'So you know how on the news these days there's just this endless stream of horrendous shit going down, like every single night? Suicide bombs, mass shootings, genocides, drone strikes, school massacres – it's like the end of the world or something... And you're kind of like – "Could I even cope if that stuff happened to me?"'
Six young people are caught in the aftermath of a terrorist attack in the heart of London. By turns terrifying, inspiring, brutal, heartbreaking and hilarious, BU21 is verbatim theatre from the very near future.
Stuart Slade's play comprises six interlinking monologues. It premiered at Theatre503, London, in 2016, in a co-production with Kuleshov, before transferring to the Trafalgar Studios, London, in January 2017.
'Brave, blackly comic… the stories here are gut-churningly vivid, compassionate, yet often wildly, horribly funny'
'Slade offers six close-up, compelling and often blackly comic stories and the result is a constantly sparky 90 minutes that delights in surprising and wrong-footing us'
'Amongst the trauma and suffering lurks an awful lot of humour… gallingly graphic, desperately bleak, heartrendingly sad and quite, quite hilarious'
'The real star of this show is Stuart Slade's script. It's not just the pace that runs relentlessly across the 90 minutes all-through, but his ear for how people speak, their lexicons and their rhythms. An Alan Bennett for the Millennial Generation is a big label to put on a young playwright, but Slade is building a corpus of work to justify it... superb work'
‘Intelligent, questioning and very funny’
'What a daring feat of writing this is… hauntingly credible, shudderingly so… captures the internal conflict of global terror: the sense that it was somehow deserved, the pull to be part of something, the impulse to laugh and to cry'
'Strikingly real, shocking and even heartbreaking at times… the dialogue is snappy and at some points surprisingly funny despite the tragic subject matter… a haunting piece that in the light of current events, will stay with the audience'
'Around two-thirds of the way through I realised I’d become so caught up that I’d forgotten BU21 has not actually happened… Slade’s fresh, intelligent writing is full of life and action'
Stuart Slade was born in Bristol and now lives in London. He is co-Artistic Director of Kuleshov Theatre and the Creative Director of Ivanov Films. His other plays include Cans (Theatre503, 2014), nominated for two Offies – Best Play and Most Promising New Playwright.