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Written by Laura Swift and Russell Bender                 
Directed by 
Russell Bender
Songs by Jon McLeod and Victoria Saxton
"a multi-disciplinary piece of theatre which celebrates the creative spirit and the art of storytelling itself" 
Salterton Arts Review
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In the backroom of a library archive, three papyrologists pore over some tattered fragments of papyrus, 2000 years old. Could they be the remnants of a lost masterpiece by Euripides? 
The ancient text tells the story of Aeyptus, a boy determined to avenge his murdered father and brothers.
But how can he succeed when almost all of the script is missing?

Piecing his story together will take you on a journey around the fragments in your own mind: memories, assumptions, things half-heard.

Inspired by the vast collections of ancient papyrus stored in museums around the world, FRAGMENTS is an irreverent take on an ancient lost play: combining anarchic performance, lo-fi imagery, original music... and a whole lot of conjecture.

See the video to learn more about the Staging of Fragments.
Written by Laura Swift and Russell Bender
With additional material devised by the Company 

Directed by Russell Bender
Sound designer and composer Jon McLeod
Lyricist and dramaturg Victoria Saxton
Set Design Lucy Sierra
Costume Design
Maariyah Sharjil 
Lighting Design by Sherry Coenen
Sound Design by Jon McLeod

Shadow puppetry Jess Mabel Jones  
Puppetry Director Lori Hopkins
Fight Direction Enric Ortuño

Production Management by Pete Rickards for eStage
Associate Producer Natalie Allison 
Stage Manager Judith Volk
Assistant Stage Manager Daiva Aleksiunaite
Marketing Coordinator Millie Whittam
Creative Associate Wendy Kibble
Costume supervisor Ellen Rey de Castro
Additional puppetry and movement Tom Gilbey
Production Intern Tara Kelly

Russell Bender Director and Co-Writer

Russell trained at Ecole Jacques Lecoq and on the 2010 Lincoln Center Theater Directors' Lab. His work as a director includes Fair Field (Shoreditch Town Hall / Ledbury Poetry Festival), No Dogs, No Indians by Siddhartha Bose (Brighton Festival, Southbank Centre, Live Theatre, Newcastle), Darknet by Rose Lewenstein (Southwark Playhouse), Kiss of the Earth (Concert Theatre, UK tour), The Shroud by Siddhartha Bose (Rich Mix / Norfolk and Norwich Festival), Game of Life by Rose Lewenstein (The Yard). Russell is Artistic Director of Potential Difference and Creative Associate at award-winning arts producers Penned in the Margins. Work as staff/assistant director includes The Master and Margarita (Complicite) and The Kitchen (National Theatre).

Laura Swift Co-Writer

Laura is Associate Professor in Classical Languages and Literature at the University of Oxford. She was described by the Leverhulme Trust as 'one of the leading Hellenists of her generation'. Her research specialism is in Greek tragedy and fragmentary poetry, and she has published four books and numerous articles on these areas. Since 2017 she has worked with a range of contemporary theatre-makers and co-written or co-created performances at Ovalhouse, The Actors Church, and online. She has also contributed to modern productions of Classical texts at the National Theatre and ENO, and is the co-convenor of the Art of Fragments network, which brings together academics and practitioners who find creative inspiration in fragmentation. 
Victoria Saxton Lyricist and Dramaturg

Victoria is a writer and dramaturg with an expertise in new musical theatre writing. She is currently working on a book about the dramaturgy of new musical theatre for Bloomsbury, alongside various other projects including writing a children’s musical with Soho/Northwall theatre and film scripts for Reel One Ents. Recent credits include: audio drama commissions for Big Finish Productions, (‘ATA Girl’ was a BBC Audio Award Finalist), Our Girls, Our Game with music and lyrics by Vikki Stone (BYMT), Marriage a la Mode with Charles Miller (Chichester). Their song ‘Juliet kind of Love’ was a finalist for the 2020 Stiles+Drewe Best New Song Prize.

Lucy Sierra Set Design

Lucy is a freelance set and costume designer with 14 years of design experience over 70 productions; ranging from theatre, dance, circus, immersive dining experiences, exhibitions and pop-ups. She strives to make visually exhilarating work that explores and celebrates why we are the way we are; both the weird and the wonderful. In addition to her own work she has assisted other leading designers including Miriam Buether, Katrina Lindsey and Rae Smith. Lucy has also created large scale digital art for a range of productions at venues including the English National Opera and Young Vic, and worked in house at the National Theatre and English National Opera.

Sherry Coenen Lighting Design

Award winning lighting designer Sherry Coenen works across the UK and US. She has a BFA in Lighting Design from the University of Miami and is a member of APLD. Theatre includes: XXXMas Carol (Wales Millennium Centre), Spitlip’s Operation Mincemeat (New Diorama Theatre, Southwark Playhouse and Riverside Studios – nominated for Knights of Illumination award 2019), Frankenstein (Beatbox Academy at BAC, Knights of Illumination winner 2019), The Singing Mermaid (Little Angel Theatre), Izindava (UK Tour), Brigitte Aphrodite’s Parakeet (Paines Plough Roundabout, Summerhall, Edinburgh Festival Fringe), Christopher Brett Bailey’s This is How We Die (UK Tour), The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13¾ (Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch), Skin Tight (Park90), CELL (UK Tour), Conquest of the South Pole (Arcola), These Trees are Made of Blood (Arcola), Brrr! (UK Tour), 5 Guys Chillin’ (Kings Head Theatre), Anton Chekhov (Hampstead Theatre).

