Preview: Sticks and Stones at Tristan Bates Theatre

Sticks and Stones Tristan Bates Theatre
Sticks and Stones Tristan Bates Theatre

There’s the old expression: sticks and stones may break my bones, but names can never hurt me – but what are the limitations on that in today’s society? Sticks and Stones is a new play by Royal Court Studio Group writer Dameon Garnett exploring issues around free speech through the prism of race and class.

‘Under the law you are guilty, I would say, of a hate crime.’

Afua, a black senior manager in a secondary school, is asked to investigate online comments by a white colleague, Tina; a woman she thought was a friend. Do Tina’s comments constitute hate speech, and, if so, should the police get involved?

Afua has always fought for women’s rights, and Tina is a wronged woman, but with an axe to grind that even Afua is not prepared for. In an intensely claustrophobic setting, the clash between the two women becomes increasingly explosive; opening up questions around speech, power, race and class, that perhaps modern Britain is not ready to answer.

Playwright Dameon Garnett has had three plays receive their world premieres at the Finborough Theatre –17; his Time Out Critics’ Choice play, Break Away, which starred Tina Malone, and Follow. His first play, NewYear’s Day, was performed at the Royal Court Young Writers’ Festival, starring Michael Angelis.

He also received a playwriting bursary from the Soho Theatre. In 2013 he was invited to become a member of the Studio Group at the Royal Court Theatre. Director Rasheka Christie-Carter is an emerging new talent, in 2019 she directed her first one act play at the Coasters at The Brockley Jack with Tamasha Theatre Company.

Sticks and Stones is at Tristan Bates Theatre 3rd – 21st March 2020.

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