David Hare’s award-winning play roars to life in a provocative new site-specific staging performed in The Vaults, London’s alternative subterranean venue beneath Waterloo Station.

“What happened would simply not have happened under British Rail. It wouldn’t have happened. Not in the British Rail days.”

Revelatory, witty, and moving, The Permanent Way is an astonishing interrogation of the chaos arising from the botched privatisation of Britain’s railways. Told through the first-hand accounts of those involved at every level, from passengers to Civil Service mandarins, this extraordinary verbatim piece asks challenging questions of responsibility and governmental mismanagement. Have we learned anything from recent history?

“A searing piece of documentary theatre” The Evening Standard
“Hare has made a serious, provocative, dramatically gripping contribution to an argument of urgent interest to us all” The Times
“This intricately detailed study of a fatal privatisation is that very rare thing: a vitally necessary piece of theatre” Michael Billington, The Guardian
Praise from the premiere run, Out Of Joint 2003

Casting to be announced.


Director – Alexander Lass
Set & Costume – Ruth Hall
Music & Sound – Roly Witherow
Casting – Ellie Collyer-Bristow CDG
Producer – Debbie Hicks

The Venue

The Vaults

Arch 236 Leake Street, London, United Kingdom, SE1 7NN

Nearest Tube

Waterloo Station

Nearest Train

Waterloo Station

Running Time

1hr 40min (no interval)

Booking Dates

First Performance

Friday 13th September 2019

Last Performance

Sunday 17th November 2019