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Quarantine was established in 1998 by directors Richard Gregory and Renny O’Shea with designer Simon Banham. We make original theatre, performance and public events with and about the people who are in it. Whatever form it takes, our work begins and ends with the people in the room. Over the last 20 years, we've collaborated with a shifting constellation of artists, performers and people who've never done anything like this before. Our work seeks to create the circumstances for a conversation between strangers...


National Theatre Wales & Quarantine

Premiered with Wales Millennium Centre as part of Festival of Voice 2018

National Theatre Wales’ and Quarantine’s extraordinary show invites its audience into a conversation about language with performer Jonny Cotsen – a performance built out of a fascination with what happens when we try to talk about how to live together. It’s inspired by the theatricality of language lessons, and discussions with migrants who learn English for all kinds of reasons. For business, for pleasure, for survival, to take part, to pass the test…

This exuberant A to Z of language and identity – originally made in Wales, but with a global perspective – pulls pop songs apart, tears grammar to pieces and invites all the languages in the room to be heard. A joyous, intimate, provocative encounter, English asks how language shapes us all and what happens to our sense of self when we don’t really know how to say who we are.


Past Performances

Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff | 14 – 24 June 2018


“Somewhere between a linguistic puzzle and a collaborative stream of consciousness, a discourse on identity and a piece of ragtag, freeform improvisation”
Andrew Dickson, The Guardian, June 2018

“When the show finished, the conversations flowed between strangers”
★★★★ Owen Richards, theartsdesk.com, June 2018 

“It is Jonny’s open nature and vulnerability that makes English such an intimate and thought-provoking experience”
Taylor Edmonds, Wales Arts Review, June 2018

“Blurs the boundaries between creator/receiver and audience/performer”
★★★★ Luke Seidel-Haas, Get the Chance, June 2018


Interview: Quarantine: the theatre company making ordinary people part of the conversation – Lyn Gardner, The Stage, June 2018

Interview: Talking to Malú Ansaldo about NTW’s English – Wales Arts Review, June 2018

"The show gets at something profound about theatre" The Guardian



English is devised by the company.

Director  Richard Gregory

Dramaturg  Renny O’Shea

Text  Sonia Hughes

Designer  Simon Banham

Lighting Designer   Mike Brookes

Video Designer   Simon Clode

Performer   Jonny Cotsen

Movement Director  Jo Fong

Production Manager  Greg Akehurst

Stage Manager  Perla Ponce Nunez

Technician  Jane Lalijee

Emerging Director   Chelsey Gillard

BSL Interpreter   Tony Evans


English is made by Quarantine and National Theatre Wales, in collaboration with Wales Millennium Centre and its premiere is part of Festival of Voice 2018.