Two Williams, William Burke and William Hare, discover a money making scheme far more lucrative than hosting lodgers. The first rule of business? Supply and demand. In the leading city for medical research, there’s a huge demand for bodies and an inconveniently low number of deaths. The profitable solution? Murder, of course.
As the infamous pair flourish in their new found careers, the more they murder, the less they care but for how long will they get away with it? In a new black comedy that is as hysterical as it is historical, three actors tell the true story of the prolific duo.
Age guidance 12 and upwards. Parental discretion advised.
Burke and Hare is also touring to village halls, rural venues and arts centres. Click here to see the tour dates.
The Sackler Trust, Principal Supporter of Watermill Rural Touring
Directed by Abigail Pickard Price
Designed by Toots Butcher
Lighting designed by Harry Armytage
Training: Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts.
Theatre includes: The Play That Goes Wrong (West End), The Sunset Five (Pleasance), The Cannibals (Greenwich); Albee Vector (Arcola); Take Angel Home (Theatre503); Hamlet (Park Theatre); Jane Eyre (Rosemary Branch); Seeing Double (Camden People's Theatre), Pterodactyl (Arts Theatre West End), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Southbank Centre).
Radio includes: Mind Hackers (BBC Radio 4).
Film and Television include: Love & Thieves (ZDF), Concerning the Close Protection Officer, Perfect State and Little Devil.
Alex trained at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.
Theatre includes: As You Like it (Shared Experience) After the Dance (Theatre by the Lake) The Hunting of the Snark (Sherman Cymru) Comedy of Errors (Stafford Shakespeare festival) Tom: a story of Tom Jones (UK Tour) Jackie: The Musical (Gardyne Theatre Dundee) All My Sons, The Herbal Bed, Cinderella, Dick Whittington, Aladdin, Festen, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Of Mice and Men, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Cherry Orchard, Hobson’s Choice, Oh What a Lovely War, Romeo and Juliet (Theatr Clwyd) Buddy: the Buddy Holly Story (UK Tour), Shimmer (Chapter Arts Centre); A Christmas Carol, A Child’s Christmas in Wales (Wales Theatre Company) Into My Own (Hijinx) Hang Up (Edinburgh Festival) The Adventures of Red Riding Hood (Ripley Theatre Company).
Film and television include: The Muppets: Most Wanted (Disney Pictures), Torchwood, Dirk Gently (BBC) Alex provides most of the voices in Channel 4’s Empire Square.
Hayden's theatre credits include Chris in the West End Cast of The Play That Goes Wrong, Bagot in Richard II (The Houses of Parliament and Arcola), and Mad Hatter/Knave of Hearts in the original cast of Alice's Adventures Underground (The Vaults).
Other theatre credits include The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (Park Theatre), Ghost City (King's Head), The Bunker Trilogy (Southwark Playhouse, Winner: Bank SA Adelaide Fringe 2014 'Best Theatre' Award), Sherlock Holmes: A Working Hypothesis (UK Tour), Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty (Hawthorne Theatre), The Owls Are Not What They Seem (Theatre Delicatessen); LINE (Stephen Joseph), The Girl With The Imagination (Greenwich Theatre) and many shows with Edinburgh International Festival Award winners, Belt Up Theatre.
Hayden also tours the world playing Basil in Faulty Towers The Dining Experience. His credits as a composer include The Beggar's Opera, Lorca is Dead and Octavia (all with Belt Up Theatre.)
‘Burke and Hare has the edge of something that's just a bit different.’
‘sharp and witty, and acted out by a cast of only three, all of whom cause a great level of comic chaos by darting between multiple roles … and many accents.’
Read the full Onstage blog review
‘a lively black comedy’
‘a fast-paced piece of vaudeville complete with audience participation, foot tapping songs, snappy visual gags and an abundance of comedy accents.’
Read the full review from The Stage
★★★★ ‘an amusing and brisk take on a sinister true crime’
Read the full review from The Spy in the Stalls
Pocket Size Theatre:
‘This new version by Tom Wentworth turns the grisly tale into a black comedy, a sort of cross between Horrible Histories and Sweeney Todd.’
‘a lively and fun production’
Read the full review from Pocket Size Theatre
'Burke and Hare is the very definition of a delicious theatrical treat. Imbued with a darkness that comes from the play's source material, and with the ability to pluck delicately at our heartstrings one moment before delivering a thick slice of uproarious farce in the next, this is another rollickingly good night at The Watermill.'
'Central to the appeal of Burke and Hare are a trio of performers who bring exuberant confidence and energy to the show...'
Read the full review from Daily Info
‘Dire murder and trading in corpses may not sound like the stuff of comedy. But if you go and see the hilarious Burke and Hare at The Watermill Theatre you may well change your mind!’
‘Burke and Hare is a beautifully constructed piece that allows for some poetic justice at the end. The cast offers a virtuoso display of comic acting, singing and music...’
Read the full review from the Henley Standard