Work

Redundant

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Redundant by Leo Butler premiered at the Royal Court Theatre in 2001 starring Lyndsey Marshal and directed by Dominic Cooke. Set in seventeen-year-old Lucy's Sheffield council flat, the play follows a year in the promiscuous teenager's life as she makes one disastrous choice after another. It is a dark, often humorous, examination of social poverty. In the introduction in his collected volume of plays, Butler writes of his central character, "Though she is a victim of poverty - in particular, poverty of imagination and of opportunity - Lucy is never a victim in her own home. She never gives up, and both her dreams, however delusional, and her tough, oppositional spirit remain unspoiled even by the end of the play." It contained the first ever reference in theatre to Osama bin Laden where a character said that the whole country needed to be bombed by him to teach us all what suffering was. The play premiered at Royal Court on 12 September 2001 (the day after the attacks on the World Trade Center), receiving gasps from the audience. The production is well known for its use of the downstairs stage at Royal court where the overhead arch had been lowered throughout the play until the final scene where it was raised as Lucy sat on the bed making her appear smaller and smaller and more and more redundant to the action. Leo Butler won the 2001 George Devine Most Promising Playwright Award for the play. Lyndsey Marshal won the 2001 Critics' Circle Theatre Award for Best Newcomer for her performance in the play.
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