Southwark Playhouse 19 – 25 Young Company have commissioned five acclaimed playwrights to write short plays responding to the theme of “Divided Britain”, exploring the reasons why the country was divided in the Brexit vote; the circumstances leading to the rise in anti-immigration; and the personal stories of those affected by austerity measures and the growing wealth gap.
Playaround by Luke Barnes
Queen Georgi is looking for someone to be her King. But when she unexpectedly falls in love with a commoner named Dave, it doesn’t look like it will be happily ever after.
Brit(ish) by Rose Lewenstein
Keep Calm and Carry On is so passé – in the brave new world of 2016, Britain needs a new slogan to sell itself to the world.
The Body Politic by Marcelo dos Santos
As a patient with very particular injuries lies on an operating table, a team of doctors discuss their conflicting approaches to medicine.
Meat by Jessica Sian
Desperate times lead to desperate measures for some people eager to get their latest fix.
Speak British by Kalungi Ssebandeke
It seems some British people want to get rid of all ‘foreigners’ on our shores. But who’s really more dangerous?
We will also be presenting Central Line by Young Company member Andrew Rowe.
About the writers:
Luke Barnes is an award-winning playwright, whose stage credits include: Bottleneck at Soho Theatre with HighTide, Chapel Street at The Bush, Eisteddfod at HighTide, A Wondrous Place at Royal Exchange Manchester and UK Tour, Ten Storey Love Song at Hull Truck, Who’s Afraid Of The Working Class at Liverpool Unity, The Saints at the Nuffield Theatre Southampton, Weekend Rockstars at Battersea Arts Centre, Hull Truck and UK tour, Beats North at Northern Stage, In Wonderland at Liverpool Everyman and Weekday Nights at The Unicorn. On television: Minted in Manchester for Channel 4.
Rose Lewenstein’s first play Ain’t No Law Against Fish ‘N’ Chips received a staged reading at the Royal Court Young Writer’s Festival 2012. She was a member of the Royal Court’s Young Writer’s Programme and has recently developed a new play, Now This Is Not The End on their Supergroup which was produced in a 4 week run at the Arcola Theatre in June 2015. She is currently developing a new play with director Richard Twyman called Cougar. Her most recent play Darknet opened at the Southwark Theatre in April 2016 with Russell Bender directing.
Marcelo dos Santos is a Brazilian/Australian writer who grew up in Australia and the UK. He is currently under commission to Lucky Giant (NBC International) to write a sitcom pilot called Old Dogs. As part of the Escalator Play Scheme Marcelo is writing a new play entitled Forever with support from ACE, Hightide Theatre, Watford Palace Theatre and the Bush Theatre. Marcelo has been on attachment at the Royal Court Theatre having graduated from their 2013 Supergroup and is currently writing a new play, A Romantic Comedy, as part of the Escalator East Scheme with support from HighTide Festival Theatre and Arts Council England. He is also co-founder of High Hearted Theatre, which produces new writing in non-traditional theatre spaces.
Jessica Sian was born in Johannesburg and presently resident in London. Her work so far has been heavily influenced by contemporary South Africa and its struggle towards a working democracy. Her debut play Klippies, directed by Chelsea Walker, received outstanding reviews in its four week run (May – June 2015) at the Southwark Playhouse. She is currently writing her second play The Knock-Knock Beatle and developing new ideas for theatre, film and television. She is also under commission from the Southwark Playhouse to adapt Eiko Kadono’s Kiki’s Delivery Service for their 2016 Christmas show. Jessica was on the Royal Court’s Young Writers Programme in 2013 and has recently been nominated for an Offie for Most Promising Playwright. Most recently she has been on attachment to the National Theatre Studio.
Kalungi Ssebandeke’s first full length play, Assate Taught Me, will be produced at the Gate Theatre in 2017 and has been longlisted for the Alfred Fagon Award. His other plays include View of Her Own Beauty, My Darling Wife, The Star and Raceless. His acting credits include The Taming of The Shrew (Two Gents); We Are Proud to Present…(Bush Theatre, The Offies – Best Ensemble): One Monkey Don’t Stop No Show (Eclipse Theatre), and an upcoming role on BBC’s Doctor Who. For television, his credits include Cucumber, The Well, Dubplate Drama and The Dumping Ground; and for film Shoot Me and Columbite Tantalite.
Chelsea Walker, Claudia Carlsen and the Company
Harvey Steven Meneses