How’s the World Treating You? by Roger Milner

A comic gem returns to the London stage after forty-five years at Union Theatre, Southwark from 13th March to 7th April 2012.

Mrs More dreams of her son Frank becoming Headmaster at a top public school.  The world, however, seems to have other ideas.  If he is ever to realise his mother’s ambitions, Frank must overcome a rogue washing machine, a pair of missing trousers and a trio of lusty middle-aged women…

Channelling the spirit of Monty Python and The Goons, Roger Milner’s brilliantly surreal comedy follows one man’s efforts to fulfil his destiny, whatever the world throws at him.

Not seen in London since 1966, the original West End production transferred to Broadway and provided Patricia Routledge with a breakout part.  Spanning twenty years with a cast of six actors in multiple roles, How’s the World Treating You? will be presented at the award-winning Union Theatre in Southwark.

Following sell-out productions of Doug Lucie’s Progress and The Dice House by Paul Lucas, Silver Thread Productions continues its remit to revive overlooked twentieth century and contemporary British plays.

Progress, Union Theatre, 2010:
“Well deserving of another airing…highly recommended.” WhatsOnStage ****
“An exceptional revival…well-judged, entertaining and deeply provocative.” Extra! Extra!
“More than enough moments of still-fresh, brutal humour to warrant a revisit.” The Telegraph

The Dice House, Hen & Chickens Theatre, 2009:
“The audience were roaring with laughter…a hilariously gory story.” WhatsOnStage ****
“Ambitious, polished and a joy to watch…top fringe theatre!” Fringe Review ****
“There’s no shortage of subversive humour in this well-executed production.” Time Out

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Joking Apart by Alan Ayckbourn at The Union Theatre

After the success of ‘Confusions’ (2009) and ‘Absent Friends’ (2010) here at The Union, Ben De Wynter was given some suggestions from Alan Ayckbourn for the next staging.  The intimacy of The Union lends itself well to the intricacies and subtleties of Ayckbourns writing.  Therefore, Joking Apart was decided upon.

Written in 1978, Joking Apart is packed taut with maliciously funny observations of human foibles, teasing and toying with the audience.  Gently nudging the mood from languor to frenzy and back again as relationships are imperceptibly intertwined.

Played out in a back garden over a 12-year period, a near-perfect couple play host to a smug Scandinavian couple, a hesitant hungry Vicar, a neglected girlfriend, an aging lothario and a neurotic housewife.  Ayckbourn at his best.

Ben De Wynter has put together a strong cast of comedic actors. Including, Jamie Kenna (Communicating Doors and Life of Riley Stephen Joseph Theatre), Andrew Obeney (Comedians, On the Piste & Blue Remembered Hills at The Union, Sound of Music BAC), Charlotte Moore (Boeing, Boeing! Comedy Theatre), Claire Marlowe (U.K. Tours of Gaslight, Wuthering Heights & Jane Eyre, Confusions Union Theatre),

“A guaranteed Laugh” Scarborough Evening News

“Ben De Wynter’s production reminds us that there are few better analysts of everyday unhappiness than Alan Ayckbourn”.  The Evening Standard on Confusions.

“De Wynter’s intelligent direction perfectly suits Ayckbourn’s subtlety” London Magazine on Absent Friends.

“This is a darkly funny play that, despite being set forty-odd years ago, should perhaps come with a warning sign for any recently married couples who have moved to the suburbs – some of the contents may be a bit too close for comfort!” Indie London on Absent Friends.


Directed by Union Associate Director Ben De Wynter
Designed by Holly Best
Lighting Design by Steve Miller
Produced by Regan De Wynter Productions
By kind Arrangement with Casarotto Ramsay & Associates Ltd

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Godspell at The Union Theatre from 13th April – 7th May 2011

Regan De Wynter revive the legendary pop musical Godspell at The Union Theatre to celebrate the show’s 40th anniversary. The show reunites Michael Strassen (Director) and Michael Bradley (Musical Director) whose previous production at The Union, Assassins, recently won Best Production at the Off-West End Awards.

