Opening Skinner’s Box


Why do we love? When would we kill?

How do we learn? Why do we believe in the unbelievable?

What is memory? Why do we keep doing things that hurt us?

These were questions for religion and philosophy till about a hundred years ago. Then science joined the conversation and, according to science, pretty much everything we think about ourselves is wrong.

Inspired by the fascinating book by Lauren Slater, Opening Skinner’s Box is a whistle-stop tour of the scientific quest to make sense of what we are and who we are, told through ten great psychological experiments and the stories of the people who created them.

We welcome the trailblazing Improbable to Mayfest for the first time with this fascinating new work.

Post-show discussion with Improbable following performance on Friday 20th.

An accomplished production elegantly realised.

The Yorkshire Post

Two hours of compelling theatre

The I-paper

A fascinating, if at times alarming, insight into the scientific quest for understanding what it means to be human”

✭✭✭✭ The Times

Evocative, adventurous and insightful […] undoubtedly one of the must-see shows of this season.”

Entertainment Focus

Opening Skinner’s Box is a fantastic piece of theatre that will stay with you long after you’ve left the auditorium.

✭✭✭✭ The Reviews Hub

Improbable is one of the brilliant faces of British Theatre

The Observer

Co-produced with Northern Stage and West Yorkshire Playhouse. The Wexner Center for the Arts at The Ohio State University is lead commissioner through its Artist Residency Award programme. The work is co-commissioned by Lincoln Center Festival, New York and the Brisbane Festival. This work has been supported by a Wellcome Trust Arts Award. Presented in Bristol in collaboration with Bristol Old Vic and At-Bristol.

Bristol Old Vic Theatre
Start Date
May 20, 2016
End Date
May 21, 2016
7.30pm, 2.00pm (Sat matinee)
Running Time
Age Guidance
Box Office Number
0117 987 7877
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