Philip Ridley

James Firth-Haydon

16 - 18 June 2011

A fourteen year old takes refuge on the roof of a tower block in order to write stories.

Double-bill with DNA


The play opens with a fourteen year old taking refuge on the roof of a tower block in order to write stories. The teenager is a victim, the classroom geek, bullied by some and avoided by others. Before long seven other young people arrive on the same rooftop and the taunting begins. At first the geek endeavours to hide but learns to fight back in the only way they know how too - storytelling. Soon the whole group is enmeshed in the story, enacting a fantastic tale that resonates with the dynamics of their own friendships and enmities.

Sparkleshark is a theatre play by Philip Ridley that was originally commissioned for BT National Connections, the UK National Theatre’s youth theatre scheme which ran from 1993-1999. Sparkleshark had a run at the Royal National Theatre followed by a tour in 2001. Sparkleshark’s debut was at the Royal National Theatre in 1997, performed by Youth Lyric, Lyric Theatre, Belfast.

The show was awarded first prize at BT National Connections, receiving a notable standing ovation. Following the show, Ridley published a book of his short plays, citing each member of the Youth Lyric cast as a thank you to their work. The cast played the show for a further three years. Since 1997, Sparkleshark has had many productions around the world, including at the Australian Theatre for Young People.