James Fritz's Parliament Square is a play that explores how far an individual should take a gesture of political protest in order to effect change. It won the Judges’ Award in the Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting 2015. It was first performed at the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester on 18 October 2017. The production then transferred to the Bush Theatre, London, from 30 November 2017.
The play follows the story of Kat, a young wife and mother, through three phases. In the first section, 'Fifteen Seconds', we watch as, instead of going to work one morning, she boards a train for London where she has determined to tip a can of petrol over her body in Parliament Square and set herself alight. We hear Kat on the trip to London in heated conversation with her inner voice as they play out the struggle between wanting to remain with her husband, Tommy, and daughter, Jo, and her belief that she will be bequeathing them a better world though her sacrifice. But she hasn’t bargained for the brave young woman, Catherine, who comes to her rescue and puts the flames out with her jacket. In the subsequent sections, Fifteen Steps and Fifteen Years, we see the consequences of Kat's actions play out in unexpected ways.
The first production was directed by Jude Christian and designed by Fly Davis. It was performed by Lois Chimimba, Esther Smith (as Kat), Damola Adelaja, Jamie Zubairi, Kelly Hotten, Joanne Howarth and Seraphina Beh.