At a time when everyone has an opinion about Brexit and national policy, First Floor Presents brings Sam Steiner’s dystopian drama, Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons, to London’s Barons Court Theatre in May 2019.
A 2015 Edinburgh Fringe sell-out show that questions freedom of speech and the power of language, Lemons is directed by Hamish Clayton, and produced the young up-and-coming producer and actors Jemima Murphy and Charlie Suff.
In Lemons the British government has introduced a law limiting speech for its citizens to 140 words a day. For Bernadette and Oliver, every word they speak will have to really mean something…
They devise new ways to communicate with each other within the constraints of the law, but without the freedom to use words as they wish, they are helpless… First Floor Presents’ stark and powerful production deliberates today’s social conflicts and the wider issues of democracy, influencing through social media and communication.
As actress and founder of First Floor Presents, Jemima Murphy explains:
‘Today we are overwhelmed with words and though we have them available, we often say very little. We forget the power of language and disregard what our words are worth. But imagine a time where every word holds significance. In Lemons we see the blossoming and breakdown of a couple living under this new law. When silence displaces their language, the poignancy, power, and particularisation of language are revealed. Oliver and Bernadette ask themselves if they will ever truly know each other.In a world where Donald Trump announces his agenda via Twitter, Lemons could not be more relevant to demonstrate the power of language.
“Obviously in this time of political and economical uncertainty today, I think that this play is vital to what is going on in the world and particularly in the UK. The ‘hush’ law in Lemons parallels that of the EU referendum, where everyone was in denial about it actually happening.'
“I think freedom of speech is becoming more and more of an issue, less so in UK, but in other countries people are prevented and threatened against speaking out.
Murphy grew up in West London and studied Russian at The University of Bristol. Whilst living in St Petersburg during her year abroad she discovered her desire for the stage. Selected to train at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York, she then returned to the UK to begin her stage career. Murphy is known for her work in People, Places & Things by Duncan Macmillan, Blink by Phil Porter, Happy Yet? by Katie Bergloff and Dancers by Horton Foote. Born and raised in Brighton, co-star Charlie Suff recently graduated from Bristol Old Vic and is known for his work in The Elephant Man where he took on three roles.
Hamish Clayton is a London-based director known for his work with RSC and Stagescripts, The Problem with Fletcher Mott, Tears are a Luxury and The Sweet Tin:
‘In a country still wrestling with a decision it made two years ago, the backdrop we see today is wholly similar to the backdrop of the ‘Quietude Bill’ introduced in Lemons. The parallels are remarkable, to the extent you’d think the play had been written this year. So purely in terms of today’s context, the need for protest, freedom of speech and debate is so important because every voice must be heard when such a huge decision is being made.’
Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons runs from the 6th to the 26th of May
Barons’ Court Theatre
28a Comeragh Road
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