Godspell, based upon the gospel according to St Matthew, includes the numbers Day By Day, Prepare Ye Thee Way Of The Lord, All Good Gifts and Beautiful City. It is re-imagined for today’s edgy youth and their parents alike but remains a simple message of love and joy…Come celebrate life! 

Directed/Staging – Michael Strassen

Musical Directior – Michael Bradley

Musical Superivsor – Iain Vince-Gatt

Lighting – Steve Miller

Producer – Regan De Wynter

Associate Producer – Paul Callen

Cast: Madalena Alberto (Sonia), Jill Armour (Gilmer), Daryl Armstrong (Herb), Jeremy Batt (Jeffrey), Davis Brooks (Judas), Billy Cullum (Jesus), Natalie Green (Robin), Sophie Isaacs (Joanne), Caroline Hubbard (Peggy), Iwan Lewis (Lamar)

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all-male IOLANTHE to open at Wilton’s Music Hall

Sasha Regan’s critically acclaimed all-male IOLANTHE will open at Wilton’s Music Hall on Friday 1 April, following previews from 30 March, for a limited season, ending 7 May. Originally staged at the Union Theatre towards the end of last year, this is the second Union Theatre production to transfer to Wilton’s, following the success of Pirates of Penzance last year, which won the Best Off-West End Production in the Whatsonstage Awards 2010.

Universally regarded as Sir Arthur Sullivan’s most beautiful score, Iolanthe is a topsy-turvy love story involving fairies and members of the House of Lords. The first Gilbert and Sullivan opera to be staged at the Savoy Theatre, it opened in London in 1882 and, simultaneously, in New York.

Sasha Regan’s production, with design by Stewart Charlesworth, has been set in a public boys’ school. Choreography is by Mark Smith, director and choreographer of new dance company, Deaf Men Dancing, with musical supervision by Michael England and musical direction by Chris Mundy.

IOLANTHE stars Shaun McCourt as ‘Chancellor’, Alex Weatherhill as ‘Fairy Queen’, Louis Maskell as ‘Strephon’, Alan Richardson as ‘Phyliss’, Christopher Finn as ‘Iolanthe’, Matthew James Willis as ‘Earl Tolloller’, Luke Fredericks as ‘Earl Mountararat’, Reuben Kaye as ‘Celia’, Adam Lewis Ford as ‘Lelia’ and Raymond Tait as ‘Private Willis’. Also in the cast are Kingsley Hall, Michael Burgen, Matthew McLoughlin, Shane Lindley, Joseph Davenport and Patrick George.

Sasha Regan founded the Union Theatre in 1998. IOLANTHE is the fourth all-male Gilbert and Sullivan production produced here, the first three being HMS Pinafore, The Mikado and Pirates of Penzance. The latter was also directed by Sasha Regan.

IOLANTHE is produced at Wilton’s Music Hall by Regan De Wynter and Wilton’s.

WORD:PLAY 4 – One word, Six New Plays

Box of Tricks Theatre presents WORD:PLAY 4 which is directed by Adam Quayle and Hannah Tyrrell-Pinder, designed by Stephanie Williams and produced by Dan Baker.

Playwrights: Daniel Kanaber, Jaki McCarrick, Katie McCullough, Siân Owen, Becky Prestwich, Daniel Smith

For one week only, at the Arcola’s new-found home, Word:Play 4 will be kick-starting Studio 2 with an injection of revolutionary theatre from the best new writing talent.

Following the critical, sell-out success of previous incarnations, our flagship project Word:Play will be championing the next generation of new writing with six specially-commissioned fifteen-minute plays inspired by the word “Revolution”.

Box of Tricks is a new writing company committed to developing and producing the best new work around; discovering, nurturing and promoting the next generation of playwrights.  We are drawn to plays that have an immediacy and relevance today: the stories that need to be told, the voices that need to be heard.

For Word:Play 4, Box of Tricks have been using crowd-funding website WeFund ( to raise money towards production costs.  If you wish to know more about this, then please contact Dan Baker.

