News: Soho Theatre to re-open with premiere of Verity Bargate’s award-winning play Shedding A Skin

Soho Theatre celebrates the relaunch of its theatre programme this summer with an exhilarating new play. Shedding A Skin, written by Amanda Wilkin, the 2020 winner of the acclaimed Verity Bargate Award, sponsored by Character 7, introduces audiences to a fresh and fierce new voice. Shedding A Skin is a Soho Theatre production sponsored by NJA.

A story for our times, Shedding A Skin is a play about finding kindness in unexpected places, moments of connection, intergenerational friendship and joy. It will be the first new play staged in front of live audiences at Soho Theatre since the pandemic and brings together the creative talents of Amanda Wilkin and Elayce Ismail, who also directed the sell-out hit GIRLS (Soho Theatre 2016).

Fleabag’s Phoebe Waller-Bridge described this award-winning drama as ‘profound, modern, funny, stark and hopeful’ and it was also singled out for its excellence by fellow Verity Bargate Award judges including Russell T Davies (It’s a Sin), Lolita Chakrabati (Hymn), Laura Wade (The Watsons) and Stephen Garrett of Character 7, the hitmakers behind The Night Manager and The Undoing.

Wilkin, who starred in Morgan Lloyd Malcom’s hit show Emilia and will also be performing in this solo play, says she wanted to create a universal story that was “intrinsically hopeful” and “speaks to people no matter what gender, colour or age”. She also says: “I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about what I’d want to see when I go back to the theatre and I want belly laughs and to feel invigorated.”

Elayce Ismail adds: “It’s rare to find a story that has weight and depth but is ultimately very joyful and positive. The friendship at the heart of Shedding A Skin is so beautiful and poignant. It’s the unsung moments that happen between people in real spaces that are the fabric of our lives and they can be just as informative and important as the big wider world stuff.”

The Verity Bargate Award is Soho Theatre’s flagship new-writing award, sponsored by Character 7. Since 1982, the biennial playwriting award competition has uncovered the best new play by an emerging UK and Irish writer and launched the careers of some of Britain’s most established writers. From a record number of 1493 entries for the 2020 Verity Bargate Award, Amanda Wilkin’s spellbinding play captivated the Award’s readers and judges and was announced as the Award winner in October.

Shedding A Skin will run for 5 weeks in Soho Theatre’s Main House from 17 June to 17 July.

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