Trafalgar Studios (One)

14 Whitehall, London, SW1A 2DY GB

Buried Child

Buried Child Tickets

based on 21 reviews

Trafalgar Studios (One)

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Starring: Ed Harris, Jeremy Irvine, Amy Madigan

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Love thought-provoking theatre? Want to see an all-time American classic layered with meaning, a critique of the American Dream, family life and mythology? If so this is perfect, genuinely powerful stuff, the kind of theatre that effortlessly wins awards and delights audiences.

Buried Child was originally produced in 1978 at the Magic Theatre in San Francisco, directed by Robert Woodruff. Its inaugural New York production took place at the Theater for the New City a few months later, then it moved to the Theater de Lys in New York's Greenwich Village. In spring 1979 it won the playwright a coveted Pulitzer Prize.

The first London production took place at the Hampstead Theatre Club in 1980, directed by Nancy Meckler. In spring 1996 it enjoyed an eight week Broadway run after a run at Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre. When Gary Sinise directed the play at the Brooks Atkinson Theater, it won five Tony nominations.

In 2016 the play returned to New York, raising the rafters at the Pershing Square Signature Center. Staged by the New Group, it was produced and directed by Scott Elliott, and starred husband and wife in real life, Ed Harris and Amy Madigan... and the rest is history. This play comes with an exceptional pedigree, a classic of our times.

Buried Child – The story

Farmers Dodge and Halie are struggling to keep their land and their sanity. Their wayward adult sons Sommer and Sparks are always in trouble, life's a struggle and when their grandson Vince arrives with his girlfriend, things get very weird. There's a dark secret being kept under wraps, and the family is determined to keep it from Vince.

This is a poetic and painfully funny take on American family life, and it ultimately destroys the illusions of family and home, with potent themes of family disintegration and disillusionment with the American Dream, all set against the hopeless backdrop of a real-life rural economic slowdown.

The critics love it, always a good sign. Take Ben Brantley of the New York Times, who calls it, “Thoughtful and absorbing”. In his view, “Ed Harris is splendid. Mr. Elliott’s production wants us to listen to Mr. Shepard’s characters as if they truly were members of our own family, so that (just like our own family) they can sucker-punch us when we feel most unguarded." Other respected critics say much the same thing – this is a totally brilliant production, so grab tickets while you can.

Buried Child tickets – A potent and powerful play

Want premium, full price or discount Buried Child tickets? We always have great availability and you'll enjoy excellent value for money on the complete range of ticket types and seats, cheap to posh.

Press Reviews

Ed Harris - a totally intoxicating performance The British Theatre Guide

A thrillingly mix of American Gothic and Pinteresque menace Time Out

Harold Pinter meets Eugene O’Neill - a great family drama with a bitumen black heart’ What's On Stage

Wickedly funny, full of rich black humour London Theatre

Sam Shepard’s ripe slice of American gothic with its deeply dysfunctional family symbolic of a divided and disillusioned America Financial Times

Frighteningly realistic as a woman who has no idea that she is drowning not waving’ The Times

Customer Reviews

What to expect:






Recommended for:


based on 21 reviews

Weirdly entertaining

London Box Office customer

The cast performances were superb. A thoughtful and thought provoking play that was brought to life perfectly by this cast, they got it just right Ed Harris is a class act, a true professional of his art.

London Box Office customer

What was all the fuss about?!!

Too much whining and noise for a very weak plot line. The direction was strange... The sound of the rain was only at the start of a couple of scenes and mysteriously stops as the characters start speaking. Ed Harris's character, the old man coughs (melodramatically) only twice and at other equally heated moments carries on sounding fit and fine.

London Box Office customer

Not a must see

Cast was amazing, story line too confusing

London Box Office customer


London Box Office customer

Interesting, but a typical Sam Shepard play.

London Box Office customer

Accessible and thought provoking

Great show. We greatly enjoyed the journey through the show and the discussions about it afterwards.

London Box Office customer

Innovative showcase of stereotypes of America

Harris was wonderful, character was believable and very humorous at times. An interesting play, would highly recommend. Happy viewing.

London Box Office customer


Very good show, interesting story line, very comical, and great acting. All views of the stage are good, but as the tiered seats are very steep, best to have a box, for more leg room. A great show for a night out!

London Box Office customer

Great Show

Great show

London Box Office customer

Great stage production

London Box Office customer

Cast were amazing and great story

Loved this 3 act show, great cast and excellent value for money.

London Box Office customer

A bleak look at horrible events

Like a train wreck, hard to look away. The story was fascinating and the characters compelling while being places you never want to be and people you never want to meet. Overall, surprisingly entertaining.

London Box Office customer

So clever, amazing acting!

London Box Office customer

Ed Harris is masterful.

London Box Office customer

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Review: BURIED CHILD at the Trafalgar Studios

08 Dec 2016

Buried Child Play The people of America's rust belt, a vast area of deprivation, formally the home of now depleted heavy industry, have been much in our minds recently. Their disillusionment with and establishment politics are seen as a major contributing factor in the election of President-elect Donald Trump.

An Exciting Autumn Line up at Trafalgar Studios

02 Sep 2016

Buried Child - Trafalgar Studios There are exciting rumours about the autumn season at Trafalgar studios with more details available soon. Here’s what we know so far!

The line up looks set to include BURIED CHILD, Sam Shepard’s gleefully gothic tale of dysfunctional rural American life.

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Theatre Address

Trafalgar Studios (One)
14 Whitehall, London, SW1A 2DY GB

Trafalgar Studios (One) - Theatre Address

travel info


  • Air conditioned
  • Bar
  • Infrared hearing loop
  • Member of Q-Park scheme
  • Toilets

Theatre Info

  • Capacity: 382
  • Year built: 1930