Pleasance Islington announces daring #YouWillKnowTheirNames season


These 10 newly announced productions showcase the most daring and original new voices and join the previously announced ‘In Lipstick’ by Annie Jenkins


These 10 newly announced productions showcase the most daring and original new voices and join the previously announced In Lipstick by Annie Jenkins (a co-production between award-winning theatre company Up In Arms, producer Ellie Keel and the Pleasance).

Together these productions mark an important contribution to the future of new writing, with UK, European and World premieres by some of the hottest emerging writers and companies from across the UK and beyond!

The season includes a bold new satire on climate change directed by the Pleasance’s own Head of Theatre, an incredible true story offering an unique insight into gender transitioning, a cathartic exposé of the modelling industry from a former model, and a riotous musical comedy celebrating curiosity and imagination.

Alongside this, Pleasance is piloting a radical new development scheme offering companies and artists up to 30 weeks of 100% subsidised development space and the opportunity to stage workshop and work-in-progress performances throughout the year. A development of the theatre’s Litmus Festival, the new Pleasance LABS will offer year-round opportunities to develop new work for both London and the Edinburgh Fringe!

Pleasance Islington is also looking to appoint three London Associate Artists or Companies. Pleasance London Associates will benefit from being part of one of London and Edinburgh’s most exciting theatres and communities, renowned for its mission of providing a platform for the talent of the future. In addition, Pleasance will offer four weeks of fully subsidised rehearsal and development space, and work and meeting space, practical year-round mentoring, and a slot in the 2020 Pleasance Islington programme!

Anthony Alderson, Director of Pleasance Theatre Trust, comments I’m delighted to announce that alongside these bold new shows, we are reaffirming our commitment to supporting and nurturing emerging artists by piloting a new scheme offering up to 30 weeks of 100% subsidised rehearsal and development space, and opening applications for a revitalised London Associate Artist and Company Scheme. New plays and developing artists have always been central to what we do at Pleasance and together this represents an investment of over £60,000 to support the next generation of theatre makers. We couldn’t be more thrilled to welcome new artists and new audiences to experience excellent work in our Islington home!

Nic Connaughton, Head of Theatre for Pleasance Theatre Trust says, #YouWillKnowTheirNames is an ambitious and, we hope, significant contribution to the ongoing discussion around the development of emerging writers and text-led companies. This six-month season of ten plays and one festival is bursting with exciting, challenging, lyrical, daring, cheeky and compassionate new plays. All the playwrights and companies are taking risks in the way they tell stories to tackle some of the great themes of our time, as well as sharing beautifully crafted human tales. We are confident that, if you don’t know their names yet, you will soon!

The programme begins with:

Neil-Michael Marriott presents
Lilies and Sweets by Nathan Wright, directed by Spencer Noll
5th – 16th February 2019, Tues – Sat at 8pm, Sun 6pm, Sat 16th matinee at 3.30pm

Successful ageing novelist Les, and the less successful actor Terry, pore over Grindr. Reminiscing on life, they discuss Les’s new found desire for Al, a drug dealer Terry has recently brought into their lives. From Al’s very first delivery of ‘Sweets’, a unique and dangerous friendship takes hold.

Lilies and Sweets is the debut play by Nathan Wright who originally trained as an actor. His notable credits include series regular Nurse Chris Reid in Doctors, Hugh in Being Human, Colin Pitchfork in Code of Killer and Robert in The Musketeers. The play was originally developed as part of Pleasance Theatre’s Reading Week programme.

Post-It Productions presents
Call Me Vicky by Stacey and Nicola Bland
19th February – 9th March 2019, Tues – Sat at 8pm, Sun 6pm, Sat 9th matinee at 3.30pm

It’s 1980 in Elephant and Castle. Sixteen-year-old Martin and his best friend Debbie are getting ready for another night out at Martin’s favourite night spot, ‘The Golden Girl’, one of Soho’s premier drag clubs. Tonight is not a regular night out. Tonight is the night that Martin’s life will change forever. Call Me Vicky tells the incredible true story of one woman’s journey to become the person she knows herself to be.

Based entirely on a true story, the debut play from East London sisters Nicola and Stacey Bland is an honest, frank and revealing insight into an important struggle that has been relevant for generations. Call Me Vicky is supported by Arts Council England.

Marked Productions presents
Model Behaviour by Issy Knowles, directed by Rachael Head
12th – 16th March 2019 Tues-Sat at 8pm, Sat matinee at 3.30pm

Fresh from a sold out run at the Edinburgh Fringe, Model Behaviour is a cut-throat, cathartic unveiling of a brutal and idolised industry told entirely through the eyes of one hopeful young model. We are taken through the casting process, the pressure of fashion week and the heartbreaking narrative of one woman desperately unsure whether she can ever be anything more.

This all-female production is directed and produced by Rachael Head, and written and performed by former model Issy Knowles, there has never been a better time to lift the lid on one of the most secretive industries in the world.

More to be revealed soon.