Page extent: 96
ISBN: 9781786820686
Binding: PaperBack

Removal Men

M. J. Harding

PaperBack (11 Nov 2016)

Mo is 31. He works in an immigration removal centre. He’s a Detention Officer. He wears a shirt, a tie, and sometimes even trousers. He’s from Bishops Stortford.

Mo’s in trouble.

Mo’s in love.

Dangerous and unsettling, beautiful and hilarious, Removal Men is a play with live music and songs. It tells the story of a fragmented 21st century Britain, trying to be powerful, trying to love, trying to escape.

Additional Information

ISBN13 9781786820686
Binding PaperBack
Page Extent 96


'This startlingly original debut from MJ Harding is a play-with-songs about the British immigration system... It might sound a bit tasteless to make a warped comedy about an immigration centre that ruins lives. This play really isn’t. Harding’s dialogue is both utterly loopy and entirely convincing, scraping away at these characters’ skins with the surreal energy of Irish playwright Enda Walsh. And Jay Miller’s mesmerically intense production uses music to carve out a space for huge ideas, showing how compassion becomes twisted in a warped system... It’s a hugely impressive debut from Harding. But even better, it signposts the way to the power of music in theatre  to be something a bit transcendental – to make a ritualistic space where the rules break down, and wild things play.' Time Out ★★★★

'Removal Men isn't just sharp on the crisis of masculinity, but on the sheer stupidity of the institutional system. Harding tugs at the tension between hierarchy and empathy...George and Mo routinely trip into classic double act patter, a quintessentially British comedy hinged on hierarchies, but elsewhere Harding's surrealist satire is more scornful. He knocks "empathy workshops" and savages the superficial compassion that masks institutional violence...The music is a masterstroke. Jonah Brody's songs sneak up on the script. Speeches seem to snag on melodies, and shouts fall into rhythm to become barked, breathless raps. Lyrics repeat like guilty thoughts, the sort you can't shake off, and Brody's music is woozy and delirious.' Matt Trueman, What's On Stage ★★★★

'An inventive, eclectic three-hander attacking a dehumanising immigration system' The Stage ★★★★ 

'Removal Men, through the microcosm of drama within an immigration removal centre, offers a stark interrogation of a burgeoning crisis in post-Brexit British culture, delivered in an experimental and boundary-busting format... a prime and important example of art airing issues in an exacting way rarely achieved by mainstream media and dialogues.' The Upcoming

'Removal Men writers MJ Harding and Jay Miller give us something unexpected... Instead of the place's inmates, their play concentrates on what it might be like to work in such an’s a bare – a cast of just three – and breathless ride through sometimes traumatic terrain with a finely tuned sense of the absurd propelling it along... Very much worth removing yourself over to Hackney Wick for the evening.' The Arts Desk