“Unsettlingly well-observed” exploration into the greyer areas of sexual harassment, Thomas Holloway’s drama #MR.SIMONSAID will stage a London run at Tristan Bates Theatre next month. Book your tickets now!
The drama, staged by Test of Time Entertainment, runs at the Camden venue from 15 April to 2 May 2020.
Bill, a timid yet ambitious young graduate, reluctantly agrees to go over to his persistent new boss’s apartment one weekend, thinking they are meeting for a game of squash. Mr Simon’s manipulative behavior, however, soon causes Bill to realise that the invitation was not as innocent as he’d hoped. Bill attempts to make a polite departure, but unfortunately events take a disastrous turn…
Bill, now terrified, solicits the help of his childhood friend, who he hasn’t seen since they awkwardly got together some months ago. When Mr Simon’s supposedly ‘dead ex-boyfriend’ turns up, both Bill and Daffy find themselves complicit in the ordeal and we see how vulnerable people’s lives can be forever ruined by those in positions of power.
In addition to writing #MR.SIMONSAID, Holloway leads the cast as Bill. He’s joined by David Kerby-Kendall (Mr Simon), Billie Hamer (Daffy) and Sid Akbar Ali (Arnold).
Holloway’s stage credits include The Wasp (Jermyn Street Theatre), 5 Guys Chillin (King’s Head Theatre) and We Really Should Do Something (Southwark Playhouse), while Kerby-Kendall’s credits include Half Moon, Private Lives and Abigail’s Party. Hamer previously appeared in Lone Star Diner (Ominbus Theatre), No Man’s Land (Camden Fringe) and immersive production Somnai, and Ali boasts performances in How To Be Lucky (York Theatre Royal) and Eight (West Yorkshire Playhouse).
Speaking about #MR.SIMONSAID, Holloway said:
“I hope that the play will help people to recognise inappropriate behaviour in the future, so they then have the confidence to stop it before it progresses any further. I hope that it will allow them to question what abusing your position of power actually means and so begin to recognise that, even if a particular set of activities are not, say, outlawed in terms of common law, they may still be just plain morally wrong due to the emotional and financial consequences they may have.”
#MR.SIMONSAID is directed by Steven Kunis, who is a member of the Young Vic’s Directors Program. In 2019 he directed the hit production Afterglow at Waterloo East Theatre and worked as Assistant Director on Janet Suzman‘s production of A Lesson From Aloes at the Finborough Theatre. Following #MR.SIMONSAID, he will Young Jean Lee‘s Straight White Men at Southwark Playhouse.
The drama, which is suitable for audiences aged 18 and older due to themes of sexual harassment / abuse of power and use of violence and abusive language, is produced by Test of Time Entertainment.
#MR.SIMONSAID‘s journey to the Tristan Bates Theatre has included a number of productive script readings and workshops. Feedback from these have included Alan Franks, award-winning author, journalist and playwright, commenting:
“I admire the way in which the whole thing moves towards darkness and mild hysteria, so that what started as a rather joshing, knockabout session of (attempted) gay seduction turns into a desperately high-stakes situation. It becomes (and this is nothing but a compliment) quite Joe Orton-like in its journey towards crisis and loss of control.”
The spring / summer season at Tristan Bates Theatre is packed with exciting new work, including dark comedy Partner in the Firm and tale of a pivotal event in AIDS awareness, Moment of Grace.
About Test of Time Entertainment
Run by Rhiannon Drake, Test of Time Entertainment specialises in the production of new theatre writing and music events. Since 2012, it has produced 10 shows across London Fringe and cabaret venues, including sell-out performances at Upstairs at the Gatehouse, Jermyn Street Theatre, Leicester Square Theatre, Lauderdale House, Drayton Arms Theatre, The Pheasantry (Chelsea) and Above The Arts.