7 September – 2 October


c.37,500 years ago on Sulawesi, Indonesia, someone made a series of markings on the wall of a cave.

Elise is eight years old. She’s in primary school, making shapes on a piece of paper. In 35 years, Elise will travel to Sulawesi to decipher a set of geometric symbols, before floods destroy them forever. Her discoveries will shed new light on our collective need to communicate. 

Ground-breaking theatre company curious directive invite you on an inter-continental journey to the origins of human creativity.

Blending expansive storytelling, innovative technology and international collaboration, Deciphering takes audiences inside the real cave network containing the oldest graphic communication ever found. A unique show, conceived with Indonesian artist collective Bombo, granted world-first access to this extraordinary site.

World premiere. Co-commissioned by New Diorama Theatre.

Quotes & Reviews


'curious directive are theatre pioneers'
Daily Telegraph

'Subtle and skilful'
★★★★ Time Out on Gastronomic

'Exhilarating, intricate and epic'
★★★★ The Scotsman on Pioneer

The Company

About Curious Directive:

Since 2008, award-winning ensemble curious directive has conceived science-led theatre from their Norwich base. Their productions have international reach, presenting in over 100 venues across the world to 165,000 audience members and won two  Fringe First awards (Pioneer and Your Last Breath). Collaborators Bombo are an Indonesian collective from Makassar, South Sulawesi, comprising videographer Rais Rice and sound artist Reza Enem.

Creative Team: 

Direction: Jack Lowe
Design: Zoë Hurwitz
Light: Katherine Graham
Sound: Pete Malkin and Kieran Lucas
Multimedia: Rais Rice & Reza Enem (Bombo)
Composition: Theo Whitworth
3D modelling: Jordan Albo

This production is also supported by the London Community Foundation (Cockayne Grants for the Arts).

Cast & Creatives



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