Longsight Theatre Company present YOU

YOU by Mark Wilson
VAULT Festival (The Pit), The Vaults, Leake Street, SE1 7NN
Wednesday 14 – Sunday 18 February 2018, 19:45 (Sunday Matinee, 16:45)

“You still have the clothes, don’t you; the ones they let you keep? Still in that drawer in the upstairs room, and the piece of faded blue card with his birth-weight and the time – blue for a boy.”

Longsight Theatre presents the award-winning YOU, a powerful play about adoption, by BBC Radio 4 writer Mark Wilson. YOU stars Kathryn O’Reilly (Our Country’s Good for Out of Joint, ITV’s Lewis, BBC One’s Call The Midwife) and Stephen Myott-Meadows (Hoax: My Lonely Heart for the Manchester Royal Exchange, Channel 4’s Hollyoaks) and is directed by Sarah Meadows (Where Do Little Birds Go?, Mr Incredible).

This ‘monumental play’ (Fringe Guru) was first performed by Longsight Theatre at the Brighton Fringe Festival in May 2015, where it won the Brighton Festival Award for Theatre, the Argus Angel Award for Artistic Excellence and Fringe Review Outstanding Theatre Award.

Kathleen sits anxiously waiting for the arrival of a man whom she had given up for adoption thirty years before and who has now traced her. Years spent insulating herself from the pain of separation and loss fall away as she begins to recall the events, the relationships and conversations – both imagined and real – with a clarity that brings each of her story’s characters to life.
Mark Wilson’s YOU is a stark exploration of the hopeless exhausting rage of rejection, self-acceptance, love and forgiveness. The play encapsulates all the raw and complex emotions of the players in an adoption narrative, giving a powerful insight into how complicated and painful it can be for all involved.

Writer Mark Wilson comments, ‘Looking back now I see YOU, just perhaps, as having come from a need to hear my own mother, hear her story; a need to conjure her as a way of managing the loss I realised I was feeling. It would have been so obvious for me to have told the adopted person’s story. That was my experience after all. But from the beginning it was her story that started to be told. Her voice. I think, too, there was an overwhelming need to forgive or self-accept… there’s no blame; no ‘goodies and baddies’. It’s simply peopled by characters trying to do their best which, I think, is what most of us, knowingly or otherwise, wake up each morning intending to do. So, yes, it’s about adoption, definitely, and for me it’s also much more.’
Both writer and director are adopted, and Sarah Meadows continues, ‘This play gives both Mark and I as adoptees and theatre makers the opportunity to communicate the complex reality of adoption; to reach out to the adoption community but to also start a conversation universally about how we publicly understand and talk about it’.

Longsight Theatre makes award-winning, brave, intimate theatre with a focus on new writing.
Walter Nicoletti
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