China Plate present

The Lounge


97 years go by in a flash

An afternoon lasts an eternity


Best New Play & Best Sound Design



About the show

China Plate presents


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 growing old.


"Funny, clever and breathtakingly moving" 
The Scotsman ★★★★

“Hilariously funny, beautifully written and designed, elegantly performed… The Lounge is an important piece of work. It’s our future we’re looking at” 
Total Theatre   

"Mischievous with a generous dash of the fantastical." 
The Stage ★★★★

"Has the uncanny ability to twist your heartstrings as often as it makes you laugh...wonderfully dark and surreal"
Broadway Baby ★★★★★


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




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

Arts Award Voice
"Perfect in every way...intensely emotive and wonderfully creative...a wonderful piece of contemporary theatre."

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 Scotsman
"Funny, clever and breathtakingly moving"

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



The Arts Desk
"the trio of part-swapping actors are magnificent"

The Upcoming
"Charmingly funny throughout, frequently surreal, sometimes devastating but ultimately of the best shows you’ll see at Edinburgh Fringe 2016."

The List
"a fantastic plot that takes off from mundane beginnings to reach surreal heights."

Total Theatre
"The play starts as clownish heightened reality, a farce, which is all excellently done and highly entertaining, but this being Inspector Sands, it evolves into something far more radical and surreal. Hilariously funny, beautifully written and designed, elegantly performed, The Lounge is an important piece of work. It’s our future we’re looking at."


Written & Devised by

Directed by:

Script by:

Performed by


Costume Designer

Sound Designer

Lighting Designer


Beyond The Lounge: Panel Discussions and Workshops

4th May, 1pm - Moving to Live: 

A lecture/ practical workshop based in the Feldenkrais Method, looking at a recent Brazilian study that uses the simple act of moving from sitting to standing as a predictor of longevity. We explore how our sense of our age is connected to the degree to which we are able to remain mobile. 

Led by expert Feldenkrais practitioner Ryan Jansen and Inspector Sands co-director Lucinka Eisler. 


6th May, 3.30pm - Are there ways of improving care for the older generation that don't involve moving the earth? A discussion on how to make changes when resources are scarce.

A post-show panel discussion featuring leading psychologists and researchers working in the field of ageing and care including: 
Alex Evans - director of charity Time and Talents
Dr Jane Flemming - co-ordinator of the Cambridge City over-75s Cohort Study
Dr Daniel Davies - senior researcher  in Geriatric Medicine 


11th May, 3pm - We need to talk about ageing: how and when do we start a conversation with family and friends about the realities of growing older and mortality?

A panel discussion featuring leading psychologists and researchers working in the field of ageing and care chaired by Journalist Yasmin Alibhai Brown. Pannelists include:

Daniel Daviessenior researcher  in Geriatric Medicine 
Susan Hennessy - clinical psychologist in palliative care for Barts NHS trust


More information and how to book

Sällskapsrummet (The Lounge)

Throughout 2018/19 Inspector Sands has been commissioned by Riksteatern to develop on an cultural adaptation of The Lounge. Riksteatern is the National Touring Theatre of Sweden and will tour the show to venues across the country throughout 2019. The cultural adaptation will see both companies work in a new way to translate and adapt the text so it becomes culturally relevant to auidiences in Sweden. Inspector Sands will work with Riksteatern to recreate some of the development processes involved in creating The Lounge, including working with local medical experts, care homes and care workers to help drive the direction of this unique adaptation and translation of the show into a Swedish context.  

The show will open on Saturday 16th February 2019.   

Past performances

20th Apr 2017 - 21st Apr 2017Contact, Manchester 
25th Apr 2017 - 20th May 2017Soho Theatre, London 

WOW Festival 2017


Inspector Sands and China Plate have teamed up with the Southbank Centre to programme a panel discussion inspired by The Lounge.

As life expectancy increases, do we fear old age more than our mortality?

A panel of care professionals and elders discuss the possibility of a happy old age and the realities of ageing – from the joys and angst of communal accommodation to loneliness, health and the bite of austerity.

Speakers include Shirley Meredeen, founder member of the Older Women’s Co-Housing Project in High Barnet; writer and actor Di Sherlock; Lu Kemp, director of The Lounge, Dr Jane Fleming, Senior Research Associate, University of Cambridge; and Lindsay River, previously the Director of Polari, a voice for older LGBT people.

Chaired by journalist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown.


Sunday 12 March | 1.15pm | Southbank Centre

More information