Jane Upton’s award-winning play All the Little Lights, inspired by sexual exploitation scandals like the Rochdale sex ring, get its London premiere at the Arcola Theatre in a strictly limited season from 10 October to 4 November 2017. Check out our photo gallery here…
I know you want what everyone else wants. A family. A home. But you’ll never have it. Cos of what’s inside you… Joanne and Lisa were like sisters. Then Lisa got away. Now she’s back, but the ghosts from their past still haunt her. While Amy just wants to belong. In a world where nobody wants you, what would you do to survive?
With the threat of sexual exploitation lurking in the shadows, we see three forgotten girls spending one last night together by the railway line. All the Little Lights examines their desperation to recover what they’ve lost – friendship, family, safety.
This brilliant, thought-provoking play, which premiered at Nottingham Playhouse in 2015 and had an acclaimed UK tour this past spring, follows three teenage girls, the sort of teenagers that society often demonises or overlooks. Inspired by real-life stories, and developed with the support of Safe and Sound, who campaign against child sexual exploitation, All the Little Lights captures the voices of these powerless, underprivileged girls with compassion, humour and authenticity.
All the Little Lights was nominated for Best New Play at the Writers’ Guild Awards 2017, and for it, Jane Upton was named joint winner of the 2016 George Devine Award for Most Promising Playwright. Upton comments:
“When I started researching the Rochdale child sex ring back in 2014, I was overwhelmed by the responsibility that came with creating a play from this sort of material. I almost gave up. But as the characters grew, and similar stories started to break, I knew I wanted to share our play as widely as possible. We’ve toured it nationally and now it’s great to be taking it to a London audience and specifically the Arcola, which has such a fantastic reach. The play is dark, of course, but it’s about three teenage girls so there’s laughter and piss-taking and all the things that come with growing up and negotiating your place. And hopefully, it’s a timely reminder that so many children across the UK are living this horror every day.”
All the Little Lights stars Esther-Grace Button, Sarah Hoare and Tessie Orange-Turner. The Fifth Word and Nottingham Playhouse co-production is directed by Laura Ford and designed by Max Dorey, with lighting by Alexandra Stafford.
Fifth Word is an associate company at Nottingham Playhouse and is run by joint artistic directors Laura Ford and Angharad Jones. They produce and tour ambitious new plays from the most exciting voices around the UK. Their work shines a light on unheard stories bringing fresh, engaging work to theatres’ and younger audiences. They present plays that entertain, emotionally engage and spark debate relevant to our time. Located in the East Midlands, they nurture regional voices and the next generation of talent. In addition to All the Little Lights, Fifth Word has produced Jane Upton’s Bones and Amateur Girl by Amanda Whittington. They are also currently developing new commissioned plays by Phoebe Éclair-Powell and James Fritz.