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Prize play set for Royal Court Studio premiere

A comedy which won the 2022 Liverpool Hope Playwriting Prize is set to be premiered at the Royal Court next month.

Lawrence Quilty’s The Independent Socialist Republic of the Upper End of the Lower Breck Road comes to the Roe Street venue’s Studio space from May 2-18.

Peter Ryan MP has run an authentic, honest, old-school campaign to hang on to his Merseyside seat in the face of mounting pressure from the right. He’s been out on the streets. He’s knocked on doors. He’s played by the rules.

He’s lost…

But will Peter let the small matter of a devastating shock defeat at the ballot box keep him from serving his community?

Armed with a fierce sense of right and wrong, a small, dedicated (and slightly confused) staff, and a pistol that’s older than one of Keir Starmer’s dad’s tools, he’s making a stand against the worst excesses of modern politics.

Step behind the barricades and find out what happens when the straw finally smashes through the camel’s back.

The play, which beat eight other finalists to win the £10,000 first prize in the playwriting competition run by Liverpool Hope University and Liverpool’s Royal Court, was originally titled Peter Byrne is Standing Here.

Above: Lawrence Quilty won the 2022 Liverpool Hope Playwriting Prize with his political comedy. Photo by Clara Mbirini.

Cardiff-based playwright and arts administrator Quilty writes historical fiction and ‘contemporary comedies with a political bent’ for the stage.

Among his other work GAIA, a short play about a refugee amid near-future climate collapse, was performed at The Scene New Writing Festival at Chiswick Playhouse in 2020, while The Liberties – about a failed rebellion in 19th Century Ireland - was longlisted for the Finborough Theatre's ETPEP Award and shortlisted for The Other Room New Page programme in 2020.

The Independent Socialist Republic of the Upper End of the Lower Breck Road is at the Royal Court Studio from May 2-18. Tickets HERE


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