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by Taylor Mac
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European Premiere

“Stop behaving like a man!”

“We are men!”

Isaac (Arthur Darvill) gets home from serving in the marines to find war has broken out back home. In a nondescript town somewhere in Central Valley – America, Isaac’s mom Paige (Ashley McGuire) is blowing up entrenched routines.

Fed up with domestic patriarchy, Paige has stopped washing, cleaning and caring for their ailing father, who recently suffered a stroke. She reigns supreme.

Ally to their mother’s new regime is Isaac’s sibling Max (Griffyn Gilligan). Only last time Isaac checked, Max was Maxine. Once the breadwinner, Isaac’s dad (Andy Williams) has toppled from the head of the household to the bottom of the pile – a make-upped puppet emasculated by Paige once and for all.

In a cheap house made of plywood and glue, notions of masculinity and femininity become weapons with which to defeat the old order. But in Taylor Mac’s sly, subversive comedy, annihilating the past doesn’t always free you from it.

The New York hit from dynamic playwright and performance artist Taylor Mac (24-Decade History of Popular Music) arrives at the Bush Theatre for its European premiere.

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"Perhaps no play this year inspired a greater sense of awe than Taylor Mac’s audacious dive into the dysfunctional-family playpen of American theater." Top Ten Best Theater of 2015
New York Times
“speaks powerfully about our deep need for a home”
Daily Telegraph
"a blisteringly complex 21st-century version of the kitchen sink drama"
The Upcoming
“Arthur Darvill captures the tragedy of Isaac”
Guardian

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Cast

Ashley McGuire Headshot
Ashley McGuire

Ashley plays Paige. She has previously worked with director Nadia Fall on several productions including The SuicideOur Country's Good and Home (National Theatre). Further National Theatre credits include Light Shining in Buckinghamshire and An Oak Tree. Elsewhere, stage work includes the role of Falstaff in Henry IV (Donmar Warehouse), Shopping and F***ing (Lyric Hammersmith), Re-Charged - Fatal Light (Clean Break/ Soho Theatre) and Housekeeping (Theatre Uncut). For television, she has appeared in This Country, Decline and Fall, In the Club, The IT Crowd Special: The Internet is Coming, The Job Lot, Derek, Miranda and has played recurring roles in Man Down (Series 1-4), Dead Boss and Coronation Street. Film credits include David Brent: Life on the Road and Bridget Jones' Baby.

Griffyn Gilligan
Griffyn Gilligan

Griffyn plays Max. His theatre credits include Teddy Ferrara (Donmar Warehouse), directed by Dominic Cooke. He is a founding member of the ensemble Ponyboy Curtis (The Yard, New Diorama, Camden People’s Theatre). He has worked on various workshops and developments, including BULLISH (Milk Presents/Lyric Hammersmith/Camden People’s Theatre), Antigonna (Young Vic), Weaklings (Chris Goode & Company/Warwick Arts Centre), Jubilee (The Royal Exchange/Chris Goode & Company) and Galatea (Before Shakespeare). Griffyn trained at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.

Andy Williams Headshot
Andy Williams
Andy plays Arnold, Isaac's father. His work in the West End includes The 39 Steps and War Horse. More recently he appeared in Kneehigh’s Rebecca (Theatre Royal, Plymouth & Kneehigh Tour) and previously performed in the company’s production of Nights at the Circus. Further theatre credits include Grand Guignol (Theatre Royal, Plymouth/Southwark Playhouse), A Christmas Carol (Royal Theatre, Northampton), Ben Hur (Watermill Theatre), Judgement Day (Almeida Theatre), Noel Coward’s Brief Encounter and The Play What I Wrote (David Pugh Productions), Russian Roulette (The Featherstonhaughs & the Cholmondeleys), A Matter of Life and Death, Peer Gynt and Romeo and Juliet (National Theatre), More Grimm Tales (Young Vic/ New Victory Theatre, New York/ Sydney Festival), As I Lay Dying, Twelfth Night and The Jungle Book (Young Vic), A Comedy of Errors (RSC/ UK Tour/ International Tour) and Bouncers (Hull Truck). On television he has appeared in Agatha Raisin: The Walkers of Dembley, Waking the Dead, Wire in the Blood, The Ghost Squad and Grown Ups.
Arthur Darvill
Arthur plays Isaac. He last appeared at the Bush Theatre in 66 Books. Other theatre includes Treasure Island (National Theatre), Once (Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre NYC and Phoenix Theatre UK), Our Boys (Duchess Theatre), Soft Cops (RSC), Doctor Faustus (Shakespeare’s Globe), Swimming with Sharks (Vaudeville), Terre Haute (Assembly Rooms, Trafalgar Studios, National Tour) and Stacey (Arcola). Television and film includes Legends of Tomorrow (Berlanti Productions), Broadchurch (Kudos for ITV), Danny and The Human Zoo, The White QueenThe ParadiseDoctor WhoLittle Dorritt (all BBC), He Kills Coppers (Ecosse), The Verdict (RDF), Robin Hood (Imagine Entertainment), Sex, Drugs, Rock N Roll (Lipsync Productions) and Pelican Blood (Ecosse). Arthur is also a composer. For the Bush Theatre he has written music for Suddenlossofdignity.com50 Ways to Leave Your LoverThe Sing ProjectBroken Space Festival and Artefacts. His other composing credits include Fantastic Mr Fox (Nuffield/Lyric Hammersmith/Curve), I Want My Hat Back (National Theatre), Been So Long (Young Vic, Traverse), Lightning ChildThe Frontline (Globe), Stoopud Fucken Animals (Traverse), Crazy Love (Paines Plough) and Is Everyone Ok? (Nabokov). His musical Been So Long, written with Che Walker, has been adapted for screen and is currently in production.

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21 Sep
LONDON! I went to see CHIAROSCURO @bushtheatre last night. ERMAGAWD PLEASE GO! It stars, was composed by & has the… https://t.co/1iGlmoOu6Z
Aisling Bea
@WeeMissBea
20 Sep
LONDON! I went to see CHIAROSCURO @bushtheatre last night. ERMAGAWD PLEASE GO! It stars, was composed by & has the… https://t.co/1iGlmoOu6Z
Aisling Bea
@WeeMissBea
20 Sep
Delighted to be back in London, this time amongst the boundary pushing, on the pulse programme of @bushtheatre https://t.co/HNb0CYDUeD
Dante or Die
@danteordie
20 Sep
Look mum I made it to the @MetroUK ! My London ... my multicultural city 🙏🏾 https://t.co/lWWwdgBw8I
Preeya Kalidas
@PREEYAKALIDAS
20 Sep
So honoured to be a part of this. So inspired by all the women I met last night. #futureshapers 💜 https://t.co/GHB9jAmE7C
Lynette Linton
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20 Sep

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