Joanna Pickering's BAD VICTIMS Comes to The Courtyard Theatre Next Month, Directed by Erica Gould

This provocative and daring work is set to hit the London stage in a limited run opening on  October 25th through October 30th.

By: Sep. 20, 2022
Joanna Pickering's BAD VICTIMS Comes to The Courtyard Theatre Next Month, Directed by Erica Gould

Bad Victims, a new play by award-nominated British US-based playwright Joanna Pickering will have its London Exclusive Preview at The Courtyard Theatre in Hoxton, UK.

This provocative and daring work is set to hit the London stage in a limited run opening on October 25th through October 30th. Inspired by Pickering's sold out shows in Paris and New York, Bad Victims tells three dark stories centered around explosive power dynamics, sex and crime.

The play will be directed by Erica Gould (world premieres of Neil LaBute's Autobahn and Stand Up (with Mos Def), SpeakEasy by writers including Theresa Rebeck and Rajiv Joseph).

A brutal, hilarious and emotional rollercoaster that follows three women's struggles, their decision making and unpredictable reactions, in the aftermath of violent encounters. Bad Victims is not only important and timely but, more so, unexpected, unsettling, laugh-out-loud funny, and hard hitting. [*explicit trigger warning for implied sexual assault/language 18+ yrs, or 16-18 yrs PG]

Bad Victims plunges us into a complex vortex of danger and suspense as it fearlessly debunks victim expectations and there is no such thing as a good victim.

Described as both nuanced and provocative (Centre Stage) Bad Victims picks up where psychological thrillers like Promising Young Woman and Anatomy of a Scandal left off.

Pickering's writing is Sarah Kane meets Noel Coward with the deviousness of Phoebe Waller-Bridge to flip a scenario on its head.

This workshop is a special invite to preview the work, and is inspired by Pickering's one act plays that have been successfully staged around the world. It represents their next stage of development-a re-conceived, single and cohesive evening of theatre, under the incisive directorial vision of Erica Gould. Bad Victims stands as a blunt, truthful exploration of male-female behavior in power, sex and crime giving a voice to what often remains unspoken.

The work explores the interwoven complexity between sexuality and danger, power and vulnerability, complicity and culpability, guilt and innocence-driven by strong, bad-ass female characters and their free will-yet, fatefully, pitted against male entitlement. True to absurdist and existentialist theatre, it is an investigation into the relativity of truth, with characters trapped against one another, in a steady decline into hell.

Pickering says, "I always feel I am done writing about these themes, but life keeps giving more material as so many women have these stories-but they're silenced to tell them. As a writer, the voice in my head is loud and clear, I have to write them. Audiences can be shocked by some of my stories, but afterwards, they also thank me, especially women-but men as well."

The Courtyard Theatre is one of London's most vibrant theatre and live music venues. It presents an intimate space for established performers, and endeavors to discover the best new playwrights, directors, and companies from a wide range of backgrounds. The theatre also provides a venue to nurture, support, and mentor rising talent, while their career, or play, is in the early stages of development.

The Courtyard Theatre say they are, "excited to house this bold and daring work. The plays are intimate and contain gritty realism that our black box theatre is perfect to showcase."

Each performance will be followed by an interactive talk-back with the audience, cast, and creative team, and featuring noted speakers and moderators, discussing the gender and societal themes of the plays.

After-show to be announced at The Theatre Cellar Wine Lambic bar- an evening of discussion, debate and love of theatre, music and art.

Casting is to be announced.

JOANNA PICKERING (Playwright, Actress) is an award-nominated writer, playwright and actress whose work has sold out runs in New York and Paris. Pickering is an awarded Women's Work fellow (short and full play) with New Perspective Theatre Company. Her latest play The Endgame was developed under the artistic direction of Melody Brooks, and staged in New York, in 2022, with director Illana Stein (awarded for excellence in directing at NY fringe theatre) and received strong audience pre-reviews. Her trilogy Truth, Lies and Deceptions, containing the one act plays Sylvie and Sly, Cat and Mouse and Beach Break, played to sold out houses and strong national press in Paris, at Le Pave D'Orsay Theatre in 2021. The trilogy is published with by Next Stage Press alongside a roster of Tony award-winning playwrights and emerging playwrights. It was first performed as a staged reading in NYC with Caroline Aaron (The Marvelous Mrs Maisel) and Broadway's Dan Lauria (Lombardi). Joanna was awarded a scholarship to adapt her play Beach Break for series with mentor Kelly Edwards, vice-president of HBO talent development, as well as a feature film currently in development with an Academy award-winning Production team. The play Beach Break, as a one act, was a top five finalist radio broadcast for HBO's ITV/Catalyst content festival, as well a Screencraft stage play finalist. Joanna's debut film Boardwalk screened in 2018 at The Anthology Film Archives as part of The Women's Challenge, and in 2019, was nominated for best film and best suspense thriller at NY Web Festival. Joanna has written for stage for Primitive Grace Theatre (Paul Calderon and David Zayas), is a current member of Theatre 68 (Ronnie Marmo), The International Centre of Women Playwrights, and The League of Professional Theatre Women. Joanna has worked as a script doctor and consultant for some of the industry's leading talent and on award-winning scripts. An activist and participant speaker for UN Create 2030, Joanna is represented by 3 Arts Entertainment. She has a degree in mathematics. For acting credits see imdb. Twitter/Instagram @joannapickering

ERICA GOULD (Director, Fight Choreographer) has directed the world premieres of Neil LaBute's plays Autobahn and Stand Up (with Mos Def), SpeakEasy by writers including Theresa Rebeck and Rajiv Joseph (Joe's Pub/Public Theater), Troilus and Cressida (NY Stage & Film), and Dirty Paki Lingerie, which she developed with writer/solo performer Aizzah Fatima (Cherry Lane, 59E59, The Flea, Toronto, Edinburgh, Turkmenistan through the US State Dept, UK tour) and which has been featured in The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal, and on Radio 4's Woman's Hour. Other productions include the US premiere of Me Cago en Dios/Holy Crap by Inigo Ramirez de Haro (La MaMa), Max and the Truffle Pig (NYMF), What Light From Darkness Grows by Janine Carter (w/ Phylicia Rashad and Harry Lennix), At War: American Playwrights Respond to Iraq (Bleecker Street Theater/The Fire Dept). As director/fight choreographer: Troilus and Cressida (NY Stage & Film), The Rover (Bank Street Theatre), Pericles (NJ Shakespeare), As You Like It (Shakespeare Theatre ACA), Emmett: Down in My Heart by Clare Coss about the 1955 murder of Emmett Till, her adaptation of The Beggar's Opera. As adaptor/director: the music-theatre pieces More Between Heaven and Earth (w/ Melissa Errico, Matthew Modine, Kathleen Chalfant, Campbell Scott), The Heirs of Tantalus, Exodus: Dreams of the Promised Land (w/ Reg E. Cathey), Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria (La Pietra in Florence), and Battalia w/ dancers from NYC Ballet (Salon/Sanctuary Concerts-The Fire Dept). Fight choreography for screen includes the award-winning film Eggs and Soldiers and the upcoming Above the Sunset.