Royal Court


24 Nov 2017 - 30 Dec 2017

Pro reviewers rating
12 reviews

2.6 out of 5.0
Peer reviewers rating
0 reviews

0.0 out of 5.0

They’re leading us on, they’re conning us. Open the coffins!

In a small town in Syria, soldiers are celebrated as heroes and grieving families are nourished on propaganda.

As the coffins pile up, the local party leader decides on a radical compensation scheme: a goat for each son martyred.


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“Quite dense and overlong... Painful and original.... A fine ensemble... Chahine gives a commanding performance.”

Sarah Hemming (Financial Times)

“Good performances... Like a mosaic in which the glittering individual pieces obscure the big picture.”

Michael Billington (The Guardian)

“Agonisingly pessimistic... Richly anecdotal... The human cost is harrowingly demonstrated...I felt politically disorientated.”

Claire Armitstead (Guardian)

“Intriguing but cluttered and slow-moving play.”

Natasha Tripney (The Stage, Time Out)

“Thought-provoking... Long-winded... An element of black absurdism... The writing is shrewd and impassioned but it lacks bite.”

Paul Taylor (The Independent)

“Worthy, lengthy and laborious... Often under-dramatic... Strong strands... Some fine performances, most notably from Nefar.”

Fiona Mountford (Evening Standard)

“Fascinating... Yazji has tried to pack too much in... Incredibly atmospheric... Powerful, empathetic, often funny.”

Andrzej Lukowski (Time Out)

“You can’t help smiling, even as Syria burns, because, hey, it’s a goat... Uneven... Too long and trying to do too much.”

Ann Treneman (Times)

“An incredibly detailed investigation into violence and terror... A bleak and humorous story of propaganda, grief and struggle.”

Alistair Wilkinson (Broadway World)

“A strong story struggles to emerge from the mass of detail... The goats emerge as the real stars.”

Aleks Sierz (Arts Desk, The Stage)

“While the goats are endlessly watchable, the play really is not. It's slack, scrappy, slow and stilted... Cluttered.”

Holly Williams (What's On Stage, Time Out, Independent)

“Real live goats... each one a cutey and a beauty... represent a quality of truth harnessed at the service of a lie... Neat.”

Dominic Cavendish (The Telegraph)

Reviews (0)