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Preview: I Promise You Sex And Violence at Newcastle Northern Stage

Pushing the boundaries

I Promise You Sex And Violence
Newcastle Northern Stage
5-20 September

A brutally funny and frankly pretty offensive new play by David Ireland.

Hilarious, sexy and violent, I Promise You Sex and Violence is a romantic comedy about three broken people, who don’t know what they are and don’t know how to behave.

Keith Fleming and Reuben Johnson
Photo: Mark Savage

A witty, frantic and unflinching story directed by Lorne Campbell.

Keith Fleming and Esther MacAuley
Photo: Mark Savage

Fresh from heading up Northern Stage’s 2014 Edinburgh Festival programme in their new home at King’s Hall is David Ireland’s I Promise You Sex And Violence, directed by artistic director Lorne Campbell.
This comic, provocative and shocking rom-com places the emotional and sexual no-limits confusion of urban 30-somethings against a political satire of racism, sexism, homophobia, highlighting the dangers of fearing ‘the other’ which is sharply relevant in the run up to the independence vote.

Reuben Johnson
Photo: Mark Savage
Writer David Ireland is a leading voice of his generation and this is his most ambitious play to date.  Lorne Campbell says, “It’s very very funny, it’s very very offensive, and it’s actually very romantic. It’s a romantic comedy about three broken people, who don’t know what they are and don’t know how to behave. The characters’ actions are desperate and extreme, their language is racist, misogynistic and homophobic and the story follows through on the title’s promise to be both sexy and violent.  David Ireland is one of Britain’s most exciting dramatists and I think this play is his best yet. What is so exciting about his writing is that in the middle of all of this carnage, of all of this extremity, this is a thoughtful, moral and humane play. It’s about how and why we love, about the kindness, understanding and profound tolerance that are absolute necessities for any civilised society.  I Promise You Sex and Violence is a romantic comedy about a love triangle between a racist, a misogynist and a homophobe.   It has the potential to offend everyone in every possible way.  And yet my intention was not to offend.  So how have I ended up writing such a play?   I'm not sure myself.  But I grew up in Belfast in the 70s and 80s so violence, political extremism, tribalism, intolerance and sexual repression are themes that I've always found compelling.  And I love When Harry Met Sally as much as I love The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.  And I always thought the Derek and Clive albums were much funnier than anything Peter Cook and Dudley Moore ever did on TV. So maybe this is why the play is what it is.  Whatever happens, the response will be interesting."

Cast are:
Reuben Johnson
Photo: Mark Savage
Reuben Johnson
Esther McAuley
Keith Fleming

Strictly 18+
5-20 Sept, 8pm
Tickets: £14.50 / £12 conc.
Box Office: 0191 230 5151

Post-show discussion: Thu 11 Sept

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