime Festival (Southbank Centre), Edinburgh Fringe Festival (Aurora Nova and Assembly Rooms), on two British tours and at venues in China, Russia, Germany, Romania, Armenia and New York.


Co-developed at the Nightingale Theatre, Brighton and BAC. Supported by Arts Council England. Created by Inspector Sands / Performed by Lucinka Eisler, Giulia Innocenti and Ben Lewis / Associate Director Joseph Alford / Lighting design Katharine Williams / Sound design Carolyn Downing & Adrienne Quartly / Set design Yukiko Tsukamoto / Costume design Suncana Dulic / Dramaturgy Jonathan Young