Adam Quayle is Joint Artistic Director of Box of Tricks Theatre. He trained as a director at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts and was a finalist for Channel 4’s Theatre Director Scheme in 2007 and Old Vic New Voice’s 24 Hour Plays in 2008; he is also is an associate member of Old Vic New Voices and a Young Vic Genesis Director. His credits for Box of Tricks include: True Love Waits (festival tour), Letting in Air (Old Red Lion), Word:Play 2 and 3 (Theatre503), Word:Play (Union Theatre), Streetlights and Shadows, A Hole in the Fence and Beyond Omarska (White Bear).

Hannah Tyrrell-Pinder is Artistic Director and co-founder of Box of Tricks Theatre. She trained as a director at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts, is an associate member of Old Vic New Voices and a Young Vic Genesis Director. Her credits for Box of Tricks include: True Love Waits (festival tour), Whispering Happiness (Tristan Bates Theatre), Word:Play 2 and 3 (Theatre503), Rural and A Hole in the Fence (White Bear Theatre), Word:Play (Union Theatre).

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Irish Blood, English Heart – A Play at the Union Theatre

Irish Blood, English Heart which is written by Darren Murphy, directed by Caitriona McLaughlin and designed by Francesca Rodrigue. A play written specifically for the Union Theatre – Tuesday 15th Feb – Sat 5th March @ 7.30pm.

I was sat outside the cafe in front of the Union theatre one Wednesday afternoon when Dennis, a local cabbie, pulled up for his afternoon cuppa. Dennis, being of a philosophical bent, stood by the counter ruefully sipping his tea. He stared out at the road at his cab. ‘They’ll fucking bury me in that,’ he muttered. That phrase, and that image, took root in my mind and became the story around which Irish Blood, English Heart was woven. Inspired by the unique space the Union Theatre occupies, and the stories held in the pavements of the surrounding streets, Irish Blood, English Heart draws on the collective expertise of Southwark artists and craftsmen, including actors, director, designer, local cabbies, bespoke tailor, and writer. If a cab was a coffin, then what secrets would a cabbie take with him? 

In a mysterious garage in Southwark, Con Sweeney and his wife, Peggy, ask Con’s brother, the infamous comedian turned author, Ray Suede, to meet to divvy up the emotional legacy of their estranged father.

Ray’s just written a book.  About their father.  About them.  Peggy thinks that if Ray wants to portray them as cartoon troglodytes, then he should pay cash money for the privilege.

So, who gets to tell the story of two second generation Irish brothers, a teenage tear up merchant, and a dead London cabbie in a dusty South London lock-up?

CAST: Con Sweeney, Ian Groombridge, Peggy Sweeney, Carolyn Tomkinson, Ray Suede, Howard Teale 

Ancient Lights, a new collective of London writers, actors, directors and designers, was established in 2010, to unearth the dominion of stories that lie buried within the stones, strata, and surfaces of London streets.  The capital is both a city of mongrel influences and an international cultural hub, peopled by disparate citizens and cultures; unique, indomitable and fierce.  Ancient Lights is a restless camera that illuminates these forgotten, unlit corners of an ageless, pulsating, raging city.  We tell London stories.

Caitriona is an Irish theatre director currently based in London.  Most recent directing credits include: Bottom of the World by Lucy Thurber, Atlantic Theatre, NY; Judgement Day by Oden Von Hovarth (translation by Christopher Hampton) at Bard Summerscape, NY;  Still, The Blackbird Sings, The Playhouse, Derry & Irish tour; Killers and Other Family, Lucy Thurber, Rattlestick Theatre, NY; and a site specific production of The Recruiting Officer for the Farquhar festival, Blue Eagle Theatre Co., Northern Ireland.  She is currently developing a transatlantic collaboration between the LABrynth Co. in NY, and The Playground Studio, London, with a pool of Irish, English & American writers, actors, and directors.  She is a Clore Fellow, and an Associate Director The Playground Studio

DARREN MURPHY – Playwright
Darren has been produced in London, Edinburgh, Dublin and New York.  Plays include: Tabloid Caligula [Arcola/59e59, NY – Brits Off-Broadway season]; the Westminster prize-winning A Road In Winter [Soho Theatre/Dublin Fringe/Union/Flatlake Festival]; The Flats [Chelsea Theatre]; The Derelicts [BAC]; Charlatan [5065 Lift/Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh]; Bag Of Monkeys [International Bar, Dublin];  Holloway Road [Urban Scrawl]; and Night Bruises The City [Southwark Playhouse].  Mister Loverboy Silk Locates The Inner You, a short story was published in em three.  Tabloid Caligula is published by Oberon.

