11 September – 2 October


'A love letter to learning and a deep dive into wonder' The Guardian, Sept 2021
Read the full review here.

c.37,500 years ago on Sulawesi, Indonesia, someone made a series of markings on  the wall of a cave. In 35 years, Elise will try to decipher their secrets, before floods destroy them forever...

Ground-breaking company curious directive invite you on a breath-taking journey to the origins of human creativity.

Blending world-class storytelling, cutting-edge technology and immersive headphone audio, Deciphering takes audiences inside the real cave network containing the oldest graphic communication ever found.

Created with Indonesian collective Bombo, and with a real-life mother-daughter performance at its heart, this extraordinary new show uses recent scientific discoveries to shine new light on who we are, where we’ve come from and how we pass on our stories.

Please note: The show is designed for immersive headphone audio, and all audience members will be given headphones on entry. The show also contains smoking on stage and some flashing lights.


Production photos

Photos by Alex Brenner. Trailer by Ben Hewis.

World premiere. Co-commissioned by New Diorama Theatre.

Quotes & Reviews


'A love letter to learning and a deep dive into wonder... impressively intricate... brimming with curiosity'
★★★★ Guardian

'A wondrous piece of theatre... simply sublime'
★★★★★ Broadway World

'A stunning piece of theatre... a powerful reminder that curiosity inspires learning.'
★★★★★ Camden New Journal


'Magical... fiercely original'
★★★★1/2 Reviews Hub


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


Amanda Hadingue, Asha Sylvestre, Farah Qadir, Lewis Mackinnon, Mohamad Faizal Abdullah, Sarita Gabony, Stephanie Street

Deciphering ensemble

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


So you feel confident booking for our Autumn Season we're putting in place new policies to ensure your visit is safe and secure. For more information, visit our Covid-19 page for the latest updates.

Cast & Creatives



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