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The Trials

The Trials

By Dawn King
Imprint: Nick Hern Books
Paperback : 9781839040962, 80 pages, August 2022


The near future. The climate emergency is gathering pace, and our generation is being judged.

The jurors are children. But are they delivering justice – or just taking revenge?

Dawn King's searing play The Trials was first performed at the Düsseldorfer Schauspielhaus in January 2022, and was a finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. It received its British premiere at the Donmar Warehouse, London, in August 2022, directed by Natalie Abrahami.

The Trials offers an exciting opportunity for theatre companies to address the climate emergency and intergenerational conflict, as the jury of 12 to 17-year-olds hold the stage alongside three adult defendants.


"Compelling... combines the spirit of Margaret Atwood's speculative fictions with shades of Lord of the Flies... it holds us in its grip... a play that demands self-reflection and soul-searching beyond the auditorium."

- Guardian

"Chillingly compelling... convincing and urgent... a really distinct sense of fury that gives this drama its emotional fuel... haunting and thought-provoking — this is the best play about our climate emergency."

- The Arts Desk

"Bold, uncomfortable, urgent viewing... King cleverly nails not just the dystopian vision, but the evasions and lack of commitment to green living that have caused it."

- WhatsOnStage

"A gripping climate dystopia... compelling and fascinating... a parable about the near future that's also an unsettling window into the vertiginous chaos of revolution."

- Time Out

"Gripping... A timely and troubling speculative drama [that] imagines the grim repercussions of our current climate emergency."

- The Stage

"Exhilarating and engrossing."

- Reviews Hub