On the Twentieth Century at The Union Theatre (14 Dec 2010 – 15 Jan 2011)

This Christmas the Union Theatre is presenting the first London revival since the 1980 premiere of Cy Coleman’s multi-award winning classic, On The Twentieth Century which is music by Cy Coleman, book and lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, directed by Ryan McBryde, choreographed by Drew McOnie, musical direction by Oliver Jackson, design by Diego Pitarch, lighting by David Howe and produced by Charlie Payne.

Cast includes: Lulu Alexandra, Valda Aviks, Virge Gilchrist, Matthew Harrop, Kristopher Milnes, Howard Samuels,
Robbie Scotcher, Chris David Storer, Leejay Townsend and Rebecca Vere.

After four flops in a row, megalomaniac theatre impresario, Oscar Jaffee, and his hapless entourage are on the run. Desperately trying to resuscitate his flat-lining career he books a carriage on the Twentieth Century Limited, the world’s most famous express train, bound for New York. In the next carriage resides his former sweetheart turned Hollywood starlet Lily Garland. Now Oscar has just 16 hours to entice the egotistical Lily back on to the stage, as the leading lady in his next show.

Oscar’s financial ruin hangs in the balance and a jealous lover is on the loose. Offered funding by religious fanatic Letitia Peabody Primrose, Jaffee’s dreams fall into a glorious, and by turns hilarious, balancing act of keeping everyone happy. Set against a backdrop of the great American Depression of the 1930s, what unfolds is a tongue-in-cheek fairy tale of the pitfalls of producing theatre when cash is tight and private money comes at an unavoidable cost.

On the Twentieth Century was the hit of the 1978 Broadway season, and this is its first London revival since the premiere in 1980. It features music by the great Cy Coleman (Sweet Charity) with book and lyrics by the remarkable team of Betty Comden and Adolph Green (On the Town). This Christmas On the Twentieth Century offers a riotous – and rather timely – theatrical treat like no other.

The Union Theatre is an off-West End fringe theatre situated in a former paper warehouse in the heart of Southwark. With its atmospheric under-the-arches interior, it is one of the more distinctive theatrical spaces in London. The Union has acquired a quite a reputation for staging high-quality musical revivals in its intimate studio space, and was nominated for the 2010 Peter Brook Empty Space awards for recognition of their pioneering body of work as a small theatre space with limited funding.  Recent successes include Bells are Ringing, an award-winning all-male Pirates of Penzance (WhatsOnStage Award for Best Off-West End Production 2010), which transferred to Wilton’s Music Hall; and A Man of No Importance.

Lulu Alexandra’s credits include Boogie Nights, iBroadway (UK tours); The Handsomest Room in Town and Dancing on Ice (ITV). Valda Aviks’ credits include Mary Poppins, Jerry Springer the Opera, The Witches of Eastwick, Beauty and the Beast, Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables, Cats (West End); and Caroline or Change (National Theatre). Virge Gilchrist’s credits include Hamlet! The Musical (Edinburgh Fringe 2010); Stand and Deliver (New Diorama); and First Lady Suite (Union Theatre). Matthew Harrop’s credits include Les Miserables, Sunset Boulevard (West End); and The Rocky Horror Show (ATG touring). Kristopher Milnes’ credits include Spring Awakening (RSC); Myths and Legends (Nabokov); Eveline’s Circle (Hampstead Theatre); The Full Monty, Les Miserables (West End); television and film includes Disney presents: Stick With Me Kid!, Eye of the Storm, The Treasure Seekers; The Muppet’s Christmas Carol . Howard Samuels’ credits include The Lady of the Tiger, Nutmeg and Ginger (Orange Tree Theatre); One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (Nimax Theatres); Can’t Smile Without You, Tonight’s the Night, The Rocky Horror Show (West End and touring); Company (Oldham Coliseum); The Ugly Duckling (Watermill Newbury). Chris David Storer’s credits include Hustle (BBC); Perfect Pitch: The Lost Christmas (Trafalgar Studios); Torn (Arcola Theatre); and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (Antic Disposition). Leejay Townsend’s credits include The Remains of the Day (Union Theatre) and Vavoom: Story of a Showgirl (Courtyard Theatre). Rebecca Vere’s credits include My Parents are Aliens (Granada); Cats, Bat Boy, Les Miserables (West End); Prayer for Owen Meany, South Pacific (National Theatre); and Hair (Old Vic Theatre).

