The Stephen Joseph Theatre stages Slipping, a contemporary, witty and sharply-observed drama from one of its most recent discoveries this October.
Claudine Toutoungi, writer of Screenplay: Bit Part, which was produced in the theatre’s 2014 summer season, returns with her new play also heard recently on BBC Radio 4.
Elena is charming, witty and complex. She’s about to undergo life-changing surgery with Sean, her specialist.
The sparks fly and their relationship develops from patient and professional to a complex tangle of sex, deceit and lies, while at the same time unearthing a host of ethical quandaries.
It explores the effect of modern living on human relationships and asks: How important is it to look ‘normal’ in the eyes of society?
What is ‘normal’ anyway? How much can we trust ourselves to make the right decisions about our health? And, can we really mix business with pleasure?
Following the success of Screenplay, SJT associate director Henry Bell again directs the new production.
He said: “Claudine has achieved a rare thing – capturing so many aspects of modern living without preaching or moralising.
“It’s a really fun play about serious things with unusual but captivating characters.
“I think an audience will find them amusing but also enjoy the sexiness of the story.
“It’s modern, fast paced and bang on the nose in its observations about this odd world that we live in.
“This was a completely unsolicited script. I read it, loved it and within three weeks we had agreed to programme it.
“I hope it sends the message out to writers that it doesn’t matter if we’ve never heard of you, if you send us work that inspires us and that we think will inspire our audiences then it will make it to the stage.”
Claudine Toutoungi said: “It’s an absolute delight to have my first feature-length play Slipping produced by the Stephen Joseph Theatre.
“I’ve long admired their incredible output of new work and to walk into a place that hums with passion, industry and extreme bonhomie is a galvanising experience for any writer. It’s an honour to join the fold.”
Actor Charlotte Harwood appears as Elena. Christopher Harper, seen in The Village Bike at Sheffield Crucible Studio, plays her prosthetic eye specialist, Sean.
Slipping plays in the McCarthy auditorium at the SJT from October 3-18.