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Unity Up Next Festival date for questioning drama


A new play which looks at how to navigate sobriety in a world which revolves around alcohol is set to be staged at the Unity next month as part of its Up Next Festival.

Helen Jeffery’s Buckled, which comes to the Hope Place theatre on May 3, also forms part of this year’s WoWFest.

The piece focuses on three separate characters who are all connected, and all have different relationships with alcohol and each other.

Ruby doesn’t think she has a problem. Maggie is almost six months into recovery. And then there’s Callum…

Jeffery says: “It’s not a piece about telling people not to drink, it’s a piece about raising questions.

“Alcohol is at the centre of so many of our interactions in society. And, let’s face it, people drink a lot of the time to have a good time.

"So I want the show to feel like a good time, but to also ask some of those questions about alcohol that perhaps people aren’t willing to ask themselves when it comes to their own relationships.”

Jeffery is a writer, performer, poet and graduate of the Playwright’s Programme at the Liverpool Everyman. She has had several plays produced including The Brink, and Gun Metal Blue - which won the Blink.Theatre Award for New Writing in 2017.

In January 2022 she published her debut poetry pamphlet, Journey, and is currently working on putting together her first full poetry collection.

Buckled, which is sponsored by the Big Drink ReThink Podcast, was first staged at Shakespeare North Playhouse in March.

The May 3 performance will feature a post-show Q&A with Jeffery.

Up Next Festival runs from April 24 to May 4 and features newly-commissioned works from Merseyside artists and companies including plays, poetry, cabaret, sound installations and music.

The festival has been made possible thanks to the 2023 Open Call Crowdfunder donors and funding from The Arts Society and the Granada Foundation.

Buckled is at the Unity Theatre on May 3. Tickets HERE

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