Foreign Body Brocure V2 Cover Image.jpg

1 in 3 of our women
have survived sexual violence.
We are all affected.
We are all responsible.



Foreign Body is the beautifully crafted debut solo show by Imogen Butler-Cole about hope, healing and forgiveness after sexual assault. Told from a unique and challenging perspective, using a charged combination of verbatim and physical theatre, Foreign Body is a brave, liberating and life-affirming story.

Touring from March 2017


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vault fESTIVAl, london

March 7th - 11th 2018



7th March: Dr Nina Burrowes, Sejal Chad: The Psychology of Recovery

8th March: Sirin Kale, Nathalie McDermott: The Portrayal of Sexual Violence in the Media

9th March: Rachael Krishna, Laura Haynes: The Global Impact of The #MeToo Movement

10th March 3pm: Tanaka Mhishi, Ed Zephyr: Gender and Sexual Violence

10th March 6pm: Nimco Ali, Lucy-Anne Holmes: Activism & Sexual Violence

11th March: Sharmaine Lovegrove, Sereena Al Noor: Race and Reporting Sexual Violence




August 16th - 18th 2017

EMC Centre Dhaka, Bangladesh

Sunday 23 April


July 8th 2017

Hamilton House, Bristol

Saturday 1 April


Southbank Centre, WOW Festival, London

Sunday 12 March

Coventry Equalities Festival, Coventry

Monday 13 March

Conference for the Institute of Public Safety, Crime & Justice, Northampton

Thursday 16th March

Rich Mix, London

Sunday 19th March

In Development

Lyric Hammersmith, the Space Theatre, Pleasance London, Tristan Bates Theatre, RADA Festival, Off Beat Oxford, Calm Down Dear at Camden People's Theatre, Exeter Bike Shed, Hamilton House Bristol



The Stage “vital” ★★★★

Breaking the Fourth Wall “powerful” ★★★★⭑

Hiive “tender, stunning” ★★★★

Miro Magazine “honest, beautiful” ★★★★

London Theatre 1 “timely, assured” ★★★★

Reviews Hub “haunting, essential” ★★★★

British Theatre Guide “moving”

The Play’s the Thing “strangely beautiful, engaging”

A Younger Theatre “political theatre at its finest: personal and responsive”


"a number of shows... have addressed the male gaze and the objectification of women. However, none illustrates the ramifications of this quite so powerfully as Foreign Body."

★★★★1/2  Breaking the fourth wall


“Capture[s] the fragility felt by the invaded body, and the courage needed to forgive the man, or men, who invaded... a reminder of how important individual action is in creating political change.”

★★★★ The Stage


 “a brave and challenging work [that] approaches its emotive subject calmly and with respect, giving a much-needed voice to the voiceless women who experience sexual violence.”

Reviews Hub


"Foreign Body is an act of courage; a vulnerable revealing; an offering of connection to all those silenced... Imogen Butler-Cole de-stigmatises the conversation and her courage in sharing her story is a gift to all of us."



"a striking piece – the personal approach of the performance forces the audience to not only listen, but to look into the eyes of a survivor and question the rape myths that we are surrounded by." 



"a great piece of art that moved me deeply and made me think"



"a really beautiful, powerful and courageous show exploring healing after sexual assault. At times it was hard to remember to breathe."



The Future is Beautiful Podcast - Interview on Foreign Body

Soho Radio's Dojo - Interview on Foreign Body (from 35 minutes)


“Foreign Body is a delicate, assured, beautiful and subversive piece of work. It challenged and changed the conversation for me.” - Inua Ellams, writer of Barber Shop Chronicles and An Evening With an Immigrant

“I was completely inspired by Foreign Body. It... sparked conversation, created empathy, understanding and empowerment. Beautifully written and performed." - Lucy-Anne Holmes, Founder, No More Page 3

