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Mogadishu: powerful drama defined

Franzmann’s debut play explores the human condition and political correctness

Published on January 19th 2011.


Mogadishu: powerful drama defined

Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre brings its current season to a close with the world premiere of Bruntwood prize-winning play Mogadishu by Vivienne Franzmann.

Set in an inner city London school, Mogadishu centres on white teacher Amanda. When she is pushed to the ground by black student Jason, she is reluctant to report him as she knows exclusion could condemn him to a future as troubled as his past. She becomes sucked into a vortex of lies in which victim becomes perpetrator. Tensions mount as the truth becomes less clear and more dangerous by the day.

There’s a clip of the play here.

The new play was one of the four joint winners in the most recent Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting. It also went on to win this year’s prestigious George Devine Award for new writing. It is the first play by author Vivienne Franzmann who has herself been a secondary school teacher in East London for ten years.

Guest Director Matthew Dunster takes the helm for this production. His previous Exchange credits include Macbeth (loved by Confidential editor Jonathan Schofield, click here).

By the way, the Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting in partnership with the Royal Exchange Theatre is now established as the biggest national competition for playwriting. The ‘Bruntwood’ is a search for great plays and for great writers. Since its launch in 2005, it has awarded a total of £80,000 to nine writers and six of the winning plays have been produced at the Royal Exchange.

This season sees two of those plays go into production, Vivienne Franzmann’s Mogadishu and Andy Sheridan’s Winterlong. And this month sees the launch of the third Bruntwood Prize. It's open to anyone aged 16 and over who lives in the UK or Ireland. Visit www.writeaplay.co.uk to keep up to date.

To book tickets for Mogadishu starting from £9, click here.

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