World premiere at Plymouth

THE world is chaotic and it’s hard to be optimistic – this is the essential theme of You Stupid Darkness!, a new play by Sam Steiner which has its world premiere in a joint production by Paines Plough and Plymouth’s Theatre Royal at Plymouth, from Thursday 7th to Saturday 23rd February.

The production is directed by Paines Plough’s joint artistic director James Grieve.

Set in a call centre for Brightline helpline, the play explores the struggle for optimism and community amid the chaos of a collapsing world.

In a cramped, crumbling office four volunteers spend a few hours every Tuesday night on the phone to strangers telling them everything is going to be OK. As the outside world disintegrates around them, Frances, Joey, Angie and Jon teeter on the edge of their own personal catastrophes. Their hopes and fears become entangled as they try, desperately, to connect with the callers and with each other.

The cast includes David Carlyle, Andrew Finnigan, Becci Gemmell and Lydia Larson. The production marks the continuation of a long-standing relationship between Paines Plough and Theatre Royal Plymouth and follows the success of Love, Love, Love and The Angry Brigade.

James Grieve says: “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.”

Sam Steiner won Plymouth Theatre Royal’s Playwright Fellowship 2016. His debut play, the award-winning Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons, had three sell-out runs at the Edinburgh Fringe and toured nationally.