The Winston Machine

25 January - 19 February


Keep calm. Carry on. Blitz it out. Dig for history. Death to the beaches.

At the height of the Blitz, Charlotte is in a passionate affair with a Spitfire pilot, fighting fascism in red lipstick and living each day like her last.

Eighty years later, her granddaughter Becky is stuck in her hometown, cooking dinners for her dad and singing old songs at other people's weddings, dreaming of a better time.

The 1940s are more real to Becky than her life, but when a friend moves back to town, she's forced to face the present. What happens when there’s no war left to fight?

An intimate family saga, The Winston Machine is an unmissable new state-of-the-nation show from internationally-renowned company Kandinsky (Dinomania, Trap Street, Still Ill).

Commissioned and produced by New Diorama Theatre.

Quotes & Reviews


★★★★ 'A dance across the decades... Directed with head-rushing freedom by James Yeatman and with deft dramaturgy from Lauren Mooney' The Guardian

★★★★ 'An intriguing, fascinating show... Visually arresting [with] a mesmerising score' WhatsOnStage

★★★★ 'Vivid... Slick, insightful and often very funny' The Stage

★★★★★ 'Exceptional... With an outstanding cast and impressive score, this is a challenging and engaging triumph' Everything Theatre

The Company

Post-show discussions

Free for ticket-holders after the show, with free pizza!

Fri 4 Feb: 'Cruel Nostalgia' and the shadow of World War Two

Exeunt Magazine editor Alice Saville hosts Professor Robert Eaglestone (Royal Holloway, UoL), director James Yeatman and cast member Rachel Hosker. Exploring the themes of cultural memory and identity, the discussion is inspired by Robert Eaglestone's chapter ‘Cruel Nostalgia and the memory of the Second World War’ in his edited book Brexit and Literature (2018). You can read an online version published by LSE here.

Thu 17 Feb: Tea Dresses & Bunting: the Visual Inheritance of WWII

Natasha Tripney, reviews editor of The Stage, hosts a discussion with co-designer Joshua Gadsby and dramaturg Lauren Mooney, exploring how the imagery, aesthetic and fashion of the 1940s lives on, and how it informs the visual language of The Winston Machine

About Kandinsky 

Led by James Yeatman & Lauren Mooney, Kandinsky is a multi award-winning theatre company with an international reputation for outstanding collaborative theatre. An NDT Associate Company, previous productions at New Diorama include Dinomania, Trap Street, Still Ill and Dog Show.

The company has toured internationally, recently including an acclaimed run at Berlin's renowned Schaubühne Theatre and a commission from Vienna's Schauspielhaus. Shows have won the Sunday Times Playwriting Award, Peter Brook Festival Award and OffWestEnd Best Ensemble. / @kandinskyonline

Creative Team

Director James Yeatman
Dramaturg & Producer Lauren Mooney
Associate Director Segen Yosef
Production Manager Crin Claxton
Co-designers Joshua Gadsby & Naomi Kuyck-Cohen
Composer Zac Gvirtzman
Sound Designer Kieran Lucas
Stage Manager Grace Hans
Engagement Producer Peter Laycock

Company of performer-devisers

Hamish McDougall
Nathaniel Christian
Rachel-Leah Hosker

Content & age guidance: 

The show contains haze effect, strong language, and some sophisticated themes. The age recommendation is 14+ with parental guidance.

The show's themes include warfare and PTSD; adverse childhood, relationship and family experiences; experiences of racism; and mental health issues.

🍕 Free Pizza at Every Performance 🍕

Between January - June 2022, New Diorama are offering free slices of pizza to every audience member post-show - in partnership with Domino's Camden.

Yes, really.

All pizzas will be veggie, with vegan and GF options available. Ask at box office if you have any special requirements or allergies.

Find out more here.


We want you to feel safe and happy coming to our venue. For updated guidance and safety measures, check out our dedicated Covid-19 page here.

If you've any queries, just email us on [email protected].

Cast & Creatives



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