As much as we don’t want to give away any ‘spoilers’, we recognise that this play can cause distress or trigger challenging emotions for some of our audience members.

Before you book, if there are themes that are particularly upsetting to you and you want to discuss the production further, please contact

Our hope is that this document will help you access support in advance of your visit and practice self-care after engaging with the show.

1a. About
the Show
Slave Play is about race, identity and sexuality in twenty-first century America. At the MacGregor Plantation the Old South is alive and well. The heat in the air, the cotton fields and the power of the whip. Yet nothing is quite as it appears… or maybe it is.
1b. Trigger
This play contains nudity, sexual content, simulated sexual violence, and racially violent and discriminatory language. Performances begin promptly. Slave Play is recommended for those aged 16 and above.
2. What is
Self-care is the act of looking after yourself and your needs. The concept of self-care came out of a black feminist movement in the 60’s/70’s, in response to discrimination and oppression. It is a proactive and purposeful practice to find balance and treat your own emotional, mental, social, spiritual and physical needs. Often self-care is about recognising the importance of preserving and protecting our minds, our peace and our mental wellbeing. It can be an act of self-care to notice your space, your people, your body, your things. One of the ways to action self-care is to identify activities that provide you pleasure. Self-care is a journey of self and reflecting, and it is important to seek help if it’s needed.
3. Self-Care
“this is not a place for masks and a lot of masks the ones we hold up and over our faces...”

Bring a friend

See the show with someone you trust.

Talk to someone 

There is a list of organisations provided in section 4 of this self-care guide.

Listen to your body

You might feel tense or so uncomfortable that you decide that it's too much. There is nothing wrong with that. You can step away and that's okay.


Breathing is a great way to induce a feeling of calm. Try breathing in for 4-6 seconds, hold your breath for 4-6 seconds, exhale for 4-6 seconds. Repeat this for as long as you need.

Connect with Nature

Go for a walk if you can. Connecting with nature can support us to feel grounded and can help with our emotional and mental wellbeing.

After the Show

At the end of every performance of Slave Play, the theatre auditorium will stay open for 15 minutes to provide a reflective space. Please feel free to take your time. If you have found the show distressing, we suggest that you talk with the person you are with, call a friend or contact one of the support services listed in section 4 in this self-care support guide.

Grounding exercises

These can bring you back into the present moment. Here are somethings that you can do to minimise or relieve distress:

  • Plant your feet on the ground, with your back supported by a chair. Cross your arms against your chest and tap your shoulders or place your palms on your knees and gently squeeze, release and repeat.
  • Notice 5 things you can see, four things you can feel, three things you can hear, two things you can smell and one thing you can taste.
  • Listen to your favourite song or a piece of music that brings you joy.
  • Do a body scan - where you notice how parts of your body feel in the moment. Start with your toes, move up to your ankles, shins, knees. Concentrate on your thighs, up to your hips and waist. Take a deep breath. Feel your chest rise. Focus on how your shoulders feel, roll them, then notice your upper arms, to your elbows, down to your wrists, thumbs and each finger. Wiggle them.
  • Take a shower, bath or wash your hands - concentrate on the sensation of water on your body and how that feels.
“May you continue to care and prioritize yourself, because you are worthy of a life that is robust, resilient, and genuinely rewarding.”

– Angela K. Davis, Building a Foundation: Strategies for self-care and emotional wellbeing.

The performing company for Slave Play have been offered and provided with drama therapy sessions, both during rehearsal and across the run. Thank you for reading this and for coming to the show. We think it is a special and important piece of theatre and we look forward to sharing it with you.

4. Support/ Resources

Provides advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem.
0300 123 3393

Provides 24/7 emotional support to anyone in emotional distress, struggling to cope, or at risk of suicide.
116 123
Black Minds Matter
The Black, African and Asian Therapy Network
The Brave Project
London Friend
is a lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans charity which supports the health and mental well-being of the LGBTQ community in and around London. They offer counselling and support around issues such as same-sex relationships, sexual and gender identity
020 7833 1674

Switchboard LGBT+ Helpline
Switchboard provides information, support and referral service for lesbians, gay men and bisexual and trans people – and anyone considering issues around their sexuality and/or gender identity.

0800 0119 100(10am–10pm every day)


Stop Hate UK
Stop Hate UK is a charity that provides independent and confidential support to people affected by Hate Crime.  They provide confidential Hate Crime reporting services in various areas of the UK, including a 24 hour helpline. Please check their list of areas carefully before calling.
0800 138 1625
07717 989 025
Victim support

The Havens
Havens are specialist centres across London where victims of rape and serious sexual assault can get support and advice.  Even if you’re not ready to talk to the police, the Havens can provide you with medical help and advice about your options in confidence.

Victim Support
A national charity dedicated to helping anyone affected by crime – not just victims and witnesses, but friends, family and anyone else caught up in the aftermath.

24/7 Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Line
Provides free, specialist and confidential support for victims of sexual violence or abuse. Open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
0808 500 2222

Rape Crisis
A national charity offering confidential help, advice and a range of Rape Crisis Centres around the UK.

A national charity providing advice and support to members of the LGBT community.

Survivors UK
A national charity supporting men who have been raped or sexually assaulted.

A specialist sexual violence and abuse charity led by the needs of its clients.

The Survivors Trust
Provides specialist support for women, men and children who have survived rape, sexual violence or childhood sexual abuse.

A national charity with a free helpline for reporting crime anonymously.

Refuge supports women, children and men with a range of services, including refuges, independent advocacy, community outreach and culturally specific services.

Women’s Aid
Women’s Aid is a national charity working to end domestic abuse against women and children.

Men’s Advice Line
Confidential helpline for men experiencing domestic violence from a partner or ex-partner (or from other family members).

0808 801 0327
The Empowerment Group