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An exciting cast of the young and the talented is hitting The Basement at the end of March for the NZ Premiere of British playwright Simon Stephens “cracking new play” (The Times, UK), ‘Punk Rock’. Seen by over 26000 people in its 2009 premiere season at the Manchester Royal Exchange, ‘Punk Rock’ explores the underlying tensions and potential violence in a group of affluent and articulate seventeen year old students. The award-winning team at The Outfit Theatre Company have assembled a crack young cast of exciting youngsters who, working with experienced Outfit ensemble members and under the direction of Benjamin Henson, are bringing this, “powerful and compelling new play” (The Independent, UK) to life, for the first time in NZ.
‘Punk Rock’ follows the story of seven Manchester private-school sixth-formers as they face up to the pressures of teenage life, while preparing for their mock A-levels and trying to get into Oxbridge. They are a group of educated, intelligent and aspirational young people but step-by-step, the dislocation, disjunction and latent violence simmering under the surface of success is revealed. Based on his experience as a teacher, Stephens describes his play as 'The History Boys on crack'. Contemporary and unnerving, others have described it as ‘The History Boys’ meets ‘Catcher in the Rye’.
‘Punk Rock’ was nominated for Best New Play at the 2010 UK Theatre Awards.
Over the last 3 years the critically-acclaimed Outfit Theatre Company have gained a reputation for fast, fresh and explosive ensemble theatre. Shows like The Sex Show, A Criminal Christmas, and Boys’ Life have exploded onto Auckland stages and left audiences gasping for breath!
Kicking 2012 off with ‘Punk Rock’ just made sense according to Outfit Theatre’s Co-Artistic Director, and one of the stars of ‘Punk Rock’, Sarah Graham, “it fitted our ethos really well, it’s explosive, immediate and contemporary, it’s got a streak of vicious black comedy, and it will definitely surprise you. It just couldn’t be a more Outfit style show!”
Sarah stars in the show as the new girl at school, Lily Cahill, along with fellow Outfit Theatre founding member Devlin Bishop (Dr. Richard Harvey), and the pair will act as mentors to a young but exceptionally talented cast.
Fresh off The Maidment stage and the Auckland Theatre Company’s production of The Motor Camp, talented newcomer Nathan Mudge will play the troubled lead, William Carlisle
Hackman Award Winner Morgan Albrecht (Disorder - YOUNG and HUNGRY) plays Cissy Franks.
Elizabeth McMenamin (August: Osage County - Auckland Theatre Company) plays Tanya Gleason.
Jordan Mooney (Tigerplay - YOUNG AND HUNGRY) plays Bennet Francis.
George Mason (Shortland Street’s Regan Ames) plays Nicholas Chatman.
Ryan Dulieu (The Taming of the Shrew ) plays Chadwick Meade.
Director Benjamin Henson, himself a native of Leicester, presented shows at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe for 9 years before relocating to NZ a year ago. He has been making a name for himself in Auckland since his arrival, adapting the classic ghost story The Turn of the Screw at the Auckland Fringe last March to sell-out audiences and rave reviews. Over the last year he has also directed or assistant directed; ‘Death by Cheerleader’, ‘Tigerplay’ (YOUNG and HUNGRY) and recent NZ Fringe Festival play, ‘Confessions’. He’s been described as “a director to watch” (James Wenley - Theatre Scenes) and has recently been assisting for the Auckland Theatre Company and teaching for the Performing Arts School of New Zealand.
Set design by John Parker (A Criminal Christmas, Boys’ Life)
Lighting design by Brad Gledhill (The Motor Camp, Red, Tartuffe, A Criminal Christmas, The Sex Show)
MARCH 27- APRIL 7
THE BASEMENT THEATRE, LOWER GREYS AVE, AUCKLAND CBD