Selena Fillinger’s 2017 American play Faceless, inspired by a true court case about a 19-year-old Denver court case who tried to fly to Syria to join Isis in 2014, gets its European premiere this month at London’s Park Theatre, where it has a strictly limited season in Park 90. Gen up below about the production and the real-life story behind it – and then get booking!
After a sell-out run of Sket in 2016, PMJ Productions returns to London Park Theatre with the European premiere of Selina Fillinger’s play Faceless, which runs from 17 April to 2 May 2018, with a press night on 19 April.
Directed and designed by returning director Prav MJ, Faceless highlights the power of the internet and its far-reaching consequences in the 21st century. Inspired by a true court case, this insightful play follows the life of Susie, a suburban Chicago teenager who converts online from Christianity to Islam and tries to reach Syria. In the ensuing court case, she finds herself portrayed as an enemy of the state and is prosecuted by a young female Muslim lawyer.
“I think I’m ready to convert – I know I need two witnesses for it to count so I Googled it”
The cast of Faceless are Fiona Gent (as Susie), Paige Round, Sam Thorpe-Spinks, Matt Mella and Fearon McElroy. The production has music composed by Jose Albela, with lighting by Gareth Prentice and sound by Joe Dines.
Selina Fillinger is a Chicago-based actor and playwright, who recently graduated from Northwestern University, USA. Faceless was commissioned by Northlight Theatre and the subsequent Chicago production (2017) was nominated for a Joseph Jeff Award. Fillinger is a 2018 recipient of South Coast Repertory’s Elizabeth George commission.
Fillinger will be flying over to London from the US and conducting a Q&A on 17 April 2018 as part of a series of free post-show talks during the run at the Park Theatre. Other Q&A speakers taking part in the series include: John Cameron OBE, Head of Helplines at NSPCC; barrister Tunde Okewale MBE; and journalist James Fergusson, the author of Al-Britannia, My Country – A Journey through Muslim Britain.
In addition, PMJ Productions are partnering with the NSPCC, the young people’s health and wellbeing charity, in order to inform the public about the help that they can access. The production has also inspired the curation of an art exhibition (curated by director Prav MJ) with YOUTH CLUB. The images reflect complex issues highlighted in the play including self-identity and the relationship of young women to digital technology in the 21st-century. These images are part of an art exhibition, GLOW, celebrating women from across the world. The exhibition is curated by Park creative director Melli Marie in the Park Theatre’s gallery.
Faceless runs from 17 April to 13 May 2018 at the Park Theatre, Clifton Terrace, Finsbury Park, London N4 3JP, London SE1 7NN, with performances Tuesdays to Saturdays at 7.45pm, and Thursday and Saturday matinees at 3.15pm. Tickets are priced £18 (concessions £16.50, previews £14.50). CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE!
About PMJ Productions
Faceless is directed by Prav MJ, who founded PMJ Productions in 2014, to support emerging writers and actors and to stage plays that create debate. She has successfully crowdfunded all three of her shows via Kickstarter to gain support from the public and to fund schools to see the shows. The first play, the European Premiere of The Lonely Soldier Monologues by US playwright Helen Benedict, a verbatim piece about female soldiers in the combat zone also received funding from Arts Council England and was nominated for a Liberty Human Rights Arts Award in association with the Southbank Centre. Excerpts of this play were broadcast on BBC Radio 4 Today programme in 2015.
Prav MJ also directed and produced Sket at Park Theatre in 2016, the first play by Maya Sondhi (actress – Citizen Khan & Line of Duty, writer – EastEnders, Mount Pleasant, The Kumars). Sket was featured on Radio 4 Front Row and on Channel 4 TV. Faceless was one of the staged reading series Young Lives Today at Park 90 in 2017 and because of the audience support PMJ Productions decided to take it to a full production.
Art imitates life