Valhalla by Paul Murphy – the second play in Theatre503’s autumn season and the joint winner of their inaugural international Playwriting Award – is a tense psychological thriller set in a world in which men have become gods, but gods have become depraved.
As violence sweeps the city, a young couple flee to an isolated Nordic research facility. On the brink of discovering the cure for a devastating disease, cracks start to appear in their marriage as they are forced to choose between conflicting allegiances to love and science.
Conceived against a backdrop of bewitching Icelandic scenery, this extraordinary play asks questions about the ethics of genetic research, fertility and the endurance of human love.
Playwright Paul Murphy comments, I wanted to use the subject of genetic research to explore the question of what makes us who we are, on both the genetic level and the individual level. I’m attracted to challenging pieces of work that ask important questions whilst retaining an emotional rawness. The play provides no answers but I hope it will provoke plenty of questions.
Selected from over 1600 submissions as the joint winner of the Theatre503 Playwriting Award, Valhalla is directed by the highly acclaimed Jo McInnes (Royal Court, National Theatre, RSC). The Theatre503 Playwriting Award provides an unprecedented opportunity for playwrights at all levels. The final stage of the competition was judged by a panel which included Dennis Kelly, Roy Williams and Henry Hitchings.
Theatre503 is unrivalled in its support of new writers, reading and reporting on more unsolicited scripts than anywhere in the country. The next Theatre503 Playwriting Award will be open for applications from Autumn 2015, with the selected winner being staged in 2017.
Valhalla is produced in association with Sheer Drop Theatre and has been generously supported by Arts Council England, Cockayne – Grants for the Arts, The London Community Foundation and The Richard Carne Trust.
Wednesday 30th September – Saturday 24th October 2015
Tuesday to Saturday, 7.45pm
Running time tbc
Twitter @theatre503, @sheer_drop, #Valhalla503
Writer Paul Murphy
Director Jo McInnes
Designer Katie Lias
Lighting Designer Nigel Edwards
Sound Designer Becky Smith
Notes Ages 12+
Theatre503, The Latchmere, 503 Battersea Park Road,
London SW11 3BW, https://theatre503.com/
Friday 28th August 2015