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Chalk Farm - Bush Theatre

Chalk Farm

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

FOLLOWING a hugely successful run at this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe, ThickSkin Theatre is presenting the London debut of Chalk Farm, by Kieran Hurley and AJ Taudevin, at the Bush Theatre – from November 14 to November 16, 2013.

Part of the RADAR programme, Chalk Farm is an ‘explosive’ new play about love and blame in the aftermath of the 2011 London riots. Two years on, the play resurrects the discourse on one of the most contentiously debated events of recent British history.

Written as a two-hander, the play follows the lives of a mother and son living in Chalk Farm amidst the aftermath of the riots, through ThickSkin’s trademark blend of music, video and text, with creative lighting design by Simon Wilkinson.

First produced by Glasgow’s Òran Mór and performed at the venue in October 2012, the play was redeveloped for an all-new production at the fringe, where it was performed to sell out audiences as part of the Made in Scotland showcase.

Julia Taudevin was in her much-praised role as Maggie, while the company carried out an extensive search for an emerging young artist to play the second role of Jamie, finally casting Londoner Thomas Dennis (Tomorrow I’ll Be Happy, Lyric Hammersmith; Oliver!, Theatre Royal Drury Lane).

Playwrights Kieran Hurley and AJ Taudevin said:

“In the aftermath of the London riots, it felt like the lid was lifted on our society’s tendency to demonise, vilify, and blame its most oppressed members. In most cases, the riots were superficially depicted as little more than the work of mindless thugs rather than the result of more complex social injustices. Through telling a personal and human story, and considering what is at stake for the families of those bound up in the riots, and the young rioters themselves, Chalk Farm aims to offer an alternative to this narrative.”

Chalk Farm is directed and designed by Neil Bettles, co-founder and Artistic Director of ThickSkin. His directing credits for the company include The Static (winner of the Scottish Arts Club – Edinburgh Guide Scottish Theatre Award and Three Weeks Editors Award), and Blackout (winner of The Arches Brick Award).

Bettles is also a creative associate of Frantic Assembly and was Associate Director of Beautiful Burnout (2010) and Lovesong (2011), and Assistant Director of Dirty Wonderland (2005). He is currently Associate Choreographer for the National Theatre’s new musical by Tori Amos, The Light Princess.

Chalk Farm is suitable for ages 14+.

Running Time: Approximately 60 minutes.

For more information or to book, call the box office on 020 8743 5050 or visit

The Herd, award-winning actor Rory Kinnear’s debut play, continues at the Bush Theatre until October 26, 2013.