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The publication will coincide with the world premiere, with the production running at the Lyric Hammersmith (3-26 Sept) and then the Royal Exchange, Manchester (7-31 Oct). Both theatres will be taking copies to sell to audiences. Newly appointed writer-in-residence at the Lyric Hammersmith, Simon Stephens is an award-winning playwright, whose former work includes Harper Regan at the National Theatre (2008). Similar to The History Boys but with added edge, danger and violence, Punk Rock will garner controversial attention and, featuring an ensemble cast of teenagers, will be perfect for students to perform and study.
Simon Stephens has been the recipient of both the Pearson Award for Best New Play 2001-2 for his play Port, and the Olivier Award for Best New Play 2005 for On the Shore of the Wide World. His most recent play, Harper Regan, was produced at the National Theatre in April 2008.
'Simon Stephens has created a stark, bracing and eventually brutal portrait of adolescent relationships in his new play Punk Rock' Mark Shenton, Daily Express, 13.9.09 'Stephens's play...confronts young people as they really are, and builds inexorably towards its tragic and violent climax.' Michael Billington, Guardian, 9.9.09 'Simon Stephens evokes the twilight world of the teenager with scary vividness' Charles Spencer, Daily Telegraph, 9.9.09 'Simon Stephens' powerful and compelling new play' Michael Coveney, Independent, 10.9.09 'Simon Stephens's cracking new play' Benedict Nightingale, The Times, 10.9.09 'This riveting new work confirms Simon Stephens as one of the most important and exciting British playwrights working today' : 'compassion, insight -- and theatrical panache' : 'The writer's perfectly calibrated setup leads auds to some of the biggest, most complex questions of our times' Karen Fricker, Variety, 09.09.09 'Simon Stephens... writes funny and cruel banter which strikes a truthfully juvenile tone.' Matilda Battersby, Independent, 13.09.10 'The piece is gripping, shocking and ferociously funny as anxieties jitter, hormones fizz and misery festers in the library of a Stockport private school.' Sam Marlowe, Time Out London, 16.09.10 'A fierce and eventually shocking story that really taps into the anxieties of teenage youth' Mark Shenton, Sunday Express, 19.09.10 The dialogue zips along, and students love it; the characters swear and bully, but make clever, biting remarks, and the chemistry between them sizzles through the writing. Teaching Drama, Autumn Term 2 2011/12