Don’t Smoke In Bed

by Aurin Squire

Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays 6, 7, 8, 13, 14, 15, 20, 21 and 22 March 2016

“You know I saw an article in Time Magazine a few years ago that stated ‘Asian Men are In,’ and it had a picture of a white woman riding the back of an Asian man. No Kidding. Like he was some kind of human rickshaw. Maybe you should take a picture of Sheryl riding me with a blunt in her mouth an' a dreadlock wig.”

The world premiere

Following the success of last year’s production of Obama-ology, multi-award-winning African-American playwright Aurin Squire returns to the Finborough Theatre with another world premiere – Don’t Smoke In Bed.

Jamaican-American Richard and White-American Sheryl are starting a family together. When they agree to a series of ‘bedroom interviews’, they believe that their interracial relationship is the focus of the article. As both play up to what they believe are the expectations of the interviewer, they embark on a journey that challenges their relationship to the core as the barriers between psychological and social, sexual and political, public and private, melt and dissolve…

Don’t Smoke In Bed is a stunning exploration of social and racial perception in contemporary America.

About The Playwright

Playwright Aurin Squire returns to Finborough Theatre where his play Obama-ology received its world premiere at the 2014, and was subsequently produced at RADA. Aurin is a New York journalist and playwright who graduated from The Juilliard School’s Liia Acheson Wallace American Playwriting Program in May 2015. In 2015-2016, he has playwriting fellowships at the Brooklyn Arts Exchange for his choreopoem The Gospel According to F#ggots and at the National Black Theatre for his post-apocalyptic satire Zoohouse. His plays include A Family Manual for Kwanzaa (The Kennedy Center MFA Workshop)The Great Black Sambo Machine (Lincoln Centre Lab and Ars Nova), Defacing Michael Jackson (Nuyorican Poets Café workshop and winner of Lincoln Center’s Act One Prize), To Whom It May Concern (Abingdon Theatre and ArcLight Theatre productions) and African Americana (Brooklyn Arts Exchange and Theatre 503). He was in the Royal Court Theatre’s US Writer Programme in 2015 and the Dramatists Guild Fellowship. Currently, he is a television staff writer for the new political satire Brain Dead that will premiere on CBS in 2015. He writes and produces multimedia and web video including the installation art film Dreams of Freedom, which won three national prizes and is in the permanent exhibit at the National Museum of American Jewish History. He also works as a freelance reporter for Talking Points Memo, Fusion, Take Part and The New Republic. Aurin lives in Brooklyn.

About The Director

Andrew Twyman is currently the Artistic Director at Plane Paper Theatre Company. Directing includes Te Karakia as part of Vibrant 2015 – A Festival of Finborough Playwrights (Finborough Theatre), Odd Shaped Balls (Edinburgh Festival and Space UK), Reason and Force (King's Head Theatre) and Fair Exchange (Tabard Theatre). Assistant Direction includes Forget Me Not (The Bush Theatre), A Further Education (Hampstead Theatre) and Berenice (The Space). Associate Direction includes King Of The Fuckin' Castle (VAULT Festival). Andrew was also a member of the writing programme at theLive Theatre, Newcastle.

The Press on Obama-ology at the Finborough Theatre in 2014

“A really enjoyable evening.” Lyn Gardner, The Guardian

“A fine play about politicking US style written by an African-American whose work has not previously been seen in Europe.” Philip Fisher, British Theatre Guide

“Laugh out loud, cry, and contemplate some challenging socio-political issues. Obama-ology is well worth a watch.” Hannah Blyth, Everything Theatre

“See this play. This production. Both are miraculous. ...Both political and intensely human.” Timothy Ramsden, Reviews Gate

“Squire’s smart and incisive dialogue.” Stephen Bates, The Public Reviews

“A resounding success thanks to a lively script that leavens the serious issues with apt humour.” Philip Fisher, British Theatre Guide

The Press on Playwright Aurin Squire

"Refreshingly clever.” New York Times on Matthew Takes Manhattan

"An engaging and provocative new drama that allows us to walk in some other fellows' shoes for a couple of hours, yielding significant insights along the way.” Martin Denton, NY Theatre on To Whom it May Concern

"The primary delight of the evening is the script itself….a thoroughly entertaining evening with resounding implications.” Showbusiness Weekly on To Whom it May Concern

"Defacing Michael Jackson sends a powerful message in a sophisticated and tender way…genuine and piercing." Maxamoo on Defacing Michael Jackson

"The work confronts some of the heaviest issues in American life - racism, sexuality, sexism, politics, poverty - while achieving not a trivializing lightness, but a lightness that reminds us that humor can equal survival when trying to wade through these waters.” Culturadar on Defacing Michael Jackson

