The Cane by Mark Ravenhill (6 Dec 2018)
It will be the biggest send off any teacher has ever had. No teacher is as loved. After 45 years as a dedicated teacher, Edward is looking forward to the imminent celebration to mark his retirement. But his home is under siege. A mob of angry students have gathered. A brick has been thrown through the window, he and his wife haven’t left the house for six days, and now his estranged daughter has arrived with her own questions. Why would they attack the most popular teacher in the school? The Cane explores power, control, identity and gender as well as considering the major failure of the echo-chamber of liberalism.
Rise Up!: Broadway and American Society from ‘Angels in America to Hamilton by Chris Jones (15 Nov 2018)
Penned by one of Americas best-known daily theatre critics and organized chronologically, this lively and readable book tells the story of Broadways renaissance from the darkest days of the AIDS crisis, via the disaster that was Spiderman: Turn off the Dark through the unparalleled financial, artistic and political success of Lin-Manuel Mirandas Hamilton. It is the story of the embrace of risk and substance. In so doing, Chris Jones makes the point that the theatre thrived by finally figuring out how to embrace the bold statement and insert itself into the national conversation – only to find out in 2016 that a hefty sector of the American public had not been listening to what it had to say. Chris Jones was in the theatres when and where it mattered. He takes readers from the moment when Tony Kushners angel crashed (quite literally) through the ceiling of prejudice and religious intolerance to the triumph of Hamilton, with the coda of the Broadway cast addressing a new Republican vice-president from the stage. That complex performance – at once indicative of the theatres new clout and its inability to fully change American society for the better – is the final scene of the book.
Before by Pat Kinevane (6 Nov 2018)
Some folk are impossible to buy for. Mama said it’s because they are usually the ones who are impossible to know… Before is set in Clerys of Dublin, on the very day this iconic department store shuts – for good. Pontius is inside, trying to choose a gift for his estranged daughter, whom he hasn’t seen for almost 20 years. He will meet her in an hour. This father’s journey is both beautiful and strange, from the isolation of his Midlands home to the madness of O’Connell Street. Before is a new play with much music, which follows the runaway international success of Fishamble’s Pat Kinevane Trilogy (Forgotten, Silent and Underneath), which have won Olivier, Scotsman Fringe First, Herald Angel, Argus Angel, Adelaide Fringe and Stage Raw LA awards. This edition was published to coincide with the original production which was first produced by Fishamble: The New Play Company in November 2018.
You Stupid Darkness! by Sam Steiner (7 Feb 2019)
A new play from the writer of Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons.
‘I just think it’s, you know, important to look at the good things that are happening as well.’
In a cramped, crumbling office, four volunteers spend a few hours every Tuesday night on the phone telling strangers that everything is going to be okay.
As the outside world disintegrates, they teeter on the edge of their own personal catastrophes. Their hopes and fears become entangled as they try, desperately, to connect with the callers and with each other.
You Stupid Darkness! is an urgent play about the struggle for optimism and community amid the chaos of a world falling apart. It was first seen at Theatre Royal Plymouth in February 2019, in a co-production between Paines Plough and Theatre Royal Plymouth.
Sam Steiner’s other plays include Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons and Kanye The First.
My Dad’s Gap Year by Tom Wright (10 Apr 2019)
Seriously William, you’re eighteen and you’re gay, for Christ’s sake. You’re meant to swim against the tide. A proper gap year is all about traveling. Seeing the world. Popping your cherry. This is our chance to start living. Me and you.
This is the story of Dave; a dad in mid-life freefall who takes his repressed, gay, teenage son William on a wild adventure to Thailand. Gay love, straight love, trans love, buddy-love, drinking games and beer bellies. Fasten your seat belts, it’s gonna be a mad one!