Graduates of the award-winning Young Everyman Playhouse take centre stage in world premiere of ‘Our Town Needs A Nandos’
1 year ago
As Young Everyman Playhouse [YEP] continue their 10 Year Celebrations, graduates of the award-winning programme take centre stage in the world premiere of Our Town Needs A Nandos by Samantha O’Rourke, a YEP writer alumni who wrote the play during her time as YEP writer on attachment. At the Everyman from 23 June to 2 July, this new dark comedy directed by Ameera Conrad brings a fresh perspective to the coming of age genre.
School is a nightmare, boys are infuriating and maccies is the only place open after 6pm.
Growing up isn’t easy, but it’s even harder when you are from a place where no one expects anything of you – and especially if you’re queer or the new girl at school.
Beth, Rachel, Zahidah, Ellie and Chloe are stuck, stuck in their drama group, stuck in school and stuck in their small town which doesn’t even have a Nandos.
Dealing with sexuality, female friendship, threats to young women, class, relationships and the hearts and minds of teenagers, Our Town Needs A Nandos explores the hearts and minds of teenage girls trapped in their small seaside town.
As writer Samantha O’Rourke explains:
“When I wrote the play I was working in a high school and met so many brilliant, bold young women and I knew I wanted to write something which celebrated them. It’s such a tough time – particularly when you don’t see yourself in stories – and especially when you’re from a place where no one expects much from you. So it feels really amazing and kind of radical to have a play on the main stage centring those girls. You can expect lots of laughs, some big questions about how society treats young women and hopefully capturing the joy and chaos of being a teenager.”
A northern writer-director based in North Wales, Sam is part of artist led project Future Forms at the Donmar Warehouse, developing her first feature supported by Ffilm Cymru and a comedy drama series for Channel 4 Drama and was recently selected as part a BFI Flare x BAFTA mentoring programme. She cites her time with YEP as vital to becoming the writer she is today:
“I always say YEP is the reason I was able to do this as a job, I didn’t know anyone who worked in the arts or how you would actually go about becoming a writer! YEP offered me a community of peers, the chance to write for actors, see a load of theatre and work with the most supportive literary department who really believed in me, it was properly life changing.”
The young cast for Our Town Needs A Nandos includes three YEP Actor Graduates: Nadia Anim, Chloe Hughes and Kalli Tant alongside recent LIPA Graduate Jada-Li Warrican and Mali O’Donnell a Welsh RADA graduate.