James Graham adapts Alan Bleasdale’s Boy’s From The Blackstuff

40 years after Alan Bleasdale’s ground-breaking television series was essential viewing, Stockroom and Liverpool’s Royal Court are delighted to present an unmissable, powerful new adaptation by James Graham, writer of the hit BBC series Sherwood.

This is 80s Liverpool. Chrissie, Loggo, George, Dixie and Yosser are used to hard work and providing for their families. But there is no work and there is no money. What are they supposed to do? Work harder, work longer, buy cheaper, spend less? They just need a chance.

Life is tough but the lads can play the game. Find the jobs, avoid the ‘sniffers' and see if you can have a laugh along the way. 

Opening in September 2023, Alan Bleasdale’s Boy’s From The Blackstuff will be directed by Stockroom Artistic Director, Kate Wasserberg, with further creatives to be announced

Speaking about the production Alan Bleasdale said, “Almost all of my stage plays are set in one location and using real time. The one attempt I made to use multiple characters and multiple sets and the passage of time was a disaster. So, when the idea of the stage version of the series was suggested with James Graham as the writer I just thought: I don’t know how to do it. But James does.

“ While I’m pleased that the work is still well regarded, the biggest sadness for me is that in the forty years since I wrote The Boys from the Blackstuff we might have hoped that things would get better. But they haven’t. Have they?”

Writer James Graham said, "Alan Bleasdale is one of the reasons I became a writer. Watching his work as I was growing up, hearing those voices and seeing those worlds, meant a lot to someone from my background. I could never have dared dream that years later I would be working with him, and on his most famous, heartbreaking, hilarious masterpiece. But Alan is the most generous and supportive of collaborators and it’s been one of the honours of my writing life thus far to work on this show."

Director Kate Wasserberg said, "They say never meet your heroes, but I have never had a happier and prouder professional moment than when I introduced two of mine - Alan Bleasdale and James Graham. They are kindred spirits, and this production, about courage and despair, oppression and hilarity, is the very best of them both. Sadly the struggles of the 1980s don't feel like history, we are all feeling the pain and the rage, the absurd cruelty and confusion of those times in the here and now. I hope the show will be a fantastic night out with big laughs, some anger and some tears, a celebration of Liverpool, of workers, and of the power of community when things get tough. I can't wait."

Stockroom has 30 years of new writing experience, working with many of the best writers and partner organisations in British Theatre to develop vital new work for audiences around the country.  As well as working with the best writers from around the country, we’ve created a salaried writers room, which gives great writers the financial stability they need to fill the nation’s stages with their best writing.  Stockroom has just opened a new creative hub in Holloway which provides support to writers and our local community in the form of hot desk space and workshop programmes.

Liverpool’s Royal Court is a unique theatre success story. Alongside our mission to breathe life back into every corner of our much-loved city centre building, we’ve also created a truly Liverpudlian theatre venue with loyal audiences who adore a big night out. Dedicated to the people and stories of our city, a trip to the Royal Court is about great entertainment before, during and after the show. But we’re not the only ones delivering great nights out in Liverpool, and we’re proud to be part of a citywide theatre family that loves telling stories just as much as we do. The theatre is dedicated to breaking down barriers all over the city with a free to access Youth Theatre and Community Choir reaching people that otherwise would never be able to take part in theatre.

Kevin Fearon, Executive Producer, Liverpool’s Royal Court said, “For a producing theatre in Liverpool it doesn’t get any bigger or better than this. To be able to bring together two of the country’s finest writers on such an important piece of drama is a hugely exciting opportunity for Liverpool’s Royal Court. Everyone in the building is excited about this incredible show and our job now is to make it something we can all be proud of.”

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