The Black Staircase

The Black Staircase | Durham Castle 

Warped by the weight of its own history, the Black Staircase is out of bounds. From steps worn smooth and tottering, legends abound.

For almost 200 years, autumn has brought a buzz of excitement to the thousand year old castle at the heart of Durham, as a new class of students rush in with gusto and trepidation. Within weeks, the Castle, England’s most enduring symbol of the Norman Conquest, is home. Its stories linger - tales of pranks, camaraderie, the thrill of victory, the shock of tragedy.

The Black Staircase was SPECIFIQ's inaugural production and was commissioned by the UNESCO World Heritage Site in Durham, in conjunction with Durham University, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Durham's World Heritage Site status. The production employed twenty-four spaces around Durham Castle and explored three moments from three separate centuries in the building's history.

It was performed to sell-out audiences in November 2011.


Olivia Collins
Tash Cowley
Doug Gibbs
Guy Hughes
Kate Hunter
Sam Kingston-Jones
Sinead Leahy
Fergus Leathem
Paul Moss
Elisabeth Rose O'Connor
Charlie Warner
Christina Wolfe


Director: Oscar Blustin
Assistant Director: Sam Kingston-Jones
Designer: SPECIFIQ & Hannah Gregory
Producer: Tom Wynter

“Immensely Enjoyable” - Durham First Night

“An intricate dance...very well executed” -

“A most enjoyable and action-packed evening” – Councillor Les Thomson, Mayor of Durham