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Living a Little


Theatre. 22nd – 26th Feb, 19:45, £12.

What’s the point of surviving if you’re not gonna live a little? Rob and Paul party on into the zombie apocalypse when battle hardened Penelope flips their world upside-down. Contains strong language and even stronger banter. #LAL.

“Sharp, witty and moving… A writer to keep an eye on” ★★★★ The Stage

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With not a zombie in sight, we are taken into a sanctuary of normality while the outside world rots…

In a secure and stockpiled flat complete with a TV, a sound system, video games and enough alcohol to host a Scottish wedding, we meet best mates Rob, an ill-mannered, politically incorrect Scottish lad and Paul, the gayest straight man ever. The arrival of battle hardened Penelope disrupts the status quo as she challenges their way of life whilst seeking relative comfort and safety after living out in the wild of a zombie apocalypse.

Penelope may be a fighter and a survivor, but what’s the point of surviving if you’re not going to live a little? #LAL

The Stage ★★★★ – ‘Sharp, witty and moving…A writer to keep an eye on’

Remote Goat ★★★★ – ‘Hilarious hour of zombie comedy’

London Pub Theatres ★★★★ – ‘There are in-your-face, brutal scenes, moving moments, the critique of current society and pop culture, friendship ups and downs, love, danger, secrets and fear… so prepare yourself for a full on emotions-triggering hour of your life. No doubt this is going to be a hit’

Liverpool Sound and Vision ★★★★1/2 – ‘A belter of a show.. Make sure you see this funny, questioning and heart-rending production.’

“Sharp, witty and moving… A writer to keep an eye on”
The Stage ★★★★

“Hilarious hour of zombie comedy”
“Barely enough time between punchlines for the audience to recover”
“Will have any audience in tears”
“Nigh on impossible to not get swept up and carried along by the communal spirit”
“Finlay Bain’s script is tight and packed with jokes”
“An evening of raucous entertainment”
“The comic performances are truly engaging”
“This is a funny, likeable and incredibly entertaining hour of comedy”
“Audiences will no doubt enjoy the fast-paced, ridiculous humour and gag-rich text and energy of the show as well as be moved by it’s more poignant moments”
Remote Goat ★★★★

“Carnality mixed with loudness and vulnerability, this summarises the brilliant show”
“Extremely funny”
“The audience was tossing and twisting with laughter”
“The play turns into a grasping for air drama that won’t leave you unaffected… There are in-your-face, brutal scenes, moving moments, the critique of current society and pop culture, friendship ups and downs, love, danger, secrets and fear … so prepare yourself for a full on emotions-triggering hour of your life. No doubt this is going to be a hit”
“This one is definitely the one to watch”
London Pub Theatres ★★★★

“A belter of a show”
“Make sure you see this funny, questioning and heart-rending production”
Liverpool Sound and Vision ★★★★1/2

The idea of ‘Living a Little’ started whist I was living with my best friend Paul Thirkell in our micro flat at Birmingham School of Acting. After uni I went on to write the play in London, drawing inspiration from its urban landscape and my fascinating experiences with Paul.

I wrote the character Rob with myself in mind for the role, and my uni flatmate Paul was the inspiration around the aptly named character… Paul. Penelope was written for the actress Jessica Manning, so much so that her ‘Brummie’ origin, vocabulary and mannerisms naturally made it into the script.

Jordan Murphy directed a twenty minute snippet of ‘Living a Little’ back in May 2014 at The Vaults. His work on the play created some unique and memorable moments on the stage, and confirmed our shared vision for the script. We then worked together again on producing the complete version of ‘Living a Little’ for a very successful run at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

I am extremely excited to reunite the original cast and director once again, taking ‘Living a Little’ back to The Vaults for its London Premiere. We are very much looking forward to sharing our play with the terrific VAULT Festival audience, and the wider arts and theatre community in general.

Writer/Producer/Actor – Finlay Bain (Rob)
Finlay grew up in Edinburgh and North Berwick. He trained at Birmingham School of Acting alongside fellow cast members Paul Thrikell and Jessica Manning, during which time he was inspired to write his first play ‘Living a Little’.

After graduating from BSA, Finlay was part of The National Theatre of Scotland’s touring production of ‘Blackwatch’, where he had the exciting opportunity of performing in Chicago, Washington DC and South Korea.

Most recent theatre includes ‘Trainspotting Live’ at the Vaults and ‘Living a Little’ at the Edinburgh Festival. Other credits include Jakey the dwarf in ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’ at The Kings Theatre in Edinburgh, and Charles Gilchrist in ‘The Flouers o’ Edinburgh’ at The Finborough Theatre.

Director – Jordan Murphy
Jordan is an international theatre director based in London. He has been involved in ‘Living a Little’ since March 2014 where he directed a 20 minute segment for a new writing night at The Vaults theatre. He is very proud to see ‘Living a Little’ make its London Premiere as a full production.

Directing Credits include: Living a Little (New Town Theatre, Edinburgh), Off-Broadway workshop of Something Like a Fairytale: A New Musical (New York), The Dreaming (Chain Theatre, New York), Edges (London Theatre Workshop), Zombie Prom, Radium Girls, Honk! (Stagedoor Manor, New York), Living a Little (Vaults Theatre, London), Blind Bet (Hen and Chickens, London), A Place Called Oz (Russian Cultural Centre, Mongolia).

As Assistant/Associate Director: Side Show (Southwark Playhouse, Dir Hannah Chissick), Eugenius (London Palladium Dir. Ian Talbot & Mike Jibson), Buskers Opera (Park Theatre, Dir. Lotte Wakeham) Spring Awakening (NYMT, Curve Theatre, Leciester Dir. Nikolai Foster) The Hired Man (NYMT, St James Theatre, London Dir. Nikolai Foster), The Ragged Child (NYMT, Rose Theatre Kingston), Sweet Charity (NYMT, Leicester Curve, Leicester Dir. Lotte Wakeham).

Upcoming projects: In March, Jordan will be directing Neil Sedaka’s Breaking Up Is Hard To Do at the Gatehouse Theatre.

Training: University of Exeter, NYMT.

Actor – Jessica Manning (Penelope)
Jessica grew up in Bromsgrove, Birmingham & trained at Birmingham school of acting alongside fellow cast members Paul Thirkell & Finlay Bain. Whilst at drama school she enjoyed taking on the role of Hedda Gabler & graduated with a First BA Hons in Acting.

After graduating Jessica performed in numerous plays at The Attic theatre in Stratford Upon Avon with roles including Kirsten from ‘Gasping’ & Paulina in Shakespeare’s ‘The Winters Tale’, which they later took to the Edinburgh Fringe.

Her most recent roles include Portia in ‘Julius Caesar’ at The Cheltenham Everyman & she’s very excited to be playing Penelope in ‘Living a Little’.

Actor – Paul Thirkell (Paul)
Paul grew up in Darlington and trained at Birmingham School of Acting, graduating in 2012 with a BA (Hons) in Acting.

His work includes: ‘Inifinity’ & ‘Playtime for the Suicidal’ (Rotten Park Road Company) ‘George’s Marvellous Medicine’ (Birmingham Stage Company) Misalliance (Michael Friend Productions) ‘Civilised Adults’ (Paradigm Theatre Company).

After a hugely enjoyable and well received run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival last year, he is utterly delighted to be returning to the role of Paul in ‘Living a Little’.

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