Ryan McBryde’s recemt credits include the Edinburgh Fringe 2010 award-winning Hamlet! The Musical (Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh); A Day at the Racists (Finborough Theatre, Broadway Theatre Barking), which prompted the Broadway Theatre to be nominated for a TMA/The Stage Award for the transfer; the German premieres of both The Full Monty and Spring Awakening musicals; Terry Johnson’s Hysteria, Hair – The Musical, Ira Levin’s Deathtrap and The Fox (Frankfurt English Theatre). Ryan was Resident Director on Billy Elliot (Victoria Palace), Bat Boy (West Yorkshire Playhouse/Shaftesbury Theatre) and was Associate Director on The Common Pursuit (Menier Chocolate Factory).

Choreographer Drew McOnie was one of the 14 final dancers on the primetime BBC series So You Think You Can Dance. In 2010, he reached the final stages of the prestigious Place Prize for choreography, with his commission Slaughter, winning the public vote. As a choreographer, credits include: Spring Awakening, The Full Monty (German premieres, English Theatre Frankfurt); Meet me at the Dinah (UK Tour); KES (Liverpool Playhouse/UK tour); Call Me Madam (Upstairs at the Gatehouse); Be Mine! (Cloud Dance Festival); The Old Man Of Lochnagar  (National Youth Ballet, mentored by Matthew Bourne, Sadlers Wells / Hackney Empire). As a performer, credits include: Slow Float (Joyce Theatre, NYC); Shoes, Shall We Dance, Adam Cooper (Sadler’s Wells); and A Chorus Line (Lowry Theatre, Manchester).

Musical Director Oliver Jackson graduated from the London College of Music and was recipient of the Westminster Prize.  Recent credits include Associate MD on Chicago (West End) and Assistant MD on The Human Comedy at The Young Vic. He was composer and musical supervisor for Adolf Hitler: My Part in His Downfall for the Bristol Old Vic and Chichester Theatre, which won Best Regional Production in the What’sOnStage awards 2010.

Designer Diego Pitarch‘s design credits include Sunset Boulevard, Spend Spend Spend (Watermill Newbury/West End/National Tour); The Gates of Gold (Library Theatre Manchester); Flamenco Flamen’Ka, (West End), Martin Guerre, Donkey hoo-ha, The Snow Queen, Hot Mikado, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, The Odyssey, The Shed, The Gilded Lilies (Watermill Newbury); Jungle Book, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Madame Bovary, The Sleeping Beauty, A Long Time Ago and Return to the Forbidden Planet (Northampton Theatre Royal).

David Howe‘s lighting design credits include: Birdsong, Sweet Charity, Mrs Warren’s Profession, Rent, Private Lives, Christmas Carol, The Last Five Years and Tick Tick Boom, Pageant   Other theatre credits include The Norman Conquests (The Old Vic and Broadway), Maria Friedman Re-Arranged (Trafalgar Studios) Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (Haymarket Theatre), Forbidden Broadway (Menier Chocolate Factory and Albery Theatre).

