Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre brings its current season to a close with the world premiere of Bruntwood prize-winning play Mogadishu by Vivienne Franzmann.

Set in an inner city London school, the play centres on white teacher Amanda. When she is pushed to the ground by black student Jason, she is reluctant to report him as she knows exclusion could condemn him to a future as troubled as his past. She becomes sucked into a vortex of lies in which victim becomes perpetrator. Tensions mount as the truth becomes less clear and more dangerous by the day.

This new play was one of the four joint winners in the most recent Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting. It also went on to win this year’s prestigious George Devine Award for new writing. It is the first play by author Vivienne Franzmann who has herself been a secondary school teacher in East London for ten years.

Guest Director Matthew Dunster takes the helm for this production. His previous Exchange credits include Macbeth, his own adaptation of George Orwell’s 1984 and his award-winning play You Can See The Hills in The Studio (which also played to packed houses in London’s Young Vic Theatre). Other recent credits include critically-acclaimed productions of The Frontline and Troilus and Cressida at London’s Globe Theatre.

The cast includes Hammed Animashaun, Ian Bartholomew, Christian Dixon, Julia Ford, Savannah Gordon-Liburd, Tara Hodge, Fraser James, Tendayi Jembere, Michael Karim, Malachi Kirky, Farshid Rokey and Shannon Tarbet.

Sets and costumes have been designed by Tom Scutt, whose other credits include the recent production of Hamlet at Sheffield Crucible and Rupert Goold’s RSC production of Romeo and Juliet. The creative team is completed by Philip Gladwell (lighting), Ian Dickinson (sound), Wyllie Longmore (voice coach), Kevin McCurdy (fight director) and Kim Pearce (Assistant Director).

Mogadishu runs at the Royal Exchange from 26 January - 19 February and transfers to the Lyric Theatre Hammersmith from Monday 7 March to Saturday 2 April.