Punk Rock (play)

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Punk Rock
Written by Simon Stephens
Characters William Carlisle
Lily Cahill
Bennett Francis
Cissy Franks
Nicholas Chatman
Tanya Gleason
Chadwick Meade
Lucy Francis
Dr Richard Harvey
Date premiered 2009
Royal Exchange Theatre
Original language English

Punk Rock is a play by the British playwright Simon Stephens which premiered at the Royal Exchange in 2009[1] and transferred to the Lyric Hammersmith directed by Sarah Frankcom. The play concerns a group of private school sixth formers during their A Level mocks exams.[2]

Plot[edit]

In the library of a grammar school, seven sixth-formers are preparing for their mock-A Levels and nearing the end of their school lives. There are various sub-plots detailing the various love lines or triangles that emerge through the play.

Characters[edit]

Character Original Cast, 2009 Revival Cast, 2010 Wales Cast, 2012 New Zealand Cast, 2012 Australian Cast, 2012 Australian Cast, 2014
William Carlisle Tom Sturridge Rupert Simonian Samuel Harris Nathan Mudge Sam O'Sullivan Andrew Creer
Bennett Francis Henry Lloyd-Hughes Edward Franklin Christopher Harris Jordan Mooney Graeme McRae Bevan Pfeiffer
Chadwick Meade Harry McEntire Mike Nobel John Clark Ryan Du'Lieu Gabriel Dean Fancourt Dacre Montgomery-Harvey
Lily Cahill Jessica Raine Laura Pyper Leah Carroll Sarah Graham Darcie Irwin-Simpson Jessica Paterson
Cissy Franks Sophie Wu Ruth Milne Jeni Lloyd Morgan Albrecht Madeleine Jones Stephanie Panozzo
Nicholas Chatman Nicholas Banks Nicholas Banks Alex Emmarch George Mason Owen Little Luke Fewster
Tanya Gleason Katie West Katie West Becky Ormrod Elizabeth McMenamin Rebecca Martin Harriet Gordon-Anderson
Lucy Francis Emma Warbuton Juliet York Emily Dyble Rosie Hayden / Caitlin Roscherr / Jaimee McCann Clementine Mills Elle Harris
Dr Richard Harvey Simon Wolfe Simon Wolfe Liz Tustin (Dr Rachel Harvey) Devlin Bishop Paul Hooper David J Rose

Other productions[edit]

  • Haptic Theatre Company performed the play in Dylan Thomas' Boathouse on the 5th and 6 April 2013, directed by Elinor Richards.[3]
  • The Australian premiere was on 27 July 2012 performed by pantsguys Productions in association with the Australian Theatre for Young People[4]
  • From 3 to 18 August 2012 the play was performed at the Edinburgh Fringe by the No Prophet Theatre Company, starring Will Merrick as William Carlisle.
  • A production of the play was done at the Oxford Playhouse.[5]
  • The New Zealand premiere was performed by The Outfit Theatre Company at The Basement Theatre in Auckland from 27 March to 7 April.[6]
  • From 14 to 16 March March 2012, a production of the play was performed at the Doncaster Little Theatre in Doncaster.[7]
  • The Welsh premiere of the play was performed at the Arad Goch theatre in Aberystwyth on 18 and 19 May 2012, directed by Rhodri Brady.[8]
  • Manchester School of Theatre produced the play in April 2012, directed by Chris Honer.
  • School theater DISK of Academy of Performing Arts in Prague produced the play from 3 April 2012, directed by Ivo Kristián Kubák.[9]
  • The New Wolsey Young Company performed the play from 3 to 7 December 2013. Tom Chamberlain played Tom Carlisle and Gemma Raw played Lilly Cahill.
  • Will Open MCC Theaters 2014-2015 season in New York.
  • The Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts produced this play in 2014 directed by Will O'Mahony

Reception[edit]

The premiere received generally positive reviews with Variety saying "confirms Simon Stephens as one of the most important and exciting British playwrights working today". The play has also been nominated for the 2010 TMA Best New Play award. It was also well received by The Guardian,[10] the Crikey blog,[11] The Times[12] and others.

Some critics have criticised Stephens for unoriginality, however. For example, Leo Benedictus, writing for the guardian in 2009, said "The critics spot various possible influences such as The History Boys, Another Country, Lord of the Flies, Elephant, If…, Skins, and The Catcher in the Rye."[10]

Legacy[edit]

Identity Crisis[edit]

Punk Rock inspired Identity Crisis, a drama and philosophy project, exploring the play's themes with young people in London and Manchester.[13]

Teaching[edit]

Punk Rock is frequently used in Drama education in sixth form in England, as well as a few other places around the world. There have been multiple student productions of the play, some of which the play's author, Simon Stephens, has attended.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "'Punk Rock' at The Royal Exchange, Manchester". Retrieved 28 January 2013. 
  2. ^ http://www.royalexchangetheatre.org.uk/event.aspx?id=180
  3. ^ https://www.facebook.com/HapticTheatreCompany?fref=ts
  4. ^ http://www.atyp.com.au/under-the-wharf/productions/punk-rock
  5. ^ http://www.oxfordplayhouse.com/archive/show.aspx?eventid=1614
  6. ^ http://outfittheatre.co.nz/the_outfit_theatre_co/Punk_Rock_Auckland_Theatre_2012.html
  7. ^ http://www.doncasterlittletheatre.co.uk/index.php/whats-on/theatre/250-punk-rock
  8. ^ http://www.thenomadicplayers.co.uk/?page_id=6
  9. ^ http://divadlodisk.cz/repertoar-detail.php?id=516
  10. ^ a b Leo, Benedictus (10 September 2009). "What to say about... Punk Rock by Simon Stephens". The Guardian (London: The Guardian). Retrieved 3 November 2012. 
  11. ^ Bradford Syke, Luke. "REVIEW: Punk Rock". Crikey. Retrieved 3 November 2012. 
  12. ^ "The Times". 
  13. ^ "Identity Crisis". Retrieved 28 January 2013. 

External links[edit]