Lunatic 19’s – A Deportational Roadtrip

by Tegan McLeod

9 July – 3 August 2019

“Discover, detain, deport. It’s all legal. It’s...I put them in the van, bats in a cage, and I just drive. “

The world premiere

★★★★★ Five stars, Close-Up Culture
★★★★Four Stars, The Guardian
★★★★ Four Stars, The Crumb
★★★★ Four Stars, Reviewsgate
★★★★Four Stars, Breaking the Fourth Wall

Off West End Award Nomination for Female Performance in a Play – Gabriela García

Recovering from a serious car crash, Gracie, an undocumented Latina migrant worker from Kentucky, is tracked down to her hospital bed by immigration enforcement officer Alec. Dragged from hospital, she is chained and forced into a van to begin the long journey to deportation…

With coruscating humour and caustic observation, Lunatic 19’s captures the human stories at the heart of the current debate about migration and refugees, and the brutal surrealism of jailer and prisoner bound together on a road trip to exile and new beginnings.

About The Director Jonathan Martin

Director Jonathan Martin was the Principal of Drama Centre, London at Central Saint Martins between 2011-2018. He trained as a theatre director at Drama Centre, London and the École Philippe Gaulier in Paris. He has directed over thirty professional theatre productions at theatres including Theatre Royal, Stratford East (Ballroom by Robert Pugh, Pinocchio by Vince Foxall, Hansel and Gretel by David Cregan); Liverpool Playhouse (Insignificance by Terry Johnson); Sheffield Crucible (The Dispute by Marivaux); Gate Theatre (The False Servant by Marivaux);, and the Half Moon Theatre (Blood Wedding by Lorca). His productions have ranged from classical work to new writing and devised work including directing several plays by American authors including Sam Shepard, Terrence McNally, Stephen Adly Guirgis, Lanford Wilson, Israel Horowitz and Naomi Wallace. He was Associate Director at the Theatre Royal, Stratford East, and at the Centro de Investigicíon Teatral in Lima, where he directed Macbeth by Shakespeare, Top Girls by Caryl Churchill, Happy Days by Beckett, and an adaptation of Playland by Athol Fugard. Most recently, he has directed Enron by Lucy Prebble at The Curve, Leicester.

About the Playwright Tegan McLeod

Playwright Tegan McLeod was born in Iowa City, Iowa. She later moved to the UK where she went on to study English at Oxford University. She began acting with the National Youth Theatre and her first play Never Such Rain, written at age 18, was a runner-up in the Oxford New Writer’s Festival. Upon graduating, Tegan became one of only two playwrights, internationally, to be awarded a full scholarship to the University of Texas at Austin as a Michener Fellow in Playwriting and Screenwriting. Whilst there, she had numerous productions including the world premiere of her first opera, Rose Made Man, an opera about Trans identity. Her play Girls in Cars Underwater was developed at Center Stage in

Baltimore, featured in the Ignition Festival at Victory Gardens, Chicago, and was selected for the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center: National Playwrights Conference. Last year, her play Lover Think Lover was included in The New Group’s Spring Reading Festival. This is her first full length play to be seen in the UK.

Reviews for Lunatic 19s

★★★★★ Five stars, Close-Up Culture
★★★★Four Stars, The Guardian
★★★★ Four Stars, The Crumb
★★★★ Four Stars, Reviewsgate
★★★★Four Stars, Breaking the Fourth Wall

Off West End Award Nomination for Female Performance in a Play - Gabriela García

“It’s written for our time and of our time – one of rising nationalism, increasing protectionism and soaring deportations.” Jeff Prestridge, Close-Up Culture

“This is powerful drama made all the more so by recent events in the US, though its biggest strength lies in its imagination, not its politics.” Arifa Akbar, The Guardian

“There’s also a layer of humanity underpinning it all. Hope amid the adversity.” Jeff Prestridge, Close-Up Culture

“A tightly controlled two-hander about the racial power balance in American society.” Maryam Philpott, The Reviews Hub

“In parts the play is brutal.” Jeff Prestridge, Close-Up Culture

“This is a smart play, efficiently performed and providing food for thought for a 21st century audience.” Eleanor Lewis, markaspen.com

“An excellent dissection of the absurdly vicious and inhumane reality of America's immigration policies.” Theo Moore, The Crumb

“A searing piece of theatre.” Jeff Prestridge, Close-Up Culture

“With Lunatic 19’s, the audience is taken not on an easy journey, neither on a touching sappy trip, but it is all worth it.” Christiana Ferrauti, London Theatre Reviews

“A painfully topical reminder of the problems produced by immigration and the inhumanly blunt way they are being dealt with, in this case in the USA.” Howard Loxton, British Theatre Guide

