Following an acclaimed run at the White Bear Theatre late in 2019, Empty in Angel returns to the stage this spring, touring to London’s Etcetera Theatre and Old Red Lion Theatre before heading to the south coast for the Brighton Fringe Festival. Book your tickets now!
James Woolf‘s tale of a bicycle courier runs at the Etcetera from 8 to 12 April 2020, Old Red Lion from 23 to 26 April and at Electric Arcade: The Pit from 2 to 10 May.
Empty in Angel tells the story of a bicycle courier and her community’s astounding fight for workers’ rights in the gig economy – their simple demands for fairness, dignity and security which will end in a historic legal battle.
Based on actual events, Empty in Angel lifts the lid on the gig economy and tells it like it is. It is a powerful piece of political theatre about something happening right now, the burgeoning movement to fight back against the gig economy ethos.
Law Society Policy Adviser Woolf was inspired to write Empty in Angel after attended a lunchtime presentation on the gig economy. The drama was written with the full knowledge, approval and cooperation of the Independent Workers of Great Britain (IWGB), the trade union that supported the courier through the court case which forms the foundation for this play. Throughout the writing of the piece, the main players in the story were available to James to ensure the accuracy of the script. Many cycle couriers came to see the performance and attested to the play fully representing their industry.
When Empty in Angel was staged at the White Bear Theatre in 2019, it was nominated for a Standing Ovation Award, while audiences described it as, “Brilliant. Captivating from beginning to end,” “cracking script, cracking story, cracking actress – loved it,” and “A very powerful piece of theatre, an amazing 60 minutes.” Chris Lilly, in his review for London Pub Theatres, said it was “inspirational and engaging”.
It is fitting that the show goes to Brighton as part of this mini-tour. The seaside city was, in 2017, at the centre of a protests staged by Deliveroo riders who felt they were not being given a fair deal by their employers. They were one of many groups of ‘gig economy’ workers – a term the IWGB describe as a “euphamism for low-paid insecure work” – fighting for better rights.
Darcy Willison, who starred at the White Bear Theatre, returns to the production for its 2020 run. The actor, who trained at Fourth Monkey Actor Training Company, boast previous credits including Lazarus’ Lord of the Flies and Little Fish Theatre’s Where The Lines Are Drawn.
She’s directed in Empty in Angel by Ursula Campbell, the Canada-born London-based director who has worked on productions including Face the Camera and Smile (King’s Head Theatre), The Emperor Jones (Stockwell Playhouse) and Things That Go Bump (Cockpit Theatre).
Writer James Woolf is a playwright and short story writer whose work has appeared in Ambit, Spread The Word, Village Square Journal and Riggwelter, and have been shortlisted for the Bridport Short Story Prize and Exeter Short Story Prize.
Empty in Angel runs at Etcetera Theatre, 265 Camden High Street, London NW1 7BU from 8 -12 April with performances Wednesday to Saturday 7pm, Sunday 6pm. Tickets are priced £15. It runs at Old Red Lion Theatre, 418 St Johns Street, London EC1V 4NJ from 23 – 26 April with performances Thursday to Sunday 8.30pm. Tickets are priced £15. And it runs at The Electric Arcade: The Pit, The Brighton Zip, Madeira Dr, Brighton BN2 1TB from 2-10 May with performances 2-3 May 5pm, 6 May 8.30pm and 8-10 May 3pm. Tickets are priced £10. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE!!