Monday, 17 February 2014

'PESTS' at the Royal Exchange

THE world premiere of PESTS by Bruntwood Prize winning playwright Vivienne Franzmann is to open at The Studio, Royal Exchange Theatre from Wednesday 12 March to Saturday 22 March 2014.

PESTS follows the story of two sisters from the same nest, both trapped in a tiny rotting world. Both cuffed to a past that refuses to release them. One wants out. The other needs her in. Commissioned by celebrated theatre company Clean Break, PESTS is the searing new play from Vivienne Franzmann (winner of the 2008 Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting 2008, George Devine Award 2010 and the Pearson Playwright Bursary for the Royal Court 2012). She developed the play during her time as Resident Playwright with the company, which included a number of residencies in women’s prisons, secure mental health and community settings.
The play is co-produced with Royal Exchange Theatre, which premiered Vivienne’s award-winning debut play MOGADISHU in 2008, and Royal Court Theatre, which commissioned and presented THE WITNESS in 2012.  
As Resident Playwright at Clean Break, Vivienne Franzmann’s work also included writing SOUNDS LIKE AN INSULT, a short play commissioned by Clean Break in association with National  Offender Management Service (NOMS) and the Department of Health. Performed by graduates of the company’s education programme, the production tours to criminal justice audiences, policy-makers and politicians. 
Lucy Morrison, Head of Artistic Programme for Clean Break, directs. For the company she has directed and developed BILLY THE GIRL by Katie Hims (Soho Theatre); LITTLE ON THE INSIDE by Alice Birch (Almeida Festival, Latitude 2013); IT FELT EMPTY WHEN THE HEART WENT AT FIRST BUT IT IS ALRIGHT NOW by Lucy Kirkwood (Arcola Theatre); THIS WIDE NIGHT by Chloë Moss (Soho Theatre / Theatre Live Newcastle / Plymouth Drum Theatre). Lucy originated and commissioned the Charged and Re-Charged seasons (Soho Theatre) in which she directed FATAL LIGHT by Chloë Moss and DORIS DAY by EV Crowe. Alongside heading up Clean Break’s Artistic Programme, Lucy was Artistic Director of the Almeida Festival 2013.

The cast includes Sinéad Matthews and Ellie Kendrick. Sinéad’s recent theatre credits include A TIME TO REAP at the Royal Court and BLURRED LINES at the National Theatre. Television credits include IDEAL (BBC 3) and BLACK MIRROR (Channel 4). Ellie’s recent theatre credits include THE LOW ROAD and IN THE REPUBLIC OF HAPPINESS at the Royal Court and ROMEO AND JULIET at Shakespeare’s Globe. Her film and television credits include AN EDUCATION and GAME OF THRONES (HBO).

The production is designed by Joanna Scotcher, sound by Emma Laxton, lighting by Fabiana Piccioli and video design by Kim Beveridge.

PESTS will transfer to the Royal Court Theatre before commencing on a UK tour. See listing information for details. 



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