Jack Thorne’s teen musical Junkyard premieres at Bristol Old Vic

Junkyard. Images Manuel Harlan.

“Who’d want to join in building a f***ing playground? We’re 13 years old”

Jack Thorne’s sublime Junkyard, a wildly funny and vivid new musical about a miscreant group of misfit teenagers who come together to build an adventure playground, tours to Wales and Kingston-upon-Thames after completing its run at Bristol Old Vic.

It’s 1979, and a motley crew of teenagers grudgingly agree to create a junk playground in Bristol under the guidance of the well-meaning Rick.

As the playground starts to come to life – it turns from something that means nothing to something that means a lot. And kids that care about nothing, start to care a lot.

But darkness has a way of coming back and biting you when you least expect it.

Inspired by the true story behind the Lockleaze playground known as ‘The Vench’, established over 30 years ago and still operating today, Junkyard is a story about Bristol, from BAFTA and Evening Standard award-winning writer – and Bristolian Jack Thorne.

It stars Scarlett Brookes, Calum Callaghan, Josef Davies, Erin Doherty, Kevin McMonagle, Enyi Okoronkwo, Seyi Omooba, Lisa Palfrey, Jack Riddiford and Ciaran Alexander Stewart.

The musicians are musical director Akintayo Akinbode on bass with Nadine Lee on drums and Dario Rossetti-Bonell on guitar.

Junkyard, directed by Jeremy Herrin, artistic director of Headlong, is a co-production with Headlong, Bristol Old Vic, Rose Theatre Kingston and Theatr Clwyd.

Jack Thorne is one of the country’s leading writers with his work spanning theatre, film, television and radio.

His theatre credits include Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (which won Best Play in the Evening Standard Theatre Awards); Hope and Let The Right One In, directed by John Tiffany; The Solid Life of Sugar Water for the Graeae Theatre Company; Bunny for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival; Stacy for the Trafalgar Studios; 2nd May 1997 and When You Cure Me, for the Bush.

Upcoming work includes an adaptation for the BBC of Philip Pullman’s acclaimed trilogy His Dark Materials.

Junkyard (Book and Lyrics by Jack Thorne, music by Stephen Warbeck) runs at Bristol Old Vic until March 18 before touring to Theatr Clwyd, Wales (29 March to 15 April) and Rose Theatre, Kingston (19 to 30 April).

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