A ten-strong cast of emerging actors has been announced for Extremism, written by Harold Pinter award-winning playwright Anders Lustgarten at Theatre Peckham.
Harold Pinter Award-winning playwright Anders Lustgarten’s highly charged play about fear, friendship and the creeping polarisation of our society, opens in London at Theatre Peckham from 5 – 23 November 2019.
The cast of Extremism are Asha Hassan (Suhayla), Nansi Love (Rachel), Na’eemah N’diaye (Olive), Nadezhda Stoycheva (Melina), Tyrell Weekes-Harper (Samuel), Hollie Regan (Kirsty), Marlo Rye (Darren), Julien Pitchell (Evan), Denneil Dunbar (Chris) and Kingsley Sowole (Jordan).
Set in a classroom, the story unfolds after one of the pupils has been taken away by the government organisation ‘Prevent’ because the teacher believes them to be demonstrating signs of radicalisation. Left alone in the classroom, the rest of the class try to come to terms with what’s happened. The situation soon becomes a melting pot for explosive opinions and actions. Surprise turns to suspicion, suspicion turns to fear, fear turns to accusation and accusation turns to violence.
The revival of Lustgarten’s political piece, which was first staged as part of the NT Connections festival in 2017, aims to shine a light on the issues and stimulate debate around the radicalisation of young people. Directed by Theatre Peckham’s Artistic Director Suzann McLean and including a cast of 10 young emerging actors, the play also presents a milestone for the theatre in terms of the themes explored and its output as a producing theatre.
Conversation Stations will be set up after each performance and audiences will have the opportunity to talk to and seek advice from specialist organisations about the issues raised in the play.
Suzann McLean comments: “This is a vital play and I’m thrilled that we are reviving it for audiences in London and especially in Southwark. It deals with many challenges facing young people in today’s society; peer pressure, consent, friendship, racism, and not least a growing area of concern, radicalisation. My hope is that this play allows us to question stereotypes and the use of negative language surrounding identity-based on race or religion. It will be a challenging watch, but I feel that seeing fictional portrayals of bullying at its most basic (sometimes referred to as ‘banter’) as well as at its worst we will see drama being utilised as a medium for social change.”
Extremism is directed by Suzann McLean and designed by Emma Wee.
Theatre Peckham is a pioneering Learning Theatre for young people since 1986, home to world-class creative learning and performance, providing a talent pool for the creative industries. At the heart of Theatre Peckham’s success is its commitment to diversity and inclusivity.