Producer Charlie Payne is a graduate of the Old Vic New Voices 24 Hour Plays in 2009 and has worked professionally full-time for producing theatres since April 2007. Charlie is currently one of four producers for the Old Vic’s TimeWarner Ignite Project. Producing credits include: A Day at the Racists and I Was a Beautiful Day (Finborough Theatre) and assistant producing credits for Almeida Projects at the Almeida Theatre include All the little things we crushed by Joel Horwood, Or Nearest Offer by Tanya Ronder, The Door Never Closes by Rex Obano and The Red Helicopter by Robin French.

It opens on Tuesday 14 December and runs to Saturday 15 January at the Union Theatre, Southwark.

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Absent Friends by Alan Ayckbourns from 26-Oct to 13-Nov 2010

After the success of Alan Ayckbourn’s Confusions at the same address last year (“A solid, funny and detailed production that makes for a very enjoyable night out.”   SE1), The Union Theatre, nominated Best Venue at the Awards, presents Alan Ayckbourn’s classic.

Absent Friends remains one of Alan Ayckbourn’s most significant plays of the 1970s. It is the first play which is undoubtedly of the tragi-comedy genre that Alan Ayckbourn is most associated with and it clearly demonstrated that he required no more than six people in a room to create captivating and challenging drama.

A group of friends offer tea and sympathy to Colin, whose fiancée has recently drowned. Everybody skirts around the reason for the invitation except Colin, who is blissful in the memory of the time he spent with her; annoyingly happy in fact. His (apparent) satisfaction with his life highlights the depths to which all those around have sunk and so, duty-bound, he goes about healing their wounds.

A light comedy of manners and morals, honed with acute social observation, riddled with embarrassing situations, dusted with brittle wit. Absent Friends is not just black comedy – which is usually funnier than gloomy – but bleak comedy, cold, hard and ruthless.

CONFUSIONS, Union Theatre 2009

  “Ayckbourn somehow manages to make well-tried ploys seem fresh and Ben De Wynter’s production cleverly orchestrates the business and tunes the timing and it works without revealing the well-oiled clockwork.” – British Theatre Guide

Having recently directed A Man of No Importance, which transferred from The Union to The Arts Theatre earlier this year, award-winning director, Ben De Wynter is delighted to be tackling the intricacies of this Ayckbourn.

Cast includes Giles Fagan, Andrew Obeney, Shaun Stone, Gillian McCafferty, Olivia Busby and Fiona Gordon.

A Regan de Wynter Production’s ASSASSINS

A Regan de Wynter Production’s ASSASSINS which is music & lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, book by John Weidman, staged and directed by Michael Strassen, musical supervision Chris Mundy and musical direction by Michael Bradely will be runing at Union Theatre from 30th June – 24th July 2010.

Following last years critically acclaimed and sell out production of Stephen Sondheim’s ‘Company’, The Union Theatre is proud to present ‘Assassins’ to celebrate the 80th Birthday year of Stephen Sondheim.

This musical, with a book by John Weidman, explores the history of presidential assassination in America, from John Wilkes Booth to John Hinckley, Jr. Assassins climaxes in a surreal sequence where the assassins convince Lee Harvey Oswald that his act is the only way he will connect — with them, with history, and with the world.

A cult musical with dark undertones examining the politically driven, the desperate and the down right ‘insane’ who have or have tried to kill an American President often with hilarious results. Assassins is not for the faint hearted.


John Wilkes Booth – Glyn Kerslake

Charles Guiteau – John Barr

Leon Czolgosz – Adam Jarrell

Giuseppe Zangara – Joe Alessi

Samuel Byck – Nick Holder

Lynette Fromme – Alison Larnder

Sara Jane Moore – Leigh McDonald

John Hinkley – Paul Callen

Lee Harvey Oswald – Marc Joseph

Balladeer – Nolan Frederick

Emma Goldman – Lisa Stoke

Ensemble: Davis Brooks, Neil Canfer, Anthony Delaney, Hannah Bingham & Holly Easterbrook

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OH WELL NEVER MIND BYE by Steven Lally at the Union Theatre

Upstart Theatre will be presenting the premiere of Oh Well Never Mind Bye by Steven Lally at the Union Theatre from Tuesday 16 June 2009 to Saturday 4 July 2009 at 7.30pm, with Press Night on Thursday 18 June 2009.

