Punk Rock

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 10/20/2016
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Methuen Drama

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Everything human beings do finishes up bad in the end. Everything good human beings ever make is built on something monstrous. Nothing lasts. We certainly won't . . .

William Carlisle has the world at his feet, but its weight on his shoulders. He is intelligent, articulate and f***ed. In the library of a grammar school, William and his fellow sixth-formers are preparing for their mock A-Levels while navigating the pressures of teenage life. They are educated and aspirational young people, but step-by-step, the dislocation, disjunction and latent aggression is revealed.

Punk Rock premiered at the Lyric Hammersmith on 3 September 2009 in a co-production between Lyric Hammersmith and the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester. It is published here as a Student Edition featuring commentary and notes by Catherine Love.

The ancillary material is geared at students and considers:
- an introduction outlining the play's plot, character, themes, context and performance history
- the full text of the play
- a chronology of the playwright's life and work
- a detailed introductory analysis
- extensive textual notes
- questions for further study

Methuen Drama Student Editions are expertly annotated texts of a wide range of plays from the modern and classic repertoires.

This play includes some strong language and violent scenes.

Author Biography

Catherine Love is a PhD researcher and freelance arts journalist. Her research interests include the relationship between text and performance, authorship in theatre and theatrical adaptation. Her writing has also appeared in publications including the Guardian and the Stage.

Simon Stephens began his theatrical career in the literary department of the Royal Court Theatre, where he ran its Young Writers' Programme. His plays for theatre include Bluebird (Royal Court Theatre, London, 1998, directed by Gordon Anderson); Herons (Royal Court Theatre, 2001); Port (Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester, 2002); One Minute (Crucible Theatre, Sheffield, 2003 and Bush Theatre, London, 2004); Christmas (Bush Theatre, 2004); Country Music (Royal Court Theatre Upstairs, 2004); On the Shore of the Wide World (Royal Exchange Theatre and National Theatre, London, 2005); Motortown (Royal Court Theatre Downstairs, 2006); Pornography (Deutsches Schauspielhaus, Hanover, 2007; Edinburgh Festival/Birmingham Rep, 2008 and Tricycle Theatre, London, 2009); Harper Regan (National Theatre, 2008); Sea Wall (Bush Theatre, 2008/Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, 2009); Heaven (Traverse Theatre, 2009); Punk Rock (Lyric Hammersmith, London, and Royal Exchange Theatre, 2009); The Trial of Ubu (Essen Schauspielhaus/Toneelgroep Amsterdam, 2010); A Thousand Stars Explode in the Sky (co-written with David Eldridge and Robert Holman; Lyric Hammersmith, London, 2010); Marine Parade (co-written with Mark Eitzel; Brighton International Festival, 2010); T5 (Traverse Theatre, 2010); Wastwater (Royal Court Theatre Downstairs, 2011); Morning (Lyric Hammersmith, 2012); an adaptation of A Doll's House (Young Vic, 2012); an adaptation of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (National Theatre, 2012); Blindsided (Royal Exchange, 2014); and Birdland (Royal Court, 2014). His radio plays include Five Letters Home to Elizabeth (BBC Radio 4, 2001) and Digging (BBC Radio 4, 2003). His screenwriting includes an adaptation of Motortown for Film4 (2009); the two-part serial Dive (with Dominic Savage) for Granada/BBC (2009); and a short film adaptation of Pornography for Channel 4's 'Coming Up' series (2009). Awards include the Pearson Award for Best New Play, 2001, for Port; Olivier Award for Best New Play for On the Shore of the Wide World, 2005; and for Motortown German critics in Theater Heute's annual poll voted him Best Foreign Playwright, 2007.

Table of Contents


Context and Themes
The Columbine Massacre
The Teenager
Punk Music
Containment and Escape
Violence and Fear
Destruction and Apocalypse


Dramatic Devices




Production History

Critical Reception

Academic Debate

Further Reading



Rewards Program

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