Jess Mabel Jones Shadow Puppetry

Jess has been a multi-disciplinary theatre-maker, puppeteer and producer for 15 years. She is neurodivergent, a Total Theatre award winner and hails from Croydon. Recently, Jess has been working as an Inclusive Performance Coordinator and Access Coordinator for film and TV, addressing the underrepresentation of disabled people in the screen industry. Past work includes: Ralph & Katie (BBC, ITV), Signal Fires (Potential Difference) The Paper Man (Improbable, Soho Theatre), War of the Worlds and Hardboiled (Rhum & Clay), The Flop (Hijinx, Spymonkey), Backstage in Biscuit Land (Touretteshero), Torch (Flipping the Bird), Beauty and the Beast (OneOfUs, Improbable, Young Vic) Ovid’s Metamorphoses (Pants on Fire)

Lori Hopkins Puppetry Director

Lori is a professional puppeteer based in Birmingham. She performs with all types of puppets and specialises in theatre making for young audiences. Previous credits include Told By An Idiot, Little Angel Theatre, Polka Theatre and Bamboozle Theatre. Lori creates productions for families which tour the UK and abroad. Her latest show Laika the Space Dog is touring this Summer with Applause Rural Touring. When not performing Lori works as an Education Practitioner for companies including Shakespeare's Globe and as a Puppetry Consultant helping organisations incorporate puppetry into their practice or productions.

Rosie Thomson as Rachel  
Clive Mendus as Anthony 
Afia Abusham as Sam
Anne-Marie Piazza as The Muse  
Akiel Dowe as Aeyptus 
We will be providing captioned performances on evenings of Wed 19th, Sat 22nd, Wed 26th, Sat 29th April and Wed 3rd and Sat 6th of May.

If you are D/deaf, hard of hearing or would like captions for any other reason, you can download captions to your own mobile device via the Difference Engine from Talking Birds. Download the free app at bit.ly/DEInfo

Captions for any other performances can be requested in advance by emailing access@potentialdifference.org.uk.

If you have any other access requirements please contact boxoffice@theplaygroundtheatre.org.uk

Wed 26th April
17:00 – 18:00 

Pre-show talk: What we don’t know about the ancient world (and why it matters)

Dr Laura Swift, University of Oxford

This talk focuses on the gaps are in our understanding of the ancient world, and what we’ve lost. Rather than thinking about how well we understand the lives of the ancient Greeks, we’ll be looking at the limitations of what we know, and why some pieces of evidence survived and others didn’t. We’ll explore how different our understanding of the ancient past could have been if a different set of choices, or random events, had occurred. In particular we’ll think about what ‘Greek tragedy’ means, and why we could be completely wrong. We’ll also look at how our understanding is changing, and how new discoveries (in particular Egyptian papyri) are continually changing our insights into antiquity.

Entry to the talk is included when you purchase a ticket (per person) to that evening’s performance of FRAGMENTS.

Wed 3rd May
21.20 – 22.00 

Post-show Panel: Why fragments?

Tom Chivers
Charlotte Russell
Peter Toth

Why are fragments so compelling? How do our minds react when confronted with partial information, and how do we make sense of it? How much can we learn from small scraps of the past, and why are we so drawn to things that are by definition incomplete? We will be joined by Dr Peter Toth (curator, the British Library), Tom Chivers (mudlarker and author of London Clay), and Dr Charlotte Russell (cognitive neuropsychologist, KCL) for a post-show discussion.

Entry to the talk is included when you purchase a ticket (per person) to that evening’s performance of FRAGMENTS.

Fragments is supported by The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, the Royal Victoria Hall Foundation, Cockayne - Grants for the Arts and the London Community Foundation. The production is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

Twitter: @potentialdiffer
Facebook: /potentialdifferencetheatre #FragmentsPlay 

For more information about the venue and our COVID-19 Health and Safety policy, please see our your-visit page.
17 APR - 6 MAY | 7.30PM
MATINEE 22 &  29 APR & 6 MAY | 3PM

17 APR | 7.30PM 
Running time: 90 mins 
Interval: no
Recommended for 12+
Content Warnings:
 mild language, flashing lights, audience interaction and mild references to violence and murder 
We will be providing captioned performances on evenings of Wed 19th, Sat 22nd, Wed 26th, Sat 29th April and Wed 3rd and Sat 6th of May.
Tickets (All unreserved)

General Admission £22

Concession £18

Access for All £16

Contact Us

 020 8960 0110


The Playground Theatre
Latimer Rd London W10 6RQ

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