“An insightful and necessary piece of theatre. A powerful and poignant performance about coming to terms with sexual assault and finding community and healing afterwards.” - Winnie M Li, Author of Dark Chapter and Co-Founder, Clear Lines Festival

“Foreign Body is a truly amazing achievement. Carefully holding audiences on a moving journey through shock, violation and ultimately, slowly, finding voice and power again. Imogen's work blends the silence and embodiment of trauma with authentic voices of survivors, doing justice to both words and the things that cannot be said.” - Dr Nina Burrowes, Psychologist and Campaigner on Sexual Violence


Q + A Panelists

Dawn Thomas

Northampton 16.3.17

Manjit Rehal

Coventry CovUnity 13.3.17

Sahla Aroussi

Coventry CovUnity 13.3.17

Anne Marie Cockburn

Off Beat Oxford 23.6.16

Marina Cantacuzino

RADA Festival 29.6.16

Fee Scott

Bike Shed Exeter 11.10.16

Amanda Barnes

Bike Shed Exeter 11.10.16

Sandra Barefoot

Hamilton House Bristol 26.10.16

Lisa Benjamin

Hamilton House Bristol 26.10.16

Winnie M Li

Off Beat Oxford 23.6.16, RADA Festival, 29.6.16, WOW Festival, 12.3.17, Soho Theatre 17.8.17

Madeleine Black

Camden People's Theatre 30.9.16, Northampton 16.3.17

Emily Jacob

WOW Festival 12.3.17, Soho Theatre 17.8.17

Dr Nina Burrowes

Soho Theatre 16.8.17

Tanaka Mhishi

Soho Theatre 16.8.17

Simran Chawla

Soho Theatre 18.8.17


Soho Theatre 18.8.17

Charlotte Gage

Hamilton House Bristol 1.4.17

Anita Bhardwaj

Rich Mix 19.3.17





Writer/Performer Imogen Butler-Cole

Imogen has performed and devised work across the world. She has produced for Shakespeare’s Globe, cast a TV series for the BBC and directs at RADA. Favourite roles include Ophelia in The Secret Love Life of Ophelia; Ursula in Ursula and Titania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Director Fran Moulds

Fran has co-written Punchdrunk Enrichment shows Up Up and Away, The Lost Lending Library and The House Where Winter Lives.  She is an associate artist of Coney and makes adventures in learning with KIT Theatre. She directed Up and Down for Gaga Theatre and Witch for the Union Chapel.


Award-winning theatre maker and founder of the Authentic Artist Collective. Directing credits include Mairi Campbell: Pulse (Summerhall, Made in Scotland Showcase 2016), Stolen Voices, developed at the National Theatre Studio (Tête à Tête, Arcola, Grimeborn), Unbroken Line (Ovalhouse), Emily: the making of a militant suffragette (Cambridge Devised Theatre and Production Exchange, UK tour), Motherhood: (Un)speakable (Un)spoken (About Face, UK tour 2016/17).

Designer Ana Ines Jabares-Pita

A Multi award-winning designer, (Linbury Prize, Spirit of Dundee Award, European Opera Prize) Ines has worked at Sleepwalk Collective, the National Theatre of Scotland, Young Vic, The Gate, Ottawa Fringe and the Royal Court Theatre.

Composer/ Sound Designers Tara Franks & Filipe Sousa

Long term collaborators, Tara and Filipe, whose critically acclaimed trio Quest Ensemble have performed at the Vortex, Union Chapel, Wilton’s Music Hall and the Southbank Centre. Tara has performed with Akala, Jocelyn Pook, Kate Tempest and Shammi Pithia. Filipe has performed across the UK, Portugal, Poland, Malaysia, Singapore, The Gambia and the Middle East.

Executive Producer Ine Van Riet

Ine is Trusts Manager at the Bush Theatre and sits on the board of Iris Theatre. Producing credits include UK premieres at Southwark Playhouse, Theatre503, Finborough Theatre and Iris Theatre.