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“They’re leading us on, they’re conning us. Open the coffins!”

In a small town in Syria, soldiers are celebrated as heroes and grieving families are nourished on propaganda.
As the coffins pile up, the local party leader decides on a radical compensation scheme: a goat for each son martyred.

 “Has anyone ever told the truth? Has anyone ever demanded it? Does anyone want it? Does anyone even need it?"

Goats is a major new work by Syrian playwright and documentary filmmaker Liwaa Yazji developed as part of the Royal Court’s long term project with writers from Syria and Lebanon supported by the British Council.
Royal Court Associate Director Hamish Pirie (Violence & Son, Who Cares, The Internet is Serious Business) directs.

Goats was staged as a reading in the Jerwood Theatre Downstairs as part of Told from the Inside: new plays from Syria and Lebanon in March 2016.

Goats reviews

4 reviews
Verified purchase
15 Dec 2017

I saw this play with my daughter and as you must well know, there s there is no pleasing everyone at the same time. I found the first half slow going and my daughter the second. We were both confused about the fridges on stage and dubious about some of the acting. We thought the play lacked in pace. I think we both felt if the play had been shorter and a bit more 'absurdist' overall, we would have given it 4 stars. We really liked the topic matter and felt that the regimes lies were well explored.

Leah Hoskin
Verified purchase
9 Dec 2017

subject brave and needed ,sadly the writing need tweaking tightening abbreviating.Direction was wanting, slow lacked snap, movement contrived and often artificial. Goats delightful but distracting ONE goat could have symbolised the irony, and cynicism of one symbolic loss which would have spoken for all. the deaths. The 2nd half picked up in dialogue and pace , an excellent performance from the young actor ., BUTand the horror of the hanging was superbly handled Set would have benefited from l3 less T VS rear large T V sufficient , Design otherwise very imaginative and professional. BUT as always 3 cheers for the Royal Court commitment,long may it reign

Jenny Digby
Verified purchase
8 Dec 2017

Sadly the only stars of this play were the live goats! The set didn't help some rather average acting and a weak play. We left at the interval.

Verified purchase
7 Dec 2017

Goats is a brave try at putting the human side of the shambolic strife in Syria onto the stage. It works at an emotional level, but the storyline is unconvincing, and there are too many diversions. While the video screens provide some sort of connection to the action outside, the video content essentially stylised, and doesn't really communicate much of the chaos and destruction involved. The goats are a pleasant - and pretty - touch, and reflect the reality of the situation of bereaved Syrians.



Sloane Square, London SW1W 8AS

Cancellation Policy

No exchanges or refunds after purchase. 


To be advised.

Good To Know

Captioned Performance Tuesday 19 December 2017

Audio described Matinee Saturday 23rd December at 2.30pm Touch Tour at 1pm.

Suitable For Children

Age Guidance of 14+

When Can I Go

Friday 24 November 2017 – Saturday 30 December 2017

Monday – Saturday 7.30pm (except 30 Nov & 1 Dec 7pm)

Thursday & Saturday matinees 2.30pm (from 2 December 2017)


Where Do I Go

Jerwood Theatre Downstairs

Royal Court Theatre

Sloane Square