Plays

Billy Wonderful

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

A play about fathers, sons and football, Billy Wonderful is a fast-paced coming-of-age play pulsing with all the excitement and physicality of match-day.

As one-time boy wonder Billy Walters relives his debut in a Merseyside derby at the age of nineteen, ninety minutes cut across twenty-two years and fellow players become family and friends, enemies and lovers. Both Billy and the play are consumed by football: match commentators hover over his life, and fans shout their chants over the scenes. Billy flickers between an eager and hopeful child, self-satisfied young man convinced he is at the top of his game, and a slightly older but disillusioned drifter, desperate not to miss out on his dream and end up like his father.

Billy Wonderful is a captivating story of fame and fortune, disappointment and family. The play premiered at the Liverpool Everyman in 2009.

Birdboy

Aurora Metro Books
Type: Text

On an ancient fortress, two boys swear a pact of friendship. Eddie and Tim create their own den up on the Knoll, a secret place for heroes. The only problem is, winter is setting in and Eddie won't come down. As the snow falls, Tim must decide whether to take food to Eddie or betray him by telling the grown ups where he is. It is a play about transitions from childhood to adolescence, from loner to friend.

Blackbird

Faber and Faber
Type: Text

Fifteen years ago Una and Ray had a relationship.

They haven't set eyes on each other since.

Now, years later, she's found him again.

Blackbird premiered at King's Theatre as part of the Edinburgh International Festival, in August 2005, and transferred to the Albery Theatre in London's West End in 2006. The production received the 2007 Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Play. In 2007, the play opened simultaneously at the Manhattan Theater Club in New York and at American Conservatory Theatre, San Francisco.

Black Diamond: The Years the Locusts Have Eaten

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

In Black Diamond (2007), J. Nicole Brooks interrogates contemporary connections and discontinuities between the Africans in Liberia and African Americans in the United States. Set in 1999, the play opens in the middle of the second Liberian civil war, which eventually resulted in the overthrow of brutal despot Charles Taylor and his arrest as a war criminal. At issue in this drama is the question of what should be the responsibility of the United States to this war-torn African state racked by genocidal atrocities and human rights violations.

After all, Liberia has a unique bond to the United States, beginning in 1827 when former black slaves from the United States attempted to settle Liberia. At the centre of her drama, Brooks places an African American journalist sent by the BBC to cover the war story. As Americans and the world turn a seemingly deaf ear toward the suffering in Liberia, this journalist faces his own life-altering questions as to his duty to his profession and his obligation as a black man to this intra-racial conflict.

Fast-paced and episodic in structure, Black Diamond’s eclectic form also rubs up against convention, assaulting the audience’s senses as moments of flashback clash against burlesque enactments, docudrama narrativization, and rap music interludes. The play’s structure informs its content. The contrasts and incongruities in style underscore the contradictory cultural politics at play within this catastrophic African struggle. By depicting rebel soldiers that associate their own brutality and swagger with the urban cool of African American hip hop, Brooks’ play showcases the complications and ambiguities of black cultural traffic, the flow and, importantly, the friction of black imagery.

With its structural hybridity and diverse representations of blackness, Black Diamond enacts the post-black.

Blackout

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

Anderson's note on the play tells us that 'Blackout is based on a true story. It was told to me by a young man called Peter over several cups of tea.

'When I spoke to him, Peter was serving a probation sentence for attempted murder. He committed the crime when he was fifteen years old and was lucky not to be in jail. I didn't really know what to expect before I met him, but Peter wasn't at all what I expected. He was funny, articulate, thoughtful, passionate, a bit cheeky. More than anything he had this burning desire to communicate. So I took his words and turned them into a short monologue. Then I gave him a copy to take home. He said he was going to read it carefully and come back to me with corrections. Next time I saw him, he told me he'd read the text out loud to his mum and that she'd cried. He also told me I got the name of his sword wrong.'

Blackout is the true story of a 15-year-old boy charged with attempted murder who tries to piece together the events in his life that have brought him into a secure care unit and threaten to keep him there. This short play packs a big emotional punch with its stylistic economy and razor-sharp storytelling.

