Set at a private British grammar school, the play navigates the increasingly on-edge angst of seven teenagers during their preparation for final examinations. As if there weren’t enough pressure already to perform well in their studies, their examination results determine where they’ll be able to go to university. At its core, the play looks at how our society, with its increasingly high expectations to be successful and its stigmatisation of mistakes, has turned school into the ultimate pressure cooker.
Pressure. Unbearable pressure. It’s the force that turns coal into diamonds and children into monsters. It’s the force behind plays that raise the heart into the throat and causes hands to form fists. It’s the central force to Simon Stephens’ PUNK ROCK.
With some of Ireland’s most promising and talented young actors, PUNK ROCK is sure to hit a chord with all ages!
- Cissy – the overachiever.
- Bennett – her bullying boyfriend.
- Nicholas – the handsome jock.
- Tanya – the sensitive one.
- Chadwick – the intellectual loner.
- Lilly – the new girl.
- William – the overeager one.
Simon Stephens, born in 1971, is a British playwright whose earliest plays focused on the plights of youth. He attended the University of York, graduating with a degree in History. Raised in the British town of Stockport, the married father of three and former teacher currently lives in London. Stephens won a Tony Award in 2015 for his stage adaptation of Mark Haddon’s 2003 bestseller The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time.
- “Stephens’s play confronts young people as they really are, and builds inexorably towards its tragic and violent climax.” – The Stage
- “Gut-wrenching, gob-smacking, mind-blowing – Punk Rock is altogether visceral theatre.” – The Review
- “This riveting new work confirms Simon Stephens as one of the most important and exciting British playwrights working today… compassion, insight — and theatrical panache…” – Variety
- “In his superb new play, Simon Stephens evokes the twilight world of the teenager with scary vividness.” – Telegraph
Company: Granary Theatre, Cork
Director: Tony McCleane-Fay
Music Director: Cormac O’Connor
Costume: Monika McCleane
Production Manager: Steve Neale
Stage Manager: Aoife Clarke
Assistant Director: James Ronayne
DSM: Olivia Lunn
ASM: Georgia Swan Sludds
Set Construction: Cliff D’Oliver
Lighting: Tony McCleane-Fay