Sunday, October 2

The Sh*t hits the stage at Leeds Playhouse

The Sh*t which premieres at Leeds Playhouse in March asks what happens when you have just one hour a week to save a life?

This new two hander takes us into one of the thousands of forgotten youth centres across the country, where Eric has a single hour each week to break Daniel out of his spiral towards jail or the grave.

Created by The Working Party Theatre Company, and produced by Matthew Schmolle Productions, it’s an honest, unflinching examination of the relationship between those at the margins of society and the people employed to help them.

The Sh*t is written by BAFTA-nominated writer Kenny Emson in consultation with youth workers and young people in London and Leeds.

The artists and producers in The Working Party, who originally commissioned the play have worked with marginalised young people for many years hearing numerous stories, from the inspirational to the heartbreakingly tragic.

Actor Lladel Bryant in rehearsals. Photography by Anthony Robling

In late 2018, they started researching directly with youth workers and young people in London and Leeds about their experiences. Through one-to-one anonymised interviews with representatives and clients of some of key public sector and charitable organisations, they created an archive documenting real-life experiences of the sector.  

The cast is Lladel Bryant as Eric, who is well-known to Playhouse audiences from his roles in A Christmas Carol, The Night Before Christmas, Road and Europe, and Dillon Scott-Lewis as Daniel. Samantha Béart takes the voice role of Sara.

“Every day, qualified youth workers up and down the country are quietly doing an incredible job in their communities supporting young people who might otherwise fall through the cracks,” says Alexander Ferris who directs The Sh*t.

“The original idea for this play came from incidental conversations during our projects in communities in London and Leeds; that the work was getting harder, resources were getting more scarce and the challenges facing young people were becoming increasingly complex.

“Yet, over the last ten years, youth services in the UK have been cut by 70%, and over the last year the number of young people needing access to mental health support has increased by a third. Youth workers and youth services are helping young people get on the right path right on our doorstep yet the majority of us have no idea it is taking place.  

“This play shines a light on this by sharing a dynamic set of moving, funny and complex exchanges between Daniel, a young person whose chaotic life is dragging him down, and Eric, the youth worker charged with seeing him through it.”

The Sh*t is in the Bramall Rock Void from 3rd – 5th March. Box office: 0113 213 7700 or www.leedsplayhouse.org.uk

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