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12MilesNorth Theatre Company was set up in 2014 under the guidance of Ian Morley at The Civic, Barnsley – through the Civic Artists Residency Programme. Their latest production 'Pests' is a brutal, authentic, hard-hitting drama about survival, love and trying to escape the past.

 

A story of two sisters trapped in their decaying nest, tied to a past that refuses to release them whilst tackling issues of young women who have been in care, who struggle with heroin addiction, methadone dependency, literacy issues, memories of childhood sexual abuse, time in prison, pregnancies that have ended with children being removed, mental illness, violence, unemployment and poverty.

Without any spoilers, what is ‘Pests’ about?

S: Pests follows the life of two sisters who have been failed their whole life; by family, support, care and love. You only ever see the sisters in one room – their nest. The play explores survival, love and trying to escape a past that refuses to release them.

How did the collaboration between the three of you come about?

S: Myself and Liz were becoming increasingly frustrated that we hadn’t been working for a while so instead of complaining about it, we decided to do something and create our own work. Pests came to us straight away and we knew we needed to find a director that felt as passionately as we did about the topics of the play. Kim was the perfect choice! After one phone call, we knew it was the perfect match. Straight away, we were all on the same page and thrived off each other’s ideas.

 

What have you found challenging about bringing the script to life?

S: There is a massive responsibility with this play as this is happening in the UK today. People are living

What reaction do you expect from an audience?

 

S: We are fully ready for this to be a marmite piece of theatre. People are either going to love it or hate it and that is wonderful. That’s the most exciting thing about theatre. I think we can all get caught up in the worry of pleasing other people and forget about telling a story. Theatre is creative and that is exactly what we have tried to be with this piece.

Pests is a production by 12 Miles North.

 

Performances:

Tuesday 25 June, 7.30pm

Wednesday 26 June, 7.30pm

Thursday 27 June, 7.30pm

Friday 28 June, 7.30pm

Saturday 29 June, 3pm & 7.30pm

 

Tickets

Full £10

Concessions £8

 

Ages 14+

 

Production Information:

Directed by Kim Burnett

Written by Vivienne Franzmann

 

 

 

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in extreme conditions and we have a duty of care to tell this story correctly – with compassion and understanding. The story is dense, with each scene you find more and more, adding a new layer each time. The language is also incredibly difficult, Vivienne Franzmann worked extensively with female prisoners and wanted to create a fictional language for the two characters to communicate within the play that reflected an infantile quality she found when working with the prisoners on the piece.

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However, we do hope this piece will awaken our audiences to what is happening on our doorsteps.

 

Describe the piece in 3 words.

 

S: Visceral, funny, raw..

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Why did you choose this piece?

Stacey: We all feel incredibly passionate about this piece. It came about between a conversation between myself and Liz as we both saw the original production back in 2014. As we spoke about it, we couldn’t believe how little has changed over the last five years. Homelessness is increasing, more people are living in utter poverty and care and support seems to be getting further and further away.

Why should people come and watch ‘Pests’?

 

S: We hope we can show a side to these characters who are often ignored and dehumanised within society and our communities. The story is important and exists – everywhere. The more it is ignored, the more it will carry on.