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Where the Mangrove Grows - Theatre503

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

Theatre503 and Number Nine Theatre are presenting the world premiere of Where the Mangrove Grows, the debut play by Royal Court Studio writer Joe Hammond.

Inspired by his work with vulnerable young people, Where the Mangrove Grows is based on a young boy’s experiences in care.

It will be directed by former Bush Associate Director Tamara Harvey and will run at Battersea’s Theatre503 from November 6 to December 1, 2012.

Twelve year-old Shaun just can’t work it out. Why hasn’t his Mum come to visit? Why has his care-worker taken away his picture book? And who is the man at the window calling him away? With a bed for a boat and a piece of skirting board for an oar, Shaun sets off for mangroves in this darkly enchanting tale of a lost boy’s transformation.

Tamara Harvey’s recent credits include Educating Rita (Menier Chocolate Factory/Theatre Royal Bath), Blue Heart Afternoon (Hampstead Theatre), The Kitchen Sink, Sixty-Six Books and The Contingency Plan (Bush Theatre).

Her other credits include Bedroom Farce (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Plague Over England (Finborough Theatre and West End) and Dancing at Lughnasa (Birmingham Rep). She is currently developing a new musical with Tim Rice based on James Jones’ novel From Here to Eternity.

Joining the creative team will be Amy Cook, who recently designed the acclaimed production of Mudlarks (Theatre503/Bush Theatre) and lighting designer Oliver Fenwick, who has recently worked on Berenice at the Donmar Warehouse. Sound is by Matt McKenzie.

Joe Hammond has a Long history of working as a writer with young people who have extreme emotional and behavioral needs – in both ‘care’ and education settings. Last year, he was invited onto the Royal Court Studio Writers’ Group, having previously been one of ‘The Fifty’– a prestigious BBC/Royal Court initiative that selected fifty of the UK’s ‘most exciting emerging playwrights’ for development and industry mentoring.

Prior to Where The Mangrove Grows, he has also been the recipient of a Soho Theatre START residency and an Arts Council England funded residency with award-winning, Theatre Absolute.

Tickets: £14, £9 concessions Tuesday to Saturday, Pay what you can Sundays. Tickets are available from the box office on 020 7978 7040 or online at

Times: Tuesday to Saturday at 7.45pm, Sunday at 5pm.

NB: Where the Mangrove Grows contains themes that some audience members may find distressing.