The drama is set at a New Year’s Eve party, in which Matt cheats on G whilst still owing her £50. G and her friends thus take matters decidedly into their own hands until the truth emerges. The Shagaround is based on Nevill’s own experiences of a relationship ending, and was given its first reading at a lively women-only party. Playwright Nevill had worked and travelled around the world until she found herself employed at the Nuffield. She sent in a script anonymously and was invited to join the theatre’s writers’ group.
Toyah Willcox’s show business career began in her hometown, at Birmingham’s Old Rep Drama School. Early movie starring roles include Mad in Derek Jarman’s Jubilee and Monkey in Quadrophenia. She later worked with Jarman again, and won the Evening Standard Best Newcomer Award as Miranda in The Tempest. By this time, Willcox’s rock band was enjoying success, with hits such as It’s A Mystery and I Wanna Be Free, alongside the acclaimed Anthem album. Following stage work with the National Theatre and Regent’s Park Theatre, she turned TV presenter for the shows Holiday and Fasten Your Seatbelts.
Co-starring alongside Willcox are Luisa Bradshaw-White, Elizabeth Berrington and Veronica Quilligan. Bradshaw-White rose to prominence as a teenager, playing Maris in the children’s television drama Grange Hill. She later landed the role of solicitors’ receptionist Kira in the BBC’s acclaimed This Life. Berrington is a product of the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art. Her theatre credits include An Ideal Husband at the Royal Exchange Theatre and The Country Wife (directed by Michael Grandage) at Sheffield’s Crucible. Her movie experience features two works with Mike Leigh (Naked and Secrets and Lies) plus Philip Kaufman’s Quills and Peter Greenaway’s Eight and a Half Women. Quilligan’s extensive stage career embraces A Lesson in Blood and Roses (RSC), Juliet in Romeo and Juliet (RNT) and the lead role in Gigi (Fortune, West End).
The Croydon Warehouse Theatre was founded in 1977, and the International Playwriting Festival has helped to consolidate its role as a source of new talent. The event has helped launch the careers of Sue Townsend and Caryl Churchill, among others, whilst transferring new plays to the West End and national tours. The festival has been twinned with Premio, its Italian counterpart, for six years.
The Shagaround is directed by Patrick Sandford, the Artistic Director of the Nuffield. The design comes courtesy of Juliet Shillingford, with lighting from David W Kidd.
- by Gareth Thompson