The power of the media – and the challenges for individuals struggling to use their influence with responsibility and integrity – are the subject of this compelling and biting new play by Steven Lally.

Oh Well Never Mind Bye depicts a newsroom struggling to accurately report real-life events against a backdrop of the political panic of July 2005. In the aftermath of the London bombings, Charlotte, George, Fin and James are pushing to meet deadlines in the increasingly demanding world of 24 hour news. When the Metropolitan police shoot dead a man at Stockwell tube station, the characters’ professional and personal lives are thrown into conflict by rivalry, political maneuvering, resentment and outside pressure.

Steven Lally trained as a writer under April De Angelis on the MPhil Playwrighting programme at the University of Birmingham. His first full length play was These Things Happen at the Crescent Theatre Birmingham. In 2003 he was selected for BBC Northern Exposure with his short play Dealing (West Yorkshire Playhouse). After working at Liverpool’s Unity Theatre,  Mersey TV and Talkbackthames, Steven wrote his second short I Never for Upstart as part of a season of shorts at the Etcetera Theatre in Camden. He has also worked with Small Change Theatre, Emergency Exit Arts and If You Dare We Are Shameless, who produced Hood (the final part of a trilogy of shorts and currently being adapted for Grain Media). In 2007 his play Mr Lorrimer was selected for reading by the Operating Theatre Company at the Tristan Bates Theatre.

Oh Well Never Mind Bye is the first in Upstart Theatre’s season of work reacting to the killing of Jean Charles de Menezes. On 22nd July 2005, Jean Charles de Menezes was shot repeatedly by armed police officers as he sat on a Northern Line train at Stockwell tube station. Initial reports to the press claimed that his clothing and behaviour, added to the fact that he lived in the same block of flats as a suspect in previous attempted bombings, made him a potential suicide bomber and it was necessary to end his life to protect the public. The inquest into his death concluded that Jean Charles was a totally innocent man whose actions had given no reason to suspect him, and that he was given no warning before police marksmen opened fire. Upstart Theatre began work on Jean’s story with a series of workshops presented by the Oval House Theatre in February 2006. Since then, their research process has involved interviewing members of Jean’s family, members of the Justice for Jean campaign, senior police officers, former employees of the Independent Police Complaints Commission and the volunteers responsible for maintaining the “shrine” to his memory at Stockwell station.

Upstart Theatre believe that the theatre offers the most immediate and compelling way to explore the human reality of his death and what this has meant for people he knew – and many that he did not. At a time when our civil liberties are being eroded in the name of protecting us against terrorism, and when recent events continue to show the power of the press in reporting police reaction to public fears, the story of Jean Charles de Menezes stands as important as ever. Artistic Director of Upstart Theatre, Tom Mansfield says, “One of the first thing we discovered when we started working on these plays is that this isn’t only the story of Jean Charles de Menezes – July 2005 was a pivotal time for Britain as a country. Attitudes shifted – we became a lot more scared of each other. We’re in 2009, but this story hasn’t gone away. Now is the time to step back and assess with calmness, to prevent mistakes like this ever happening again. If everybody says, ‘I want to know what’s really going on’, then perhaps we will get the media, politicians and police force that will give us that.”

Upstart Theatre is a company of emerging actors, writers and directors dedicated to creating entertaining, politically engaged and vital new theatre work. Since 2004 we have produced new work in Edinburgh, as well as at London venues including Theatre503, the Etcetera Theatre and the Union Theatre, working with award-winning writers including Dawn King, Jack Thorne and Andrew Taylor.

Producer: Upstart Theatre

Writer: Steven Lally

Director: Tom Mansfield

Cast: Matthew Duggan, Susanna Fiore, Charlotte Flintham, Benjamin Peters

Venue: The Union Theatre, 204 Union Street, London SE1 OLX

Dates: Tuesday 16 June 2009 to Saturday 4 July 2009 (no performances Sun/Mon)

Press Night: Thursday 18 June 2009

Performance Starts: 7.30pm

Running Times: 1hr30 including interval

Upstart Theatre Website: