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Wretch (NHB Modern Plays)

Wretch (NHB Modern Plays)

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Wretch (NHB Modern Plays)

70 pagine
38 minuti
Mar 10, 2017


An ex-teacher and an ex-junkie meet on a night bus during long, dark nights of homelessness.

A year on, Irena has rebuilt her life. But just as she thinks she is safe, Amy crashes head-first back into it with bigger dreams for life’s second chances.

Rebecca Walker’s Wretch toured homeless hostels, drug rehabilitation clinics and drop-in centres in 2015 with Into The Wolf Productions. It was first performed at VAULT Festival, London, in February 2017.

'An ambitious piece, one that tackles homelessness, gender inequality, immigration, petty crime, friendship, loneliness, drug abuse, Russian literature, social media privacy settings, recovery, relapse, house prices, labour conditions, sexual favours, middle management motivational metaphors and much, much more... a spirit and optimism burst[s] through' - Exeunt Magazine

'Raw, poignant… an honest and sincere look at the harsh realities of life after homelessness… its humour does not detract from the serious nature of the content, but rather strengthens our attachment to the characters and makes the lows even more devastating' - LondonTheatre1

Mar 10, 2017

Informazioni sull'autore

Rebecca Walker's debut play Wretch was commissioned by theatre company Into The Wolf, and completed a tour of homeless day centres, drug rehab clinics and hostels in 2015, before being produced by Interval Productions in its first theatrical run at VAULT Festival 2017. She has had short plays produced at The Cockpit, Arcola Theatre, Pleasance Edinburgh, The Vaults, Southwark Playhouse, Bush Theatre, Theatre503 and Tristan Bates Theatre, and is a graduate of the Royal Court's Invitation Group, Young Writers' Programme and the Criterion Theatre's New Writing Group.

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Anteprima del libro

Wretch (NHB Modern Plays) - Rebecca Walker


Wretch was created with Maya Wasowicz and Elle White for Into The Wolf Productions, and toured homeless hostels, drug rehabilitation clinics and drop-in centres in 2015, with the following cast:

It was first performed at VAULT Festival, London, on 8 February 2017, with the following cast:

For Iraj


Thanks to Maya Wasowicz, Elle While, Hilary Tones, Calum Callaghan and Valentina Ricci for giving the play its first life; to our first audiences at the Whitechapel Mission, South London YMCA, Dragon Café, Women at the Well, the Spitalfields Crypt Trust, Lifeline Hackney and The Margins Project for their warm welcome and incisive feedback; to Nick Quinn, Jamie Harper, Matt Applewhite, Sarah Liisa Wilkinson and the VAULT Festival team for taking a chance on the play in its transition to the stage; and to Eliza and the Bear for letting us use their wonderful music in the VAULT Festival production.

Special thanks to Tori Allen-Martin, whose talent, passion and badassery has been a candle in the dark.

Last but not least: to the guests, volunteers and green-badges at Crisis at Christmas’ Women’s Centre, who made my many Christmasses with their compassion, strength and great humour in the face of life’s very worst knocks. Thank you for sparking it off.



AMY, a girl from Scotland

IRENA, a middle-aged woman from Poland

JOSH, a young man from Ruislip

MIKE, a man from Cheshire

Note on Text

(–) indicates a not-fully-finished thought

(…) indicates a trailed-off thought

A speech with (…) in place of written dialogue indicates a character deliberately responding by remaining silent.

This ebook was created before the end of rehearsals and so the texts may differ slightly from the plays as performed.

Scene One

Hostel. Kitchen. Two in the morning.

AMY is sitting at the table, wearing a peeling name label reading ‘AMY!’ in large capitals.

A wash bag and a collection of miniature soap bottles are spread out over the table. She has a permanent marker pen in her hand.

IRENA is wearing a coat, has just come in from outside. A bag over her shoulder.

A fluorescent strip light overhead flickers, pings into light.

AMY looks at IRENA.

AMY. Alright.

IRENA half-nods a response. Takes her coat off, puts it over the back of a chair. She is wearing a warehouse uniform – aertex shirt and tracksuit bottoms.

IRENA fiddles with the padlock on a locked cupboard, opens the cupboard and takes out a loaf of bread and jam.

AMY watches her.

Midnight feast?

IRENA. Dinner.

AMY. Night owl?

IRENA. Night worker.

AMY. You just back from work? Hardcore.


I know you.

IRENA turns, looks at her.

IRENA. ‘Amy.’

AMY. You remember me?

IRENA. No, you are wearing name label.

AMY looks down at her top. Pulls at the edge of the sticker.

AMY. Like starting fucking primary school –

IRENA. You move in today?

AMY. Aye.

IRENA turns back to the counter, begins to assemble her sandwich.

AMY watches her.

…do you remember me?


AMY. What’s your name?

IRENA. Irena.

AMY. I never knew that. Where’s that

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