Mercury Theatre, HighTide & New Wolsey Theatre Announce World Premiere of Bindweed by Martha Loader

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The Mercury Theatre, HighTide & New Wolsey Theatre have today jointly announced the world premiere production of Martha Loader’s award-winning play Bindweed. The production is in association with the Royal Exchange Theatre.

“Thursdays, curry night. Curry and a pint for a fiver. Go at five thirty, home by ten. Beat my mum up for a while. Bed by ten thirty.”

Each week, four men convicted of domestic abuse offences meet to undergo a perpetrator programme. But as Jen, the new group facilitator, starts to make progress with the men inside the room, life outside begins to buckle.

 Bindweed is a shattering and darkly funny new play about responsibility and rehabilitation, which looks at what can be done to tackle abuse at its root.

Written by Martha Loader, Bindweed was first written as part of the Mercury Playwrights scheme and won the Judges Award at the Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting 2022. Loader, who is from Ipswich, has had her work presented by HighTide, Mercury Theatre, Cambridge Junction, and INK. She is an Associate Artist of the New Wolsey Theatre and is currently working on commissions from Menagerie Theatre Company, and the Almeida Theatre as part of the ‘Genesis New Playwrights, Big Plays Programme’.

Following an initial run in the Mercury Studio (13-22 June) the play will tour to New Wolsey Theatre (28-29 June).

Martha Loader Hshot

Playwright Martha Loader said I am delighted that Bindweed is being brought to life by such an incredible team. The play started life on the Mercury Playwrights scheme and then, to my complete shock, won the Judges Award at the Brentwood Prize 2022. I am so grateful to everyone who has worked on the play’s development. I would like to give particular thanks to Jo at Suffolk Police and Glenn and Brian at Iceni, whose specialist knowledge of these perpetrator groups has been such an important part of this process. I can’t wait to stage Bindweed in my home region next year.”

Ryan McBryde, Creative Director at Mercury Theatre, said “New work is the lifeblood of our industry and at the Mercury, we’re committed to supporting a new generation of playwrights hailing from the east of England to tell vital stories about now. Martha wrote this extraordinary play whilst on our playwriting course and we knew straight away it had to be part of our next Mercury Original season. Now more than ever organisations need to be supporting writers to create new work which informs how we all move forward as citizens and communities.”

Douglas Rintoul, Chief Executive/Artistic Director at New Wolsey Theatre, said “It’s a privilege to collaborate with two East Anglian cultural powerhouses on bringing the work of an exceptional local playwright to our audiences.”

Clare Slater, HighTide Artistic Director, said ‘HighTide is dedicated to supporting East of England playwrights so we couldn’t be prouder to co-produce Martha’s new play, Bindweed. She’s an exceptional talent and her play speaks to one of the biggest questions of our time: “Is change really possible?”

Bindweed goes on priority sale to members at 10am on Tue 28 Nov and general sale at 10am on Fri 1 Dec.

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