Our first play of the Season, Crystal Springs has opened and to great reviews. Today we head into the rehearsal room for the second in our season Chicken Shop by Anna Jordan. Here’s what inspired her to write the play…
“It’s tricky to put my finger on what exactly inspired me to write Chicken Shop, as it was some years ago the first draft was finished. The central character of Hendrix was one I’d been developing for a while, and he’s one of my favourites. Sixteen, old before his time but socially awkward, self-deprecating, vulnerable but funny too.
It was probably 2009 when I read an article in the Hounslow Informer about the raiding of a brothel, where several sex trafficked prostitutes had been rescued. Trafficking wasn’t as prevalent in the news as it is now and I knew relatively little about it. Reading about the conditions these women were living in was harrowing, and propelled me to find out more about the sex trade. It was devastating. But what really hit home was that this was all going on not far from my home. Just opposite my local tube station in fact, above a chicken shop that friends and I had frequented more times than I’d like to admit, in the early hours, bleary eyed and boozy.
Of course the play isn’t just about sex trafficking. It’s about a young man desperately trying to find his way in a complex, confusing world full of contradictions and demands. It’s about becoming a grown up. It’s about unlikely friendships and unconventional relationships. It’s about searching for meaning and companionship in life. For all of its darkness there many moments of light and joy, and I hope some good laughs too.
I’ve been on quite a journey with this play. Three different endings, from six characters, to five, to four and back to five. It’s caused a lot of debate and sparked much interest. But it’s Angie, Jemma and Epsilon who’ve taken the bull by the horns and said “Yes – we want to do this play”. I’m so excited to be working with them and with such a brilliant cast. I can’t wait to see one of my first plays get a proper outing at Park Theatre. “
Chicken Shop opens 2nd September in P90 and runs until 28th September.
Our full cast are Jesse Rutherford, Angela Bull, Millie Reeves, Lucy Roslyn and John Last.