Poleroid Theatre in association with Mercury Theatre present Plastic by Kenneth Emson. Content by Chloe Nelkin Consulting.

Following a highly successful run at Latitude Festival, the multi-award winning Poleroid Theatre bring BAFTA nominated playwright Kenneth Emson’s Plastic to life at the Old Red Lion Theatre.  Directed by JMK 2017 award winner Josh Roche, this powerful new play explores how the insecurities of childhood can follow us into later life in this unflinchingly honest drama about time, memory and escape.

Remember the moment you became an adult? Or did you miss it?

Kev used to have a girlfriend called Lisa – she wore a fitted blazer and reebok classics and lit up the school yard. Kev used to be the captain of the school football team and he scored the winner in the All-Essex schools cup final.

Ben used to get beaten up most days. He stole money from his mum’s purse to pay off ‘Wicksy’. Now he’s an accountant. But Ben always had Jack. His loyal, unbreakable mate Jack. Adults are the kids that survive school right? But what if some kids don’t?

Set in a school in Essex, Emson’s poetic and unflinching production is an extraordinary mix of drama and performance poetry which tells the story of four young people who are forced into adulthood. Through its innovative verse, Plastic examines the creation of urban folklore and the sealed world of adolescence with all its unique pressures – how hard it can be to survive, and how hard it is to be left behind.

Director Josh Roche comments, ‘School is hell. We all go through it, but as adults we’re quick to patronise and diminish teenagers who scream for help. We made Plastic to talk about the horror that takes root in schools, a horror of loneliness, frustration and identity – a horror that can define the lives of adults well into retirement.’

Plastic is generously supported by Arts Council England, Royal Victoria Hall Foundation and The Old Vic Theatre.

Poleroid Theatre

Run by Artistic Director Molly Roberts who is one of The Old Vic 12 for 2016-2017 and a Stage One New Producer, Poleroid Theatre are a new writing theatre company and pioneers of Artist Development. We discover, curate and give a platform to fast-rising emerging writers, actors and directors from across the UK. Our collaborative method gives writers the vital time and space to work practically alongside a director and professional actors to create bold, current, high-quality new theatre work which pushes the boundaries of form and style, and we bring this work to areas of low cultural engagement across the nation. In 2014 we were nominated for three Off West End Theatre Awards for our production of Free Fall by acclaimed television and stage writer Vinay Patel

(Murdered by my Father), published by Methuen Drama. Our recent production This Must Be The Place by Brad Birch and Kenneth Emson (Latitude 2016 and Vault Festival 2017) received 4* and 5* reviews and sold out its Vault run, winning the Vault’s Show of the Year Award, published by Nick Hern Books. 

Other work includes The Locker Outings (five new plays by Vinay Patel, Sarah Kosar, Jonathan Schey, Helen Russell-Clark & Andrew Thompson for Vault Festival); The Allotment by Andrew Thompson (Live Theatre, supported by Arts Council England); Bangin’ Wolves by Phoebe Éclair-Powell and Life On A Plum by Luke Barnes (Wilderness Festival). Poleroid also produce Write It : Mic It, an acclaimed eclectic performance platform which has given opportunities to 200 established and emerging artists from across the UK since 2012 and has been hosted at the Paines Plough Roundabout, Live Theatre, Vault Festival, Hackney Attic, Ritzy Brixton, Castle Hotel Manchester, Wilderness Festival and Standon Calling Festival. 

Plastic by Kenneth Emson

Tuesday 3rd – Saturday 21st April

Old Red Lion Theatre
418 St John Street
London EC1V 4NJ

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