THE STORY:In a private school outside of Manchester, England a group of highly-articulate seventeen-year-olds flirt and posture their way through the day while preparing for their A-Level mock exams. With hormones raging and minimal adult supervision, the students must prepare for their future—and survive the savagery of high school. Inspired by playwright Simon Stephens’ own experiences as a teacher, PUNK ROCK is an honest and unnerving chronicle of contemporary adolescence.
Content warning: this play depicts school violence.
“[A] tender, ferocious and frightening play…Mr. Stephens, one of the most quietly original playwrights working today, has the gift (or curse) of perceiving human unhappiness with almost clinical verisimilitude…[He] grounds his subjects in a calm, almost photorealist sense of the everyday, reminding us that extreme behavior is often only a degree removed from what we think of as normal.” —NY Times. “[A] muscular little play that starts out funny and ferocious then reveals its compassion by degrees en route to a tragic and all-too-plausible denouement. What makes PUNK ROCK so riveting is Stephens’ skill at peering beyond the rampaging hormones, the dangerous energy and youthful insouciance to illustrate the casual cruelty of adolescence as unease escalates into alienation and horrific violence.” —Hollywood Reporter.