The Unconquered is a dark, furious, fast-moving story about a fiercely intelligent young girl and her relentless rejection of the establishment. When suddenly a people’s revolution breaks out and a mercenary soldier intrudes into the family home, the conflict between the regime and the unconquered girl explodes.

Frighteningly dark and brutally funny, The Unconquered explores the individual’s struggle against the state and its absurd imperialist logic.

Stellar Quines commissioned and developed The Unconquered through the Rehearsal Room initiative at the Traverse Theatre, where the play had two public readings in spring and autumn 2004.

The Unconquered was Stellar Quines’ fourth collaboration with The Byre Theatre, St Andrews, under Artistic Director Stephen Wrentmore. Its 2007 tour was then Stellar Quines’ biggest tour to date. Winner of Best New Play, Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland 2007, The Unconquered was such a success that the production was remounted in 2008 with an all-new cast. This second UK tour culminated in a run in New York as part of the Brits off Broadway season at the 59E59 Theaters.

Visual Artist Keith McIntyre’s artworks – created in the rehearsal room and forming the basis of The Unconquered set design – were exhibited throughout the play’s tour.


‘Quite brilliant and savagely, excruciatingly painful … Torben Betts is just about the most original and extraordinary writer of drama we have… This play should be seen everywhere’ (Liz Lochhead)
‘… a real explosion of a 21st century theatrical energy, timely, well-crafted and unforgettable’ (The Scotsman )
‘If there is hope in his drama, it is that things of beauty (in this case, Betts’ exquisite language) can still be forged in the darkness. If ever we needed proof that the artist to whom the playwright is closest is the poet, it is here’ (Glasgow Sunday Herald)

Production Tour Dates


  • 14 – 17 February, The Byre Theatre, St Andrews
  • 20 February, Teesside University, Middlesborough
  • 23 – 24 February, Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough
  • 27 February – 3 March, Arcola Theatre, London
  • 6 March, The Customs House, South Shields
  • 7 March, North Edinburgh Arts Centre
  • 8 March, Brunton Theatre, Musselburgh
  • 9 March, Regal Community Theatre, Bathgate
  • 10 March, Cumbernauld Theatre
  • 13-14 March, Eastwood Park Theatre, East Renfrewshire
  • 15 March, Woodend Barn Arts Centre, Banchory
  • 16 March, Universal Hall Findhorn
  • 17 March, Birnam Institute, Dunkeld
  • 19 – 20 March, Lyth Arts Centre, nr Wick
  • 21 March, Strathpeffer Pavilion
  • 22 March, Aultbea Hall
  • 23 March, Lochcarron Village Hall
  • 24 March, Sabhal Mòr Ostaig – Seall, Sleat, Isle of Skye
  • 28 March, Palace Theatre, Kilmarnock
  • 29 March, Eastgate Theatre, Peebles
  • 30 – 31 March, Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh


  • 12 – 14 March, The Caves, Edinburgh
  • 15 March, Lochside Theatre, Castle Douglas
  • 18 March, Isle of Mull
  • 20 March, Paisley Arts Centre
  • 22 March, Macrobert Arts Centre, Stirling
  • 25 – 29 March, Arcola Theatre, London
  • 3 – 5 April, Dundee Rep Theatre
  • 8 – 12 April, Tron Theatre, Glasgow
  • 17 April, Red Shoes Theatre, Elgin
  • 18 April, Dornie Hall, Lochalsh
  • 1 – 18 May, 59E59 Theaters, Manhattan, New York (as part of the ‘Brits off Broadway’ Festival)

The Unconquered (2007 & 2008)

The Unconquered was an award-winning original production and world premiere, which toured the UK and to New York.

Creative Team

  • Writer: Torben Betts
  • Director : Muriel Romanes
  • Co-directors: A C Wilson & James Dacre
  • Movement : A C Wilson
  • Visual Artist and Designer : Keith McIntyre
  • Lighting Designer: Jeanine Davies
  • Sound Designer: Pete Vilk
  • Voice Coach : Linda Wise
  • Costume Maker & Associate Visual Artist: Catriona Maddocks


  • Nigel Barrett
  • Jane Guernier
  • Kevin McMonagle
  • Pauline Turner
  • Neal Barry
  • Nicola Harrison
  • Alexandra Mathie
  • Neil McKinven


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Images © Eamonn McGoldrick