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Johnson returns to The Bush with a dark sexual tale


Preview by Paul Nelson

THE Bush Theatre, having commissioned the play, is presenting the world premiere of Little Baby Nothing, by acclaimed playwright, Catherine Johnson, directed by Mike Bradwell.

"They has it in church don't they? The wine's the blood and the bread's the body - fucking hell and they think Satanism's sick."

Meet El, Erin and Joby - the Unholy Trinity. They are typical teenagers - dabbling in Satanism, sex and Spar's finest vodka, to an extreme metal soundtrack.

Up on the roof of El's Bristol flat, the three of them are reciting the Lord's Prayer backwards, perfecting chalk pentagrams and making black cloaks out of El's mum's sheets - their rucksacks stuffed with black candles, cigarettes and cheap booze. When one of their rituals gets out of hand and El's dead father is invoked, family relationships and friendships get twisted up in the brewing chaos that follows.

This is Catherine Johnson's first play since writing the script for the world hit Mamma Mia. As a former Bush Theatre Writer-in-Residence (1991) it's a homecoming for her as she casts her own black magic in this funny and sometimes brutal new play, commissioned by The Bush Theatre.

Catherine has premiered three plays at The Bush Theatre, Boys Mean Business (1989), Dead Sheep (1991), and Shang-A-Lang (1998).

Little Baby Nothing is directed by The Bush Theatre's artistic director, Mike Bradwell, and designed by Jonathan Fensom, and the superb cast contains theatre and TV veterans Jem Wall (The Gunpowder Plot (C4), Crocodile Shoes (BBC), and Suzan Sylvester (RSC, RNT, Royal Court). For whom the part of El's mum, Anna, was written. The cast also features three up and coming bright new talents, Tom Daplyn, Alice O'Connell and Jenny Platt.

The show contains strong language and sexual references.

Little Baby Nothing by Catherine Johnson, Directed by Mike Bradwell, Designed by Jonathan Fensom WITH: Jem Wall, Suzan Sylvester, Tom Daplyn, Alice O'Connell, Jenny Platt. Presented at The Bush Theatre, Shepherds Bush Green, London W12 from May 21 to June 21 at 8pm (May 23 at 7pm). Tickets 7610 4224.

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