Share equal da child-care? When done you get so fuckin’ middle- class? What, you gonna get a nanny next? Gonna start quaff quaffin’ red wines an’ chattin’ shit ‘bout dem rocketin’ house prices?
Pink loves Rolly. Rolly loves Pink. And Pink loves getting bombed off her face. Sisters from the same nest. Both trapped in a tiny rotting world. Both cuffed to a past that refuses to release them. One wants out. The other needs her in. Trouble is that when you complete each other, you’re nothing on your own.
Commissioned by celebrated theatre company Clean Break, Pests is the searing new play from Vivienne Franzmann (Mogadishu, The Witness) winner of the 2008 Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting 2008, George Devine Award 2010 and the Pearson Playwright Bursary for the Royal Court 2012. She developed the play during her time as Resident Playwright with the company, which has included a number of residencies in women’s prisons, secure mental health and community settings.
The play is co-produced with Royal Exchange Theatre, which premiered Vivienne’s award-winning debut play Mogadishu in 2008, and Royal Court Theatre, which commissioned and presented The Witness in 2012.
As Resident Playwright at Clean Break, Vivienne Franzmann’s work also included writing Sounds Like an Insult, a short play commissioned by Clean Break in association with National Offender Management Service (NOMS) and the Department of Health. Performed by graduates of the company’s education programme, the production tours to criminal justice audiences, policy-makers and politicians.
Ellie Kendrick plays Rolly. For the Royal Court, she appeared in The Low Road and In the Republic of Happiness. Her theatre credits also include Romeo and Juliet at Shakespeare’s Globe and film credits include Cheerful Weather for the Wedding and An Education. Ellie’s television credits include Game of Thrones, Misfits, Chickens, Being Human, Upstairs Downstairs and the title role in the BBC’s most recent adaptation of The Diary of Anne Frank.
Sinéad Matthews plays Pink. For the Royal Court she appeared in A Time To Reap. Sinead's recent theatre credits include Blurred Lines at the National Theatre, Trout Stanley at the Southwark Playhouse and The Master and Margarita for the Barbican. Sinead's TV credits include the Sky 1 drama The Smoke, Way To Go for BBC 3 and Black Mirror – Be Right Back for Channel 4. Her film credits include Untitled Mike Leigh 2013, Wreckers, Nanny McPhee and The Big Bang, The Boat that Rocked, Pride and Prejudice and Vera Drake.
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Erin Gavaghan is an experienced executive arts manager who has worked within both new writing theatre and contemporary dance / choreography.
Erin has been Executive Director and joint CEO of Clean Break since October 2018. Previously at Siobhan Davies Dance, she held several roles; most recently as Executive Director (from 2014). Prior to that, she was the General Manager of Soho Theatre (2008-2012), having also followed a path of progression from Front of House Manager (2005-2007) and Deputy General Manager (2007-2008). Since moving to London from Canada in 2000, Erin has also worked at the Royal Albert Hall as the Stewards Administrator and Natural History Museum managing catering services.
Erin studied English Literature and Theatre (Directing) at the University of Victoria (Canada) and attained an MA in Arts Policy and Management from Birkbeck in 2005. She has a passion for life-long learning.
Anna Herrmann has been working in the field of theatre and social change for twenty seven years, specialising in theatre and education with marginalised groups in the UK and abroad. She has been with Clean Break since 2002 as the Head of Education, leading the company’s award winning work with women in the criminal justice system and women at risk of entering it. Anna is co-author of Making a Leap: Theatre of Empowerment: A Practical Handbook for Creative Drama Work with Young People (Jessica Kingsley Publishers). She has an MA in Arts Education from Royal Central School of Speech and Drama and a PG Cert (Distinction) in Race and Ethnic relations. She is a regular visiting lecturer on Applied Theatre courses at Universities across the Country and between 2006 and 2018 was a trustee of Leap Confronting Conflict; a UK based national charity specialising in youth and conflict. Anna sits on the Steering Group of the National Criminal Justice Arts Alliance and is also a trained coach and regularly mentors artists in participatory settings.
Róisín McBrinn is a theatre director with over fifteen years experience working in the UK, Ireland and internationally. She has been with Clean Break since 2016 as the Head of Artistic Programme and during that time has directed Joanne (Soho Theatre and RSC) and House/Amongst The Reeds (Yard Theatre) for the company. She was formerly Associate Director at Sherman Cymru where she oversaw the commissioning and developing of new Welsh writing. Róisín has directed for the Donmar Warehouse (Noveccento), Sheffield Theatres (Afterplay), West Yorkshire Playhouse (Yerma), Prime Cut (Villa/Discurso), The Abbey Theatre (No Escape, Perve, Heartbreak House). She has developed new work for Soho Theatre, The National Theatre, The Bush, The Abbey and Sherman Theatre. This summer she is directing a stage adaptation of Roddy Doyle's The Snapper for Dublin's Gate Theatre.
Fiercly impressive and powerfully intimate
Kate Bassett – The Times
Sizzles, skitters and explodes across the stage
Lyn Gardner – The Guardian
Two women hold up their scars with skill and intensity... A real achievement of theatre making: deeply moving, intimate, absorbing
Stephen M Hornby – Public Reviews