Port by Simon Stephens is set entirely in Stockport, Stephens's hometown. Following his protagonist Racheal Keats, we watch her dissatisfaction with her surroundings ebb and escalate as those she loves begin to let her down or leave her behind. We see her at eleven years of age, hiding with her mother and younger brother from her father; at fourteen as her maternal grandfather dies in the absence of her estranged mother; and so on, until, the age of 24, she finally contemplates the prospect of leaving for herself, to see what's lies beyond the boundaries of her hometown.
Port is a play about leaving from the perspective of one who stays. Its Stockport setting is evoked with a personal touch as intimate as it is poignant: shown to be a town of departures with 'yer A6 for yer cars. Yer got yer viaduct for yer trains. M62. River fuckin' Mersey. Flight paths down Ringway', it depicts the emotional fallout of a transient life.
Port premiered at the Royal Exchange, Manchester in November 2002.