The Taking Of Zena Charbonne


A tense and gripping drama, told by an unreliable witness… A fascinating mix of performance, live music and video.


It starts off like any other day…

Zena Charbonne wakes up to a life full of comfort and certainties. She’s the wife of the Environment Minister. She knows who she is, who she is meant to be.

But then, in one sudden moment, everything changes. Kidnap. One violent act and her world becomes one of isolation and torture. Where, her only reality is the need to stay alive.

Fighting to survive in this terrifying situation Zena finds herself drawn ever closer to her kidnapper, until she no longer knows what is real; nor who her captor really is.

She needs to be free. But at what price? The truth, the whole truth… and nothing like the truth?


What the critics said:

What remains in the mind is the strength and poignancy of Gillard’s performance.

Joyce McMillan, The Scotsman.

An intense exploration of the disturbance of the human psyche under the impact of seismic grief.

Marianne Gunn, The Herald.

Audience comments:

Beautifully executed and fascinating on every level.

Intriguing. Great writing, well-staged, imaginative visuals, beautifully performed and directed.

Excellent theatre! Good to have cellist/composer on stage and not ‘in the pit’ – added to it all. Actress had amazing stage presence.

Intriguing and captivating throughout. Thank you.

The acting was amazing, very well supported by the musical background and all visual effects. An evening that brought lots of questions. I loved it.


The Production

Originally produced with funding from Creative Scotland, ‘The Taking of Zena Charbonne’ has previously toured to venues across Scotland and the South of England. The production is now available for touring in the UK and abroad.


Cast / Production Team

Catherine Gillard’s compelling performance is accompanied by a live soundtrack, composed and performed by acclaimed cellist, Robin Mason. Plus mesmerising video by Tim Brinkhurst.


Directed by Peter Clerke. Script by Stewart Ennis. Design by Ali Maclaurin. Lighting design by Kate Bonney. Photography by marc marnie. Graphic design by dosrios.co.uk.


Technical Information