The Stephen Joseph Theatre's BUILD A ROCKET Opens New Caledonian Express Festival

The Stephen Joseph Theatre's BUILD A ROCKET Opens New Caledonian Express Festival

The Stephen Joseph Theatre's Build a Rocket has been chosen to open the brand new Caledonian Express festival, which sees the most exciting work from the Edinburgh Fringe transfer to London.

The show can be seen at the Pleasance Theatre in Islington from Tuesday 18 to Sunday 23 September; the festival runs until December.

Build a Rocket received four-star reviews at the Edinburgh Fringe in August, and was named as this year's Holden Street Theatres' Edinburgh Fringe Award winner, giving it the opportunity to take part in the prestigious Adelaide Fringe festival in Australia next spring.

Hard-hitting yet uplifting, it is written by Scarborough-born Christopher York and directed by Paul Robinson. It tells the story of teenage single mum Yasmin, played by Serena Manteghi.

Paul Robinson says: "I couldn't be more excited about this play, a stunning debut about a teenager from Scarborough who gets pregnant decides to keep her baby.

"It doesn't flinch from the issues. Scarborough is the teenage pregnancy capital of North Yorkshire, accounting for more than a third of all such pregnancies in the county last year. There's a proven relationship between teenage pregnancy and deprivation. But a record number of young women in this town are stepping up to take on the role of parent. Young people should never face stigma or judgment and deserve to get the support they need to make informed choices about their lives.

"But this isn't a play that deals in statistics or overt politics. Instead, it's like a rocket itself, an explosive and passionate portrait of a young heroine of our times."

Christopher York was born and brought up in Scarborough. His short plays Jimbob, Seven People, A Million Little Hands and Jesus is a Rochdale Girl have been performed at venues such as The Arcola, Southwark Playhouse and The Arts Theatre. Build a Rocket is his first full-length play.

He is a recipient of the High Tide First Commissions Award as well as being shortlisted for the Old Vic 12.

Serena Manteghi played Rosie in My Mother Said I Never Should at St James Theatre, and was Bobbie in the Olivier-Award-winning York Theatre Royal production of The Railway Children at King's Cross Theatre. Last year she was LV in the SJT's production of The Rise and Fall of Little Voice.

The new Caledonian Express crosses genre and form to stage the most innovative pieces fresh from the Fringe. From solo performances to ensemble physical theatre, from immersive installations to surreal two-handers, the Pleasance continues to programme bold work making it the place for incredible stories.

Build a Rocket can be seen at the Pleasance Theatre (Carpenters Mews, London, N7 9EF), at 7.30pm on 18, 20, and 21 September; at 2.30pm on 19 September; at 2.30pm and 7.30pm on 22 September, and at 5.30pm on 23 September. Tickets cost £10 and £12, and can be booked here: https://www.pleasance.co.uk/event/build-rocket-0/performances

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