Cuckoo - coming to Soho Theatre

Thursday 9 August 2018

Off-West End - Shows

Shortlisted for the Papatango New Writing Prize, Cuckoo is the exciting world premiere from the distinctive new comic voice of debut playwright Lisa Carroll - due at Soho Theatre this November.
Cuckoo at Soho Theatre

Image: Metal Rabbit Productions

Shortlisted for the Papatango New Writing Prize, Cuckoo is the exciting world premiere from the distinctive new comic voice of debut playwright Lisa Carroll.

Directed by Debbie Hannan (Things of Dry Hours, Young Vic; The Session, Soho Theatre; Who Cares, Royal Court), Cuckoo explores gender identity, belonging, and ego.

The show plays at Soho Theatre from 13 November to 8 December 2018.

From Lucozade to Kylie Jenner lip kits, Cuckoo is a fresh, modern look at what it means to be young in Ireland today.

Cuckoo considers the bond of friendship through the shifting turbulence of adolescence as Iona and Pingu fight to figure out what they want.

Trying to navigate sexual politics and wanting more than the life that's handed to them, Carroll's teenagers are wild, funny, awful, and utterly human.

Ms Carroll dissects the true cost of belonging and reflects on how hard it is to break away from the place you grew up.

Director Debbie Hannan comments ...

"Cuckoo is an exciting new play with a unique voice about that febrile, explosive moment of adolescence when you're striking out in attempt after attempt to be some kind of "SELF".

It's about Iona, one scrubby weirdo that no-one likes, and Pingu, her silent best mate trying to scrape a bit of cultural capital before they leave forever - it's about being uncool.

It's about teenage cruelty and friendships, and where those two things cross over.

These brash and bright characters riotously, hilariously and often violently lash out to make their mark - on Crumlin, the world, and each other.

I'm thrilled to be directing this quick-witted, feisty production, which lands us in their thumping, vivid world, whether we like it or not."

About the author

Lisa Carroll is an Irish playwright based in London.

Theatre credits include: Snapdragon (Abbey Theatre), Róisín (Old Red Lion), Three Cities (Edinburgh Fringe Festival).

Lisa is currently developing a new play as part of Fishamble's A Play For Ireland initiative.

Lisa trained on the Royal Court Young Writers' programme and a subsequent invitation group.

She was part of Headlong's writers group and the Lyric young writers group.

Lisa studied English at University College Dublin.

About the director

Debbie Hannan directs new writing and makes new work. She was Trainee Director at the Royal Court and trained in directing at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Theatre credits include: Girl Meets Boy (developed with The Yard and National Theatre of Scotland), Latir (Compania Nacional de Mexico), The Angry Brigade, The Wonderful World of Dissocia (RCS); Pandora (Etch, Pleasance); Conspiracy (Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama); The Session (Soho Theatre), Lot and His God, Notes from the Underground (Citizens Theatre); Primetime, Who Cares, Spaghetti Ocean (Royal Court); liberty, equality, fraternity (Tron/Traverse); PANORAMA (Arches).

Credits as assistant include The Maids, Sleeping Beauty (Citizens); Enquirer (National Theatre of Scotland); The Nether, The Internet is Serious Business (Royal Court).

As associate, credits include Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour (West End), Constellations (West End).

She has written SHAME: A DOUBLE BILL (Bang Bang Bang Group) and co-written Vinyl Idol (Oran Mor) and written several adaptations.

She is currently developing work with the Royal Court, and devising The Monica Lewinsky Project supported by MGC Futures.


Everyone hates Iona.

Everyone except Pingu.

Fitting in is hard when one of you can't shut up and your silent best friend wears a tuxedo to school every day.

Sick of the ceaseless bullying and despair, Iona and Pingu decide to get the fuck out of Dublin.

Turns out that emigrating is a great way to get noticed by the cool kids.

Loving the attention, Iona is drunk on her new-found popularity until she discovers she's messed with the wrong crowd.

In a world where reputation must be defended tooth and nail, this can only end in disaster for all involved.


Colin Campbell - Pockets

Caitriona Ennis - Iona

Elise Heaven - Pingu

Sade Malone - Toller

Peter Newington - Trix


Author: Lisa Carroll
Director: Debbie Hannan
Designer: Basia Binkowska
Lighting: Jessica Hung Han Yun
Sound: Dominic Brennan
Production: Sofi Berenger & George Warren for Metal Rabbit Productions


Soho Theatre - Soho Upstairs
21 Dean Street


From: Tuesday 13 November 2018

Closed: Saturday 8 December 2018


Standard: From £10


Show website
ActDrop full listing for Cuckoo

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