Away From Home – Upstairs at the Arts, February 2015

The UK, 2014, The Civil Partnership Act is ten years old, same-sex marriage passes into law, it is
a criminal offence to stir up hatred against people on grounds of their sexual orientation. After
years of struggle, the final stigmas are being removed. It is okay to be gay, being out isn’t an
issue. And yet, homosexuality remains a taboo subject in English football. Not one of Britain’s
5,000 professional performers is openly gay. The national sport is leagues behind.
To this day, not a single Premier League footballer has come out while in the game. In this climate, and in the wake of the World Cup, Hartshorn - Hook Productions and Working Progress
Theatre Company have toured a visceral new play, tackling the issue of homophobia in the
beautiful game. The show has been performed everywhere from London’s Jermyn Street Theatre to the Dublin Gay Theatre Festival, visiting The Lowry, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe the
Brighton Fringe, the York Theatre Royal, Derby Theatre and Megalomania, Frankfurt on the
way. It comes now to new studio Upstairs at the Arts in the West End’s Arts Theatre, before
embarking on an international tour at the Auckland Fringe.
Kyle is comfortable with his life as a male escort until the day he is hired by a premiership
footballer and finds himself falling in love. But can Kyle maintain a relationship with a closeted
footballer in a country where not one pro player is out? Can he cope with love when, for him,
sex has only ever been a transaction? Can he ever tell his friends - and his family - the truth?
Away From Home is an edgy, moving and subversive one man show laced with sharp humour, going in for a hard tackle on football’s last taboo.
The show premiered in 2013 when it was granted the great honour of opening the 24:7 Theatre
Festival, Manchester’s annual new-writing extravaganza. It is co-written by Rob Ward and Martin
Jameson, who, with three decades experience in theatre, TV and radio (Casualty, Emmerdale,
Holby City and numerous radio dramas for BBC Radio 4), also directs. Ward, taking the part of
Kyle, is a founder of Working Progress Theatre Company.
Playing to packed houses, garnering rave reviews and receiving standing ovations, Ward won the
Audience Award for Best Actor at 24:7 and the work took the North West Equity Vicky Allen
Memorial Award for Best Production. It has also been awarded Best Play at 24:7 and Best New
Play at the Manchester Theatre Awards 2014, and for his performances at Jermyn Street Theatre, Ward has been nominated for a 2015 Off-West End Award for Best Actor.
Upstairs at the Arts is London’s newest studio space, opening in December with The Flanagan
Collective and Hartshorn - Hook Productions’ Beulah, based on the poetry of William Blake.
All creatives and cast are available for interview.
For press tickets, images and further information please contact:
Paul Virides, Assistant Producer | +44 (0) 7725 978133 | [email protected]
Notes to Editors
Hartshorn - Hook Productions and Working Progress Theatre present
Upstairs at the Arts Theatre, Great Newport Street, London WC2H 7JB
Tickets: £18 | | 020 7836 8463 (10am - 7pm)
30th January - 8th February 2015
Friday 30th January, 19.30
Saturday 31st January, 19.30
Sunday 1st February, 18.00
Friday 6th February, 19.30
Saturday 7th February, 19.30
Sunday 8th February, 18.00
Cast and creatives:
Performed by Rob Ward
Written by Martin Jameson and Rob Ward
Directed by Martin Jameson
LX Design by Louis Hartshorn
Produced by Hartshorn - Hook Productions and Working Progress Theatre
Previous Reviews
“A bravura one man performance from Ward. A theatrical tour de force delivered with
immense technical skill and expert precision…”
★★★★ Independent
“A high-octane acting masterclass”
★★★★★ What’s On Stage
“An incredible script, a moving narrative and a powerhouse performance”
★★★★★ Broadway Baby
The Skinny
So So Gay
West End Frame
The Public Reviews
Plays To See
All creatives and cast are available for interview.
For press tickets, images and further information please contact:
Paul Virides, Assistant Producer | +44 (0) 7725 978133 | [email protected]
Company information
Hartshorn - Hook Productions
Hartshorn - Hook Productions was founded in 2007 by Louis
Hartshorn and Brian Hook, shortly after they met; working on
the national touring production of The Producers.
Their first production was West Side Story in collaboration with
the Manchester Consort and the Royal Northern College of Music in 2008. The venture, directed by Stefan Janski and conducted
by Gregory Batsleer, was staged to mark the 50th anniversary of Sondheim and Bernstein’s masterpiece.
Since then Hartshorn - Hook has produced over fifty productions from the UK, Europe
and the USA, including Away From Home (UK and international tour), A Tribute to the
Blues Brothers Live (Lowry Theatre, Manchester and Arts), Beulah (UK Tour) Some
Small Love Story directed by Noreen Kershaw (UK Tour) and Woody Sez (Arts), which
was nominated for the Ned Sherrin Award for Best Musical in the 2011 Evening Standard Theatre Awards.
Working Progress Theatre
Working Progress Theatre Company was established in 2011 and is
currently run by Rob Ward and Jo Kirtley. The company has produced two multi-award winning theatre productions, both of
which started life at the 24/7 Festival, Loaded (2012) - adapted
for a tour of schools in Salford - and Away From Home (2013)
which has toured nationally and internationally since January
2014 in co-production with Hartshorn - Hook Productions. Working Progress were also co-producers with House of Orphans on
the site specific Halloween chiller Lamp Oil set in a traditional Salford pub. In 2014 the
company worked alongside The Christie charity on The C Project at The Lowry - a
night of seven short new plays - with all proceeds going to Manchester's specialist cancer
The Arts Theatre
The Arts is an independent 350-seat theatre in the heart of London’s West End, situated directly between Covent Garden and
Leicester Square. It is currently booking Jeremy Dyson and Andy
Nyman’s Ghost Stories until January 2015, and recently hosted
Denise Van Outen’s solo show Some Girl I Used To Know. In November, Hartshorn - Hook Productions presented a one-off gala
performance of The Rat Pack - Live, their perennial favourite Edinburgh Festival show at the theatre, and went on to co-produce a new adaptation of
Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island and Beulah, based on the poetry of William
Blake, alongside The Flanagan Collective.
Relevant social media handles:
Twitter @hartshornhook | @WorkingProgressTC | @AwayFromHome14 | @ArtsTheatreLDN
Facebook /hartshornhook1 | /WorkingProgressTheatreCompany | /artstheatrewestend
All creatives and cast are available for interview.
For press tickets, images and further information please contact:
Paul Virides, Assistant Producer | +44 (0) 7725 978133 | [email protected]