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How are entire communities rendered unthinking in a moment?
a collaboration with Empathy & Risk

Created by David Cotterrell and Ruwanthie de Chickera

Synopsis         Production       Reviews         Looking Back        Devising        Rehearsals        Cast         Downloads


Thought Curfew is a lyrical play which follows the journey of a child fleeing a fast- spreading phenomenon which renders people unthinking instantly. As the child
escapes the terrifying thought curfew she encounters ‘unthinking’ communities
already subject to it.

July, 2018
Kigali Genocide Memorial Amphitheatre,

Running time – 30 minutes
Language - English ; Sinhala

The opening show was supported by  Empathy and Risk,The Arts and Design Research Centre, Sheffield-Hallam University, UK
Rohith Peiris and the Sri Lankan community in Rwanda,The Ubumuntu Festival of Humanity



Thought Curfew is a mixed media live performance created by David Cotterrell and
Ruwanthie de Chickera. The play brought together animators, composers and
designers from the United Kingdom and actors from Sri Lanka. It was staged at the
4 th Ubumuntu Festival of Humanity held in Kigali, Rwanda.

The script is based on a short story written by Ruwanthie which was inspired by the
idea of a ‘Thought Curfew’, a concept coined initially by Sri Lankan student
playwright Tara Nadun.


‘Haunting, and thought provoking’

Ubumuntu Festival of Humanity

More Reviews


Looking Back

Artists involved in creating this play reflect on the creative process; explaining how the idea came about, how it grew, changed and what finally made it to the production.

Read the Resource Pack and watch the Stages Looking Back Video to gain insight into the process behind creating this play.



Thought Curfew has its roots in a tiny short story about a little girl running away from a thought curfew, pursued by her father. However, for the play it was expanded to address the research interests of David and Ruwanthie who were examining systemic breakdowns of empathy.
After a 20-day devising session with actors in Sri Lanka, four ‘worlds’ of structured thought and language were decided on – the worlds of the Refugee, Military, Development Aid and Religion.