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a new musical by Zara Nunn


On one corner of one street in one family run establishment there’s two hours to go. But the people are not going to go quietly. There’s a totaliser up. There’s a display board. Lots of photos. Everyone’s worn out. There are diggers outside but this colourful bunch stage a final sit-in in the hopes of reversing the local authority decision to demolish The Butterfly Café in order to make way for a high-speed rail link.

During the prologue, Di, the café owner is called to make a speech.


As the story unfolds, not everything is as it seems, and The Butterfly itself starts to tell us some things as we discover that some of the people we’ve met are actually from completely different periods in time and are connected to many of the previous incarnations of the building.

Later on, Daniel arrives.

He’s been away, well he moved away.

Let’s just say it’s been a long time since he’s been in this neck of the woods

Place looks very different. No cold meat counter, no artisan coffee, no ciabattas on slates…

He sings this song. It’s called The Deli.


IN THESE WALLS is an immersive*, real-time, three-hander performed in multi-role with an eclectic score and an onstage band of up to four people.  As the story unfolds, not everything is as it seems and some of the people we meet, we start to discover, are actually from different periods in time, and are connected to many of the previous incarnations of the building – it might have been a 1600’s, a barbershop, a 60’s jazz club, a hipster delicatessen and so on – places and periods in time that also have distinctive musical voices of their own. As the final deadline approaches, stories are uncovered, revelations are…revelated… and we experience (as customers in the cafe ourselves) the emotional effects that urban regeneration has on us all and how these effects ripple through time.

* The central intention is that this remains very flexible in terms of the way it can be staged. Obviously there’s the site-specific question and whilst that is a future possibility, we envisage the first incarnation of it in more of a traditional theatrical space as it would work in many types and size of venue from a studio show, up to rep, as long as parts of the audience can be accommodated on stage ‘inside the café’ as well as in an auditorium.