'A classic example of the Bush at its quirky best...charming, funny, sad and original and has much to say about the times in which we live' **** Telegraph Wed 20 Jan - Sat 27 Feb, 2010

Due to popular demand, The Whisky Taster has been extended to play until Saturday 27th February

Barney and Nicola are advertising wonder kids. They win accounts with wit, charm and a secret weapon - Barney's ability to feel, smell and taste colours, and to translate these sensations into words.

Lately Barney has been finding things far too colourful and wishes his full throttle London life was more black and white, but Nicola is hell bent on winning accounts at all costs.

When the two hire an old Scottish Whisky Taster to help them with a new campaign, his strange wisdom slows the Londoners to a stop, just as the deadline looms.

A technicolour story about seeing things too clearly in a city that never stands still.

James Graham won the Catherine Johnson Award for the Best Play 2007 for Eden's Empire (Finborough). His previous plays include Little Madam and Sons of York at the Finborough, where he is Writer in Residence; Tory Boyz (Soho Theatre) and (Bush).

Please be advised, this play contains real cigarettes

We've also got some very special FREE post-show events lined up on the following dates:

Monday 1st February - Synaesthesia Panel Discussion

What does it feel like to see colours when you hear music? Actually see the calendar year in front and behind you, or taste unrelated flavours when you hear different words? James Wannerton - President of the UK Synaesthesia Association - will be shedding some light on synaesthesia, a condition which affects Barney in The Whisky Taster. He will be joined by playwright James Graham and director James Grieve.

Monday 8th February - Playwrights respond to The Whisky Taster

In an evening in aid of the UK Synaesthesia Association, playwrights Ben Ockrent, Nick Payne, Mina Maisuria, Molly Davies and Frazer Flintham have each written a five minute play in response to The Whisky Taster.

Directed by Ant Stones, the five plays will each explore a different one of the five senses: sight, sound, touch, taste and smell.

Tuesday 16th February - Whisky Talk and Tasting

If you're a whisky fan, join us for this talk by the Scotch Malt Whisky Society. Includes an onstage tasting demonstration with James Graham and James Grieve, with a chance for audience members to take part in the sampling.

Monday 22nd February - A Q&A with The Whisky Taster cast

To mark the final week of The Whisky Taster, we're pleased to be holding a special post-show Q&A with members of the cast.

Events will take place at the end of the show and run for 30-40 minutes. Open to all Whisky Taster ticket holders. Subject to availability

See the flickr gallery

What the papers say

Read more reviews


The Daily Telegraph

'This fine new play by James Graham is a classic example of the Bush Theatre at its quirky best. It is charming, funny, sad, and original and has much to say about the times in which we live...Like a great malt whisky, this rich, idiosyncratic drama leaves a long, complex and highly attractive aftertaste'


Charles Spencer

The Independent

'A brilliantly pacey and culturally penetrating new comedy ...It induces some of the exhilaration you get from the headlong knowingness of the best TV comedy, such as The Thick of It, while having the strong metaphoric framework of inspired theatre'


Paul Taylor


Writer - James Graham
Design - Lucy Osborne
Lighting - James Farncombe
Sound - Emma Laxton


cast includes

Samuel Barnett
Kate O'Flynn
Simon Merrells
Chris Larkin
John Stahl



Dates - 20 January 2010 - 20 February 2010
Mon-Sat - 7.30pm
Saturday Matinees - 30 January, 6, 13, 20 February 2.30pm (£13)
Previews - 20-23, 25 January 7.30pm (£13 (£9 concs))
Press Night - 26 January 7pm
Audio Described Performance - 2 February 7.30pm
Captioned Performance - 3 February 7.30pm
Prices - £15 (£13 concs)