“A few politicians – here, in Europe and in the United States – would benefit from watching it. Surely, they could spare 90 minutes out of their busy lives?” Jeff Prestridge, Close-Up Culture

“The premise of ‘Lunatic 19s: – A Deportational Road Trip’ is terrifying, all the more so for its basis in reality.” Ka Bradley, Time Out

“Shifts in the power balance between Gracie and Alec are deftly done, as are the moments of self-exposure and tenderness between them.” Arifa Akbar, The Guardian

“Lunatic 19’s: A Deportational Road Trip (Finborough) is a steely first play with a tender heart.” Lyn Gardner, Stagedoor

“Lunatic 19’s – A Deportational Road Trip is unmissable theatre.” Jeff Prestridge, Close-Up Culture

“Tegan McLeod’s play is spikey on the way governments get those at the bottom of the heap to do their dirty work for them.” Lyn Gardner, Stagedoor

“There is a sweaty poetry in the writing that tells stories so full of loss.” Lyn Gardner, Stagedoor

“Tegan McLeod’s play […] has a timely, grim premise.” Frey Kwa Hawking, The Stage

“A gripping play from a talented playwright.” Jeff Prestridge, Close-Up Culture

“Playwright Tegan McLeod has in fact written a witty, sarky, funny (and strong) character.” Eleanor Lewis, markaspen.com

“Tegan McLeod is lucky in her cast and director.” William Russell, Reviewsgate

“Sharply written and powerfully acted.” Daniel Nelson, One World

“This is a smart play, efficiently performed and providing food for thought for a 21st century audience.” Eleanor Lewis, markaspen.com

“She is incisive too on the psychology of Gracie and Alec’s enforced relationship.” Lyn Gardner, Stagedoor

“Both Garcia and Anderson give impassioned performances.” Arifa Akbar, The Guardian

“Garcia and Anderson are quite exceptional.” Jeff Prestridge, Close-Up Culture

“Gabriela Garcia captures both the brittleness and desolation of Gracie, a woman made by her past but desperately trying to forge the future.” Lyn Gardner, Stagedoor

“Gracie is an interesting multi-dimensional lead.” Maryam Philpott, The Reviews Hub

“Gabriela García plays Gracie with spark, celebrating her humour and resilience.” Ka Bradley, Time Out

“Gabriela Garcia is a wonderfully physical Gracie with real attitude.” The View From The Circle

“Gabriela Garcia is formidable.” Frey Kwa Hawking, The Stage

“Gabriela García is brilliant.” Christiana Ferrauti, London Theatre Reviews

“Fresh from the critically acclaimed West Side Story in Manchester, Gabriela Garcia brings an unexpected humour to the role, finding layers of sarcasm, bitterness and contempt.” Maryam Philpott, The Reviews Hub

“Devon Anderson […] complex, intense and watchable.” The View From The Circle

“Devon Anderson does very well to suggest the slow awakening of a man who has asked too few questions about his job and his life.” Lyn Gardner, Stagedoor

“With Lunatic 19’s, the audience is taken not on an easy journey, neither on a touching sappy trip, but it is all worth it.” Christiana Ferrauti, London Theatre Reviews

“García is enthralling to watch as Gracie.” Liz Dyer, Theatre Things

“Gabriela Garcia is wonderfully resilient, uncompromising and tough as a woman accustomed to having to fight her own battles, while as Alec, faced with this difficult captive in the back of his van, Devon Anderson creates a man torn between having to do his job and wanting to do the decent thing.” William Russell, Reviewsgate

“The story is so well told that the time we spend with Gracie and Alec – though frequently harrowing – feels considerably shorter than its run time of 90 minutes. An excellent production, and essential viewing.” Liz Dyer, Theatre Things

“Expertly directed by Jonathan Martin.” Jeff Prestridge, Close-Up Culture

“Jonathan Martin’s production concentrates, very successfully, on the relations between the two of them.” Howard Loxton, British Theatre Guide

“The drama has a pared-down, expressionist quality. Carla Goodman’s bare, blood-red set brilliantly invokes […] the physical brutality of displacement and deportation.” Arifa Akbar, The Guardian

“Carla Goodman's design is the absolute highlight, especially the way it uses Kevin Treacy's excellent lighting.” The View From The Circle

“Edward Lewis’ impressive sound design that adds plenty of vivid texture.” Maryam Philpott, The Reviews Hub

“The Finborough Theatre is an ideal space for this intense drama.” Eleanor Lewis, markaspen.com

“As well as reviving lost plays the Finborough also stages new work and this piece, getting its world premiere, deserves to be seen.” William Russell, Reviewsgate

9 July – 3 August 2019

Tickets and Times

Tuesday 7:30pm
Wednesday 7:30pm
Thursday 7:30pm
Friday 7:30pm
Saturday 3:00pm
7:30pm
Sunday 3:00pm

Approximately 90 minutes