Meet the creatives behind You Stupid Darkness!
Director James Grieve says:
‘I am honoured and thrilled to be working with Sam on this extraordinary new play. At an epochal moment when our world feels so unsettled, confusing, oppositional and angry, Sam has written a beautiful, funny, humane play that celebrates kindness, compassion and the indomitable human spirit in the face of uncertainty and fear.
It is wonderfully witty, wise, joyful and deeply moving writing that adds up to an unerringly prescient, utterly compelling, vitally important new play about staring at a world we no longer recognise, and which sometimes scares us half to death. Sam Steiner was the recipient of the Paines Plough Playwright Fellowship 2016 in acknowledgement of his rare brilliance as an emerging playwright and this play confirms him an electrifying new voice in British Theatre.
I am hugely excited to continue Paines Plough’s 40 year relationship with Theatre Royal Plymouth to present another World Premiere by a major writer following in the footsteps of many previous co-productions like Philip Ridley’s Mercury Fur, Rona Munro’s Long Time Dead, Mike Bartlett’s Love, Love, Love and James Graham’s The Angry Brigade.’
The Director: James Grieve
James is Joint Artistic Director of Paines Plough, the UK’s national theatre of new plays. For Paines Plough he has directed Pop Music by Anna Jordan, Out Of Love by Elinor Cook, Black Mountain by Brad Birch, How To Be A Kid by Sarah McDonald Hughes, Broken Biscuits and Jumpers For Goalposts by Tom Wells, Happiness by Nick Payne (BBC Radio 3), The Angry Brigade by James Graham, An Intervention and Love, Love, Love by Mike Bartlett, Hopelessly Devoted and Wasted by Kate Tempest, The Sound Of Heavy Rain by Penelope Skinner, You Cannot Go Forward From Where You Are Right Now by David Watson, Tiny Volcanoes by Laurence Wilson and Fly Me To The Moon by Marie Jones. His freelance work includes the new musical The Assassination Of Katie Hopkins for Theatr Clywd, a new production of Les Miserables for Wermland Opera in Sweden and Brian Friel’s Translations which won Best Production at the UK Theatre Awards 2014. James was formerly founder and Joint Artistic Director of Nabokov with George Perrin, and Associate Director at the Bush Theatre.
The Writer: Sam Steiner
Sam is a playwright and screenwriter from Manchester. Sam’s debut play, the award-winning Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons, was produced by Walrus Theatre (a company he cofounded). It has had three sell-out runs at the Edinburgh Fringe and toured nationally. The play has since been produced all over the world in seven different languages. Sam’s second play, Kanye The First, was commissioned and produced by Hightide and premiered at the festival in September 2017. Other pieces of Sam’s work have been showcased at the Royal Exchange, Soho Theatre, Southwark Playhouse, Sala Beckett in Barcelona and the Cannes and London Film Festivals. He completed an attachment at Paines Plough as their Playwright Fellowship and holds an MA in Screenwriting from the National Film and Television School. Sam is currently developing television projects with Drama Republic and Euston North.
Freddie Crossley – Assistant Director
Freddie is Resident Assistant Director at Theatre Royal Plymouth. A director, performer, writer and musician, recent assistant directing work includes The Kneebone Cadillac (Theatre Royal Plymouth) and Quiz (Chichester Festival Theatre). Other stage credits include The Hapless Child (MAPU, Italy); Sunset Visingø (University of Cambridge); Giant; The Girl Who Fell In Love With The Moon (ZooCo); Prometheus Bound And The Frogs; A Comedy Of Errors; A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Cambridge Arts Theatre). Further work with The Unreturning (Frantic Assembly and Theatre Royal Plymouth) and Handspring Puppet Company, Cape Town. Also a painter and potter, he has previously exhibited at The Saatchi Gallery, Cass Sculpture Foundation and The North Wall.
THE CREATIVE TEAM
Amy Cook – Design
Amy is a set and costume designer working in theatre and performance. She was the winner of Best Design at the Wales Theatre Awards 2017. Theatre includes: Jellyfish (The Bush); Not Talking (Arcola); Lava (Nottingham Playhouse); Our Blue Heaven (New Wolsey Theatre); The Funeral Director (Southwark Playhouse); The Rise And Fall Of Little Voice, St Nicholas (Theatr Clwyd); Insignificance (Theatre Clwyd/Langham Place, New York); Up N Under (UK Tour); The 8th (Barbican); Mydidaea (Soho Theatre/Trafalgar Studios); 66 Books (Bush/Westminster Abbey); Mudlarks (Bush/HighTide Festival); Medea (Gate Theatre); 65 Miles, Once Upon A Time In Wigan (Hull Truck); Hamlet (Young Vic/Maria Theatre); The Water Engine (Old Vic Tunnels); Glory Dazed (Soho Theatre); The Mobile Phone Show (Lyric Hammersmith); Almost Maine (Park Theatre); The Separation (Project Arts Centre, Dublin/Theatre503); Where The Mangrove Grows (Theatre503); To Dream Again (Clwyd/Polka); The Giant Jam Sandwich (Trafalgar Studio/Derby Live/Polka) Thumbelina’s Great Adventure (Cambridge Arts Centre); I (Heart) Peterborough (Pleasance/Tour).
