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Joint Effort (The Abyss &What Happened to Agnes)

  • Venue: Bramall Rock Void
  • Duration: 1 hour 20 minutes
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More Information on Joint Effort (The Abyss &What Happened to Agnes)

Through Furnace, we build partnerships with arts organisations and cultural networks locally, nationally and internationally because we believe that collaboration and community are key to a sustainable and diverse cultural ecology. At Joint Effort, we’ll present two brand new works in progress, created in partnership with Opera North, the Royal Court Theatre and Edinburgh International Festival.

What Happened To Agnes
Presented in partnership with Opera North
A work-in-progress performance
Written and performed by Nishla Smith 

“When my grandmother’s sister Agnes was nine years old, she disappeared. As a child in 1930s Malaysia, my grandmother never really understood where she went…’

In What Happened to Agnes, vocalist Nishla Smith imagines what might have happened next, spinning together her grandmother’s lush childhood memories into a magic-realist realm of talking tigers, hidden dangers and never-ending staircases. The story moves in and out of focus through Nishla’s distinctive songs, which could be the haunted, shadowy flipsides of the standards of Agnes’ time. With projections by visual artist Luca Shaw and piano by Tom Harris.

Developed by Opera North Projects and Leeds Playhouse, with support from the PRSF Talent Development Programme.

Running time: 40 mins


The Abyss
Presented in partnership with the Royal Court Theatre and Edinburgh International Festival
A work-in-progress reading
Written by Ghiath Al Mhitawi 
Directed by Aisha Khan 

Part of the International Climate Crisis Plays, presented by the Royal Court Theatre and Edinburgh International Festival.

‘I climbed up quietly, their screams became louder and farther away, I reached the top of the chimney and looked inside the Abyss.’ One conversation around a German dinner table turns to the topic of the climate crisis.

Running time: 40 minutes


This event is part of Furnace Festival

Cast & Credits

What Happened To Agnes: Writter and Performer Nishla Smith / Projection Luca Shaw / Piano Tom Harris / Dramaturg Jacqui Honess-Martin / The Abyss: Writter Ghiath Al Mhitawi / Director Aisha Khan / Stage Manager Megan Kearney / Cast Amir El-Masry / Tessa Parr / Lara Sawalha / Translated by Victoria Lupton & Stefan Tarnowski / Photography by David Lindsay and Stephen Wright /


Book Tickets

Captioned Performance

Open captioning allows theatre goers with varying degrees of hearing to view the full text as it is spoken or sung, including sound effects and off stage noises. These appear on a scrolling screen, positioned on or at the side of the stage.

British Sign Language Interpreted

A signed performance is the usual full production using either the creative use of sign integrated into the performance or a British Sign Language Interpreter on stage interpreting the show for D/deaf attendees.

Audio Described

Audio Described performances are designed to improve the experience of visually impaired and blind attendees. As well as listening to the dialogue on stage the customer can wear a headset and listen to a live description of the action on stage.

Relaxed Performance

A relaxed performance is a specially selected show from our programme, with slight adaptations to make it suitable for an audience of young people or adults with learning disabilities. This may include extra lighting, additional wheelchair spaces and the freedom to move to alternative seating if required.

Dementia-Friendly Performance

Dementia friendly performances are for all audiences. The theatre experience is enhanced for people living with dementia and their supporters, with adaptations to front of house service, the show and pre-show information packs. Additional dementia-aware staff, quiet spaces, clear signage and visual markers, sound and lighting adjustments and flexible seating options all help to create a supportive, shared experience.

Sing Along

Singalong with the cast in this exclusive performance. Join in as loud as you like, fancy dress is optional but highly recommended.

Post Show Discussion

Parent & Baby Performance

A Parent and Baby performance enables parents to attend the theatre with their baby (under 12 months). We make small adaptations to the lighting and sound effects, including keeping the auditorium lights slightly raised. The seating is unallocated and there is a relaxed attitude to noise.

Booking Fees:

*A transaction fee of £2.50 will be applied to all phone and internet bookings.


  • Captioned - Captioned
  • Signed - Signed
  • Audio Description - Audio Description
  • Relaxed Performance - Relaxed Performance
  • Dementia Friendly Performance - Dementia Friendly Performance
  • Post Show Discussion - Post Show Discussion
  • Sing Along - Sing Along
  • Parent & Baby Performance - Parent & Baby Performance
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Major funders
Arts Council England Leeds City Council The Liz and Terry Bramall Foundation
Principal Capital and Families Partner
Caddick Developments
Principal Capital and Access Partner
Irwin Mitchell Solicitors