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  • Old Red Lion Theatre 418 St John St London, EC1V 4NJ United Kingdom (map)

OCT 13 - NOV 7

Tuesday – Saturday, 7.30pm, (3pm Saturday matinees, 2pm Sunday matinees, no evening performance Saturday, October 31st), 2hrs (including interval)



Peter Hamilton's Playground is a gruesomely comic follow-up to his hit play Bridlington, and reunites him with acclaimed director/designer and Old Red Lion legend Ken McClymont (Mugs Arrows, No Picnic, Beak Street) in a story of things falling apart beneath the swing-set.

 “There isn't going to be no revolution. I've told you: you can't change the world.” Playground is about a fragmented, broken society. It's about the lost, the damaged and the disappointed. About rattling about in the nightmarish modern world. It takes the form of a murder mystery. It takes place in a park. Someone's been decapitating children with a fret-saw. Someone's been reading Enid Blyton. Something has gone badly wrong.

Two detectives struggle to solve a spate of child murders in Victoria Park, East London. Small bodies found beheaded with a Famous Five novel lying open on top of them. Suspects are readily available: previous and current patients at Bow Road Psychiatric Unit; Danny, a night cleaner at Canary Wharf; Stuart, a rough-sleeper from Walthamstow; private school drop-out-turned-Communist Tamsin; or frayed and failed Carolyn who teeters on the brink of another suicide attempt. Then there's Bella, the proprietor of canal-side Drop-In Cafe, who just happens to go about with a ferocious looking knife in her shoulder-bag.


***** “emotionally flooring... spectacularly funny... beautifully ordered chaos… a surprising and revelatory piece of new writing” (London Theatre 1)

***** “surrealistic, powerful and extraordinarily beautiful play” (Remotegoat)

**** “an affectionate and often darkly humorous tale of mental illness” (The Upcoming)


Earlier Event: October 1
5 Guys Chillin'
Later Event: October 19