Plays by Kenneth Emson


Nick Hern Books
Type: Text

Kenneth Emson’s play Plastic is a school drama set in small-town Essex, filtered through the memories of its four characters. It was first performed at the Old Red Lion Theatre, London, on 3 April 2018 before transferring to the Mercury Theatre, Colchester, on 26 April 2018, produced by Poleroid Theatre in association with the Mercury Theatre.

The play is set in a small town along the Thames Estuary in Essex. Kev and Ben are in their thirties, looking back on their school years when Kev was captain of the school football team and scored the winner in the All-Essex Schools Cup Final, while Ben used to get beaten up most days, and stole money from his mum’s purse to pay off the school bully. On the day that Kev is anticipating a date with 15-year-old Lisa, she bunks off school for the afternoon with Ben and Jack, two friends with whom she has grown up but who are regarded as outsiders by their classmates. When Ben starts listing notorious American school killings, the threat of violence hangs in the air. All the characters speak in colloquial rhyming dialogue throughout.

The premiere production was directed by Josh Roche and designed by Sophie Thomas. It was performed by Mark Weinman (as Kev), Thomas Coombes (as Ben), Louis Greatorex (as Jack) and Madison Clare (as Lisa). 

Kenneth Emson's plays include Rural (White Bear); Whispering Happiness (Tristan Bates); Our Nobby (Eastern Angles, touring); The Peterborough Effect (Eastern Angles, touring); England Street (Oxford Playhouse); and Terrorism (Bush Theatre). He also writes for TV and film and was nominated for a Bafta Craft Award in 2016 for his work on The Last Hours of Laura K.