The full cast is Nicholas Banks, Henry Lloyd Hughes, Harry McEntire, Jessica Raine, Tom Sturridge, Katie West, Sophie Wu and Lyric Young Company member Ghazaleh Golpira.
Stephens’s play draws on his experience as a teacher as it follows a group of educated, articulate and aspirational young people in their final year together at an English grammar school. The dislocation and latent violence simmering under their success results in an explosive finale.
This is the second Stephens play that RADA graduate Raine has appeared in; her stage credits to date include his 2008 play Harper Regan, as well as David Hare’s Gethsemane, which were both staged at the National Theatre. She is soon to appear in Ridley Scott’s big screen adaptation of Robin Hood.
Lloyd-Hughes recently appeared on the London stage in Mark Ravenhill’s Shoot/Get Treasure/Repeat, while McEntire returns to the Lyric Hammersmith after starring in youthful new musical Spring Awakening, which transferred to the West End on the back of considerable critical acclaim.
Sturridge and Wu come to the stage following appearances on the big screen in The Boat That Rocked and Kick-Ass respectively, while Banks graduated this year from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
Playwright Stephens won the 2006 Best New Play Laurence Olivier Award for On The Shore Of The Wide World, which premiered at the National Theatre directed by Sarah Frankcom, who also directs Punk Rock. Stephens’s subsequent plays have included Motortown (Royal Court), Sea Wall (Bush theatre), Harper Regan (National Theatre) and Pornography, which opens at the Tricycle theatre tonight.
Punk Rock kicks off the Lyric Hammersmith’s autumn season, which continues with Trevor Griffiths’s Comedians and festive offering Jack And The Beanstalk.