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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.

This is a past event 15 Jun 2017 to 22 Jul 2017
"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 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.

@bushtheatre

Loved Leave Taking @bushtheatre. One of my favourite pieces of theatre I've seen this year. Saw it 4 days ago and h… https://t.co/zcQlsAhOSG
Christine
@christinegomes
18 Jun
@RaddingtonB This but with me forgetting my fob for @bushtheatre office every second day. (Including today.)
Deirdre O'Halloran
@deirdre_OH
18 Jun
30 close family and friends saw #LeaveTaking @bushtheatre on Saturday night; school friends including my best frien… https://t.co/Oz0lb8JV00
winsome pinnock
@Winsome_Pinnock
18 Jun
Looking forward to catching @sarah_gordy from #JellyfishThePlay on @lorraine this morning @bushtheatre
Mark Cartwright
@markcartwright
18 Jun
Another evening of great theatre. Looking forward to #LeaveTaking at the @bushtheatre tonight; @Winsome_Pinnock’s d… https://t.co/s9yx8nYMO3
althea efunshile CBE
@altheaefunshile
18 Jun
Let's be honest, it's doubtful whether #LeaveTaking would've been in any critic's Best Plays Of Last 30 Years list… https://t.co/ZfkDqyWSdZ
daniel york
@danielfyork
13 Jun

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