Commissioned by the Royal National Theatre for NT Connections it was originally performed in the Cottesloe Theatre in July 2008. ThickSkin's production of the play won the Arches Brick Award, 2010, at the Edinburgh Festival before embarking on a tour of the UK.

Bliss

Nick Hern Books
Type: Text

Bliss is Caryl Churchill's translation of French-Canadian writer Olivier Choinière's play Felicité, exploring modern society’s obsessions with celebrity and its impact on private lives. It was first performed in this translation at the Royal Court Jerwood Theatre Upstairs, London, on 28 March 2008.

A Wal-Mart cashier and her fellow workers flick through celebrity gossip magazines and talk about Céline, a local girl who is now a famous singer (the character is strongly identified with real-life singer Céline Dion). But when they come across some ominous headlines about the star, they begin prying into the potential reasons behind her recent shrinking from the spotlight. At the same time they tell the story of Isabelle, Céline’s biggest fan,who, after being abused and tortured by her own family, has come to work at Wal-Mart.

The Royal Court premiere was directed by Joe Hill-Gibbins and designed by Jeremy Herbert, and performed by Brid Brennan, Hayley Carmichael, Neil Dudgeon and Justin Salinger.

Bloody Wimmin

Nick Hern Books
Type: Text

Lucy Kirkwood’s Bloody Wimmin is a short play written for the Tricycle Theatre’s Women, Power and Politics season, staged at the Tricycle, London, in June–July 2010. The play examines the impact of the 1980s Greenham Common protests and the fight for nuclear disarmament. It was first performed at the Tricycle on 4 June 2010, in rep with short plays by Marie Jones, Moira Buffini and Rebecca Lenkiewicz.

It’s 1984 and the peace camp at Greenham Common is in full swing. Mother-to-be Helen is torn between her commitment to the cause of nuclear disarmament and her expectant husband back home. Twenty-five years later and her now adult son, James, is an environmental activist, railing against what he perceives as sexual exploitation in the way the media is covering their protests.

The Tricycle Theatre production was directed by Indhu Rubasingham with a cast including Niamh Cusack, Stella Gonet and Kika Markham.

The Blue Light

Playwrights Canada Press
Type: Text

Leni Riefenstahl, 100 years old, is in the office of a young female Hollywood studio executive. Leni's reason to be there is clear: to make one last desperate pitch to direct her first feature film in 50 years. A thought-provoking contemplation on art, politics, and the seduction of fascism, and a theatrical examination of a woman who danced one perfect dance with the devil and forever changed the way films are made. Leni Riefenstahl was one of the most remarkable and controversial women of the 20 century. Dancer, actor, photographer, and filmmaker, Riefenstahl caught the eye of Adolf Hitler with her prodigious first film: The Blue Light. A cinematic innovator, her decision to direct Triumph of the Will, got her blacklisted as a filmmaker until her death in 2003 at 101, unrepentant and mostly forgotten.

audio Boats on a River

LA Theatre Works
Type: Audio

American expatriate Sidney Webb and Sister Margaret, his British colleague, work tirelessly to rehabilitate Cambodian children from the nightmare of prostitution. After a surprise raid on a brothel, an eager young U.S. lawyer places three liberated orphans under Sidney and the Sister’s care. The girls begin the inspirational process of recovery under the loving watch of their new protectors. An excitingly original script by an emerging American playwright.

An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast performance featuring Samantha Abrigo, John Cabrera, Gregory Itzin, Jane Le, Amy Sara Lim, Emily Liu, William Mapother, Jenny O'Hara, Michelle Ongkingco, Elizabeth Pan and Keo Woolford.

Featuring: Samantha Abrigo, John Cabrera, Gregory Itzin, Jane Le, Amy Sara Lim, Emily Liu, William Mapother, Jenny O'Hara, Michelle Ongkingco, Elizabeth Pan, Keo Woolford

Bob’s Your Elf

Playwrights Canada Press
Type: Text

An elf named Bob gets banished from the North Pole to learn a lesson about cooperation. Because of his bad attitude, Santa sends him to a small town to help out with their Christmas pageant. Here, Bob is faced with a group of bumbling actors who are doing their best to put on the greatest darn Christmas show their town has ever seen.