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Arts Theatre (Upstairs), 6-7 Great Newport St, London WC2H 7JB

Desert Rats

Closed August 13, 2016

Chaskis and Nate Rufus Edelman join forces to present a brand new and darkly comic production

Why See Desert Rats?


World Premiere: Desert Rats

Don't miss the world premiere of Nate Rufus Edelman's black comedy Desert Rats, an arresting exploration of life, crime and fraternity set in the hinterlands of America's contemporary Wild West. Edelman's last work, The Belle of Belfast, drew critical acclaim during its Off-Broadway run in 2015 and now this brand new production sees the playwright collaborate with transcultural theatre company Chaskis.

Taking their name from the Incan word for a highly-trained and physically fit group of messengers from the ancient civilisation, the company is the UK's foremost interpreter of works from the Americas, bearing new stories, practices and cultural perspectives across the Atlantic. Desert Rats forms part of their Summer festival Las Americas Above.

Find more information about Chaskis and the festival here:

What is Desert Rats About?

Estranged brothers Frank and Jessie reunite to plan a kidnapping in a squalid motel room on a hellish day in Barstow, California. When day turns into night, and Amber, their teenage victim, is brought out of the trunk, the siblings find their troubles have just begun.

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Additional Information


Opening night: 28 July 2016

And before you stop reading

Photo credit: Lidia Crisafulli

Cast and Creative


Josie Dunn
Huw Parmenter
Rowan Polonski


Nate Rufus Edelman

What we thought

intimate Engrossing BRILLIANT

A brilliantly crafted and well paced production

Forming a meaty part of London-based theatre company Chaskisí summer festival Las Americas Above, the story follows brothers Frank and Jesse, two struggling petty criminals, and their plan to kidnap a rich Valley girl for a life-changing ransom sum.

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Teia Fregona

Teia Fregona


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Additional Information

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