"Aurin Squire’s very personal and moving play.” Matthew Paul Olmos, New York Theatre Review on Defacing Michael Jackson

The Press on Don't Smoke In Bed

★★★★ The Reviews Hub
★★★★ The Upcoming
★★★★ Theatre and Performance Guide and Guru

“Thrillingly incisive…Mightily thought-provoking.” Ian Foster, There Ought To Be Clowns

“Well worth a look for anyone interested in contemporary race and gender politics.” John Demmery Green, London Pub Theatre

“Don’t Smoke In Bed makes important points about how uncomfortable we still are with openly discussing race, gender and domestic violence.” Breman Rajkumar, A Younger Theatre

“An honest and raw exploration of the expectations and pressures imposed by society on interracial couples…Each scene is more passionate than the last. Eye-opening and troubling, Don’t Smoke in Bed will force audiences to re-evaluate their understanding of modern society.” Michelle Keepence, The Upcoming

“Complex and powerful exploration of racial tension in the USA today.” Annabel Mellor, Theatre and Performance Guide and Guru

“Squire absolutely nails the quandary of white liberal guilt.” Ian Foster, There Ought To Be Clowns

“True moments of heartbreak and catharsis.” Ginger Wig & Strolling Man

“Squire’s rich, insightful script celebrates the power of language. The intelligent, self-aware dialogue has a natural ring and yet manages to convey impressive depths of meaning.” Annabel Mellor, Theatre and Performance Guide and Guru

“Aurin Squire writes an insightful analysis of a modern day couple with age-old problems.” Daniel Perks, The Reviews Hub

“The play is rich in themes of historic, racial, gendered, and cultural conflict.” John Demmery Green, London Pub Theatre

“Squire and his team certainly deserve praise and it is easy to see why the play was chosen for programming now. Now is the time when society’s underlying attitudes towards these issues demand to be brought out in the open and thoroughly examined.” Breman Rajkumar, A Younger Theatre

“The masterly writing and the bold, impassioned performances form the core of this play, and they alone are more than enough to make Don’t Smoke In Bed a vitally important hard hitter.” Annabel Mellor, Theatre and Performance Guide and Guru

“Latham’s nuanced performance builds throughout the piece, sensitively yet fearlessly confronting the awkwardness, guilt and confusion that come with acknowledging white privilege. Lockett brings a fantastic energy to his role, flitting seamlessly between the many sides of his flawed and complex character.” Annabel Mellor, Theatre and Performance Guide and Guru

“The chemistry between Latham and Lockett is undeniable.” Ginger Wig & Strolling Man

“Greg Lockett as Richard and particularly Claire Latham playing Sheryl, who… inject the piece with life and humour.” Philip Fisher, British Theatre Guide

“You really root for Richard and Sheryl, thanks to the dynamic, eloquent work of Lockett and Latham.” Lidia Crisafulli, There Ought To Be Clowns

“Both actors convincingly reveal the issues in what is a well-structured look at an age-old debate.” Daniel Perks, The Reviews Hub

“A real sense of shared intimacy sparks from the stage.” Lidia Crisafulli, There Ought To Be Clowns

“Both actors deliver stellar performances.” John Demmery Green, London Pub Theatre

“Claire Latham and Greg Lockett are exceptional in the roles of Richard and Sheryl, and their electric dynamic captivates the audience from start to finish.” Michelle Keepence, The Upcoming

“Director Andrew Twyman has cast the play perfectly in Greg Lockett and Clare Latham.” Lidia Crisafulli, There Ought To Be Clowns

“Under Andy Twyman’s direction, Clare Latham and Greg Lockett are utterly compelling.” Ginger Wig & Strolling Man

“Monologues are emotionally charged and raw, contrasting with the light and playful dialogue of the relationship. Through Andrew Twyman’s tight, considered direction the dramatic tension builds between the characters and the audience.” Annabel Mellor, Theatre and Performance Guide and Guru

“Emily May Sions’s set is brilliantly realised.” Breman Rajkumar, A Younger Theatre

“Emily May Sions’ clever design sets the marital bed as the focal point of the stage, lending an immediate intimacy to the dialogue.” Ginger Wig & Strolling Man

“Chris Drohan’s excellent sound design, complete with relaxing reggae and more disturbing, distortion effects.” Breman Rajkumar, A Younger Theatre

Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays 6, 7, 8, 13, 14, 15, 20, 21 and 22 March 2016

Tickets and Times

Monday 7:30pm
Tuesday 2pm
Sunday 7.30pm

2hrs including an interval of 15 mins