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Y Touring: Stunted Trees and Broken Bridges

Monday 11 March - Wednesday 13 March 2013

Y Touring | Royal Albert Hall

Royal Albert Hall in partnership with Y Touring Theatre Company are staging the play, Stunted Trees and Broken Bridges.

The play engages in an informed debate about the ethical, social and legal issues arising from the development and impact of 'novel neurotechnologies' and explores the profound questions raised for personality, identity, responsibility and liberty, by progress in neuroscience.

The story revolves around a young man, Emerson, who begins to experience volatile episodes after the death of his mother. He is expelled from school after a violent outburst and then badly assaults a rival when provoked in his family home. Despite Emerson’s increasingly erratic behaviour and hostility, his girlfriend Hayley and sympathetic friend Miles, continue to offer their support, encouraging him to seek help. Facing his pending trial and becoming increasingly concerned about his inability to control his behaviour, he reluctantly agrees to undergo a brain scan. The analysis will determine if he has a brain abnormality and can therefore plead diminished responsibility in court. The outcome of the scan will govern his future but how reliable is this new technology and what are the consequences of using it in this way?

Y Touring is an award winning theatre company that truly get to the heart of the matter by engaging young people emotionally and intellectually with outstanding drama.

"How do you catch and hold the attention of restless teenagers? How do you interest anyone in the convolutions of science? How you do make exciting drama that is enthralling to watch? How do you explain the ethical dilemmas that affect our daily lives? How do you do all this without boring people to death? The answer is – uniquely – Y Touring." Baroness Joan Bakewell, 2010

This Theatre of Debate® programme consists of a stimulating performance and a thought-provoking, facilitated audience debate, enhanced by electronic voting technology. In addition the project is supported by preparatory worksheets and follow up resources, available online. The project is designed to support the achievement of attainment targets outlined for Key Stage 4 across Science, 21st Century Science, English, Drama, RS, Citizenship, PSHE and IT by engaging pupils and their teachers in an informed discussion, exploring the social, moral, scientific and political questions posed by advances in scientific research linked to human health.

Stunted Trees and Broken Bridges has been researched and developed in partnership with The Nuffield Council on Bioethics and The British Neuroscience Association and is generously supported by the Wellcome Trust and the Royal Albert Hall.

For more information on Y Touring visit

Wellcome Trust AMRC 


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There are five performances of Stunted Trees and Broken Bridges.

Monday 11 March 1pm
Wednesday 13 March 10am and 1pm

All performances take place in the Elgar Room and each play and debate lasts 2 hours.  The play is suitable for students aged 14 and above but is particularly aimed at those studying for their GCSEs. Doors open at 12.30 for the 1pm show and 9.30am for the 10am show.  Entry is via Door 8 only.

Tickets are free but there is a booking fee of £4.00 per student (no fee for teachers). Home Educators are entitled to one free adult ticket per group.
Please note: school groups must be accompanied by a minimum of 2 teachers/carers with 1 teacher per 10 students.

Please call the Box Office on 0845 401 5025 to book. Schools registered with our Education department can also book online using the Buy Tickets link above. To register your school please download and return the registration form.

Home educators
Please call the Box Office on 0845 401 5025.

If you experience any problems please contact us at

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