A tale of two sisters and a bond forged through childhood adversity, Poisoned Polluted has drawn acclaim and plaudits during the first weeks of its run at the Old Red Lion Theatre. Take a look at production images then book your tickets for the show’s final weeks.
Kathryn O’Reilly’s drama runs at the acclaimed Islington venue until 30 November 2019.
“I have to fight back. But I can’t fight back. It’s so strong, the feeling is so strong. I can’t breathe and there’s a tapping a light tapping that’s when I wake. I wake up.”
Two sisters struggle to survive in the wake of a toxic childhood, bound by the legacy of what has been before. Each must find a way to build a life out of chaos. But what happens when the ties that bind become the thing that holds you back? Inextricably linked by blood, all they have is each other.
O’Reilly’s play is a stark, bold, powerful and poetic drama looking at the effects on adult life of childhood trauma and the cycles of drug abuse. The actor and writer’s second play, Poisoned Polluted explores themes of co-dependency, parental loss, abuse and addiction. It follows the success of previous play Screwed, which ran at Theatre 503 and was described by Time Out as “Sharply observed and brusingly funny.”
In addition to writing Poisoned Polluted, O’Reilly also stars in the production, returning to the Old Red Lion Theatre where she appeared in Skin in the Game earlier this year. She went on to win the Best Performance Award when she took that production to Birmingham Fest. O’Reilly’s other stage credits include Close Quarters (Out of Joint), You (VAULT Festival) and Arms and the Man (Watford Palace Theatre).
O’Reilly is joined in the production by Anna Doolan, who previously worked with O’Reilly on Bluebird at The Space in 2018. Doolan’s other productions include Mighty Atoms (Hull Truck Theatre), Dracula (Fairfield Halls) and The Big Sleep (The Mill at Sonning).
Lucy Allan directs the pair of performers. Allan is also the co-founder of Unholy Mess Theatre Company, with whom she has directed productions including Above The Mealy-Mouthed Sea, Melody and Endgame.
In their four-star review of the production, Broadway World described Poisoned Polluted as “an earnest and piercing play,” while My Theatre Mates’ own Liz Dyer said on The Blog of Theatre Things: “Powerfully written and performed, the play shines an uncomfortable light on the ways in which a relationship that should be healthy and innocent can be twisted by the actions of others into something deeply damaging.”
Poisoned Polluted plays at the Old Red Lion Theatre, 418 st John St, Islington, London EC1V 4NJ until 30 November 2019 with performances Tuesdays to Saturdays 7.30pm, matinees Saturdays and Sundays 3pm. Tickets are priced £15.50. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE!
Poisoned Polluted production gallery (Images: Robert Workman)