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The Mercy Seat

A CAPITAL-supported student performance project

Written by Neil LaBute
Directed by Ed Lewis and produced by Melanie Watts

28th/29th November 2009

Ben works in the World Trade Centre.
Abby is Ben's boss and mistress.
They have spent the night in her apartment

It is September 12th 2001

Neil LaBute's Mercy Seat is a thrilling two-hander set during the aftermath of the terror attacks that shook the world. As the characters are thrown into the claustrophbic world of fate and chance, the idolised concept of heroism that surrounded this event is opposed by Ben as he is selfishly inspired to use this dilemma to disappear, begin a new life with his lover and leaving behind his family to share in the grief of thousands.

Playing on the close relationship between humour and tragedy, LaBute explores the shocking and immoral human behaviour that is often found during moments of mass chaos and devestation. The Mercy Seat was the first theatrical response to 9/11 when originally performed in 2002 and has now played in the CAPITAL Centre Studio, with support from the CAPITAL Centre and Warwick University Drama Society.

Thank you to all of our audience members and those who supported us through the production.

The Mercy Seat Dramaturgy Workshop, 1-3pm, Wednesday Week 9, CAPITAL Centre Studio

There will be an educational workshop running alongside the current production of "The Mercy Seat," at the CAPITAL centre. This workshop will use informal discussion and practical exercises to explore the role of dramaturgy in the theatre, teaching the participants a little more about what it means to be a dramaturg.

The themes and context of The Mercy Seat will be the main focus of the workshop and although it is not essential, it is recommended that the attendees see the current production in the CAPITAL Centre to enhance their learning in this workshop. There are 20 slots for this workshop and if you wish to reserve a space, please email Spaces will be allocated on a first-come, first-serve basis.

If you have any questions about the workshop, please feel free to contact Katie Marsh,

Ed Lewis is currently third year student in the School of Theatre and Performance & Cultural Policy Studies. He has played an active role in drama at Warwick over the course of his studies and has been involved in a number of projects including, A Man of No Importance (MTW) and Return to the Silence (Codpiece). Ed is a member of Curious Directive, a Theatre ensemble born at Warwick. Ed also directed the very successful production of Dealer’s Choice which featured at the 2009 SPLATfest.

Melanie Watts is a second year student in the Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies. Melanie has a growing repertoire of involvement in stage management and production through drama at Warwick, including: Producer for Warwick in the Willows (Codpiece), Wicked (MTW); Stage Manager for Dedorograd (Freshblood), Tis Pity She's A Whore (WUDS), Company (MTW), Hal V (Shakesoc), Return To The Silence (Curious Directive) and By the Bog of Cats (WUDS). Prior to Warwick, Melanie was also involved in stage managing several theatre and studio productions at college, working with large casts of various ages. Most recently, Melanie participated in a backstage work experience at Yvonne Arnaud, Guildford, for a youth theatre production of The Wizard of Oz.

For a full production list of all involved, please click Mercy Seat Programme


This production has been entered into NSDF10

The NSDF is a unique week-long event showcasing live student performance
If you'd like information on the NSDF please visit or contact us on 020 7354 807


The Mercy Seat 2009