Annie Lunnette Deakin-Foster – Movement Director
Annie-Lunnette Deakin-Foster is a passionate contemporary dance theatre choreographer, maker and movement director and is a co-founding member of award winning company, C-12 Dance Theatre. Recent Theatre Credits Include:_ Grimm Tales_, directed by Kirsty Housley at the Unicorn Theatre; Jericho’s Rose by Althea Theatre at The Hope & Anchor; Pop Music by Anna Jordan and directed by James Grieve, Barry Jackson and Paines Plough national tour; The Court Must Have A Queen by Ade Solanke directed by Sam Curtis Lindsay at Hampton Court Palace; These Bridges by Phoebe Éclair-Powell (WCYT as part of National Theatre Connections at The Bush); The Little Match Girl And Other Happier Tales by Joel Horwood and Emma Rice (Shakespeare’s Globe, Bristol Old Voc and National Tour); The Dark Room by Angela Betzien (Theatre 503); I Know All The Secrets Of My World by Natalie Ibu (Tiata Fahodzi, National Tour). Recent Dance Credits Include: Force (Abbey Road Studios, Imagine Festival Watford, Greenwich & Docklands International Festival, & Netherlands) Shhh! (Dance City, MAC Birmingham, Norwich Playhouse, The Woodville Gravesend, CircoMedia Bristol, Winchester Theatre Royal) The Van Man (Watch This Space at The National, St Albans Festival, Freedom Festival Hull, The Albany Outdoors).
Dominic Kennedy – Sound
Dominic Kennedy is a Sound Designer and Music Producer for performance and live events, he has a keen interest in developing new work and implementing sound and music at an early stage in a creative process. Dominic is a graduate from Royal Central School of Speech and Drama where he developed specialist skills in collaborative and devised theatre making, music composition and installation practices. His work often fuses found sound, field recordings, music composition and synthesis. Recent design credits include; Ramona Tells Jim (Bush Theatre), And The Rest Of Me Floats (Outbox), I Am A Tree (Jamie Wood), Box Clever (nabokov), Skate Hard Turn Left (Battersea Arts Centre), Roundabout Season 2017 (Paines Plough), Gap In The Light (Engineer), Broken Biscuits (Paines Plough), Roundabout Season 2016 (Paines Plough), With A Little Bit Of Luck (Paines Plough), The Human Ear (Paines Plough), The Devil Speaks True (Goat and Monkey), Run (Engineer), Ono (Jamie Wood).
Peter Small – Lighting
Peter studied Lighting Design at RADA. He has recently been nominated for two Offie Best Lighting Awards for Black Mountain (Paines Plough) at The Orange Tree Theatre and A Girl In School Uniform (Walks In To A Bar) at the New Diorama, as well as the Theatre & Technology Creative Innovation in Lighting Award, also for A Girl In School Uniform. Recent lighting designs for theatre include three of the 2018 Paines Plough Roundabout tour shows, How To Spot An Alien, Sticks And Stones and Island Town, also Square Go, Out Of Love, Black Mountain and How To Be A Kid (2017); Plastic (Poleroid Theatre, Old Red Lion); Old Fools (Southwark Playhouse); A Girl In School Uniform (Walks Into A Bar) (New Diorama); Fox (Old Red Lion); Memory Of Leaves (UK Tour); She Called Me Mother (Pitch Lake Productions, UK Tour); The Venus Factor (Bridewell Theatre, MTA Academy); East End Boys And West End Girls (Arcola Theatre and tour); A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Free Association and Crazy Lady (Forum Alpbach, Austria) and Richard III and Bard On Board 2 (Royal Court, Queen Mary 2 Ocean Liner). Lighting designs for Opera and Musical Theatre include The Rape Of Lucretia (Stratford Circus), All Or Nothing (West End and tour), Cinderella (Loughborough Theatre), Tom & Jerry (EventBox Theatre, Egypt), The Venus Factor (Bridewell Theatre). Peter was also a Revival Lighting Designer on Kiss Me Kate for Oper Graz. Upcoming projects include Sorella Mia at The Place, as well as taking Ad Libido and Square Go on UK tours.