Still Here

by Mari Lloyd
produced by 20 South Street in association with Still Here Productions Ltd and Grey Swan
directed by Julia Stubbs

What happens when you have the feeling that you are disappearing?

Rhys just wants to box while his dad just wants a job. Yasmin is living with her nan while her mother wants to be looking over the plains of Uganda.

The children can’t speak to their parents, and the parents don’t understand how their children are feeling.

In Mari Lloyd’s moving and sharply funny new play, we see the world through the eyes of two 18-year-olds, as they try to comprehend the actions of their parents and begin to understand that the choices of today can stay with you for the rest of your life.

Cast

Phillip John Jones | Emma Kaler.

Creative Team

Director: Julia Stubbs | Set and Costume Designer: Rachael Rooney | Lighting Designer: Jonathan Samuels. | Sound Designer: Jamie Lu | Technical Operators: Julia Stubbs and Charlie Heptinstall | Technical Assistant: Stuart Glover | Photography: Grey Swan | Produced by 20 South Street in association with Still Here Productions Ltd and Grey Swan.

Performance dates *Premiere

7-25 March 2023 at the Jack Studio Theatre, London.

The programme for Still Here can be viewed here

Playwright MARI LLOYD grew up in the Rhondda Valley and still has family living there. She now lives in Merseyside, and after working in the NHS for more than 20 years, began writing.

Her short plays include Evidence (Little Pieces of Gold at Southwark Playhouse and Lantern Writers Showcase Boss Plays 5), Charity (Theatre for Snapshots by LEMAD Theatre at Rosemary Branch Theatre), What Friends Are For (Love Lies by LEMAD Theatre at Hope Theatre), and High Tea (Part of The Directors’ showcase at Questors Theatre).

One-act plays include The Match (Liverpool Write Now Festival at Lantern Theatre), Last Tango at St. Leonards (Liverpool Write Now Festival at Unity Theatre), Three Women (Manchester 24:7 Festival), Bread and Circuses (Lantern Theatre), Looking Out for Jack (Part of Lantern Writers Showcase and longlisted for the Papatango New Writing Prize), and Elegy (Liverpool Scriptshop at Liverpool Fringe Festival).

She stays grounded and sane by engaging with a local boxing gym.

Reviews for Still Here

★★★★ “Mari Lloyd’s poignantly funny play about two teenagers trying to find their way in an unforgiving and uncertain world is a real treat… Emma Kaler is beautifully nuanced as Yasmin… Phillip John Jones is wonderful as Rhys… Director Julia Stubbs skilfully takes Lloyd’s smart script and interweaves the stories of the two damaged teenagers seamlessly… Warm and funny, with two excellent performances, Still Here is hugely enjoyable.” Fairy Powered Productions

“Mari Lloyd writes with genuine insight and emotion, incorporating light-hearted jokes to loosen the script from getting too heavy. Her characters are realistic, genuine and likeable – their flaws explained with ample backstory to ensure the audience remain on side. Director Julia Stubbs allows the focus to stay solely on the actors and the script – the empty stage, minimal sound and lighting taking a backseat to allow the words to fully take hold… Emma Kaler (Yasmin) and Phillip John Jones (Rhys) are absolutely fantastic actors, each performing their monologues with heart-felt emotion… This is an endearing, enjoyable script performed by two wonderful actors with a long future ahead of them. Whether you’re a young adult finding your place in the world, or of an older generation struggling to keep up with life’s many changes – this show works for all. ” The Reviews Hub

Still Here is a blissfully uncluttered 75 minutes where writer Mari Lloyd’s words take centre stage, delivered by two assured, talented young performers… Set designer Rachael Rooney has provided a raised square stage that evokes a boxing ring, and under Julia Stubbs’s direction, Rhys and Yasmin hang around waiting for their moment to come out of their corner to deliver or receive one of life’s punches… Phillip John Jones and Emma Kaler’s performances are moving and true. Kaler’s Yasmin has a just-controlled, riled energy, later showing strength and kindness, whilst Jones’s gentle Rhys is painfully lost, his feigned bravado falling away to reveal his fallibility. When their fight is over, they are changed but they are still here.” British Theatre Guide

“Mari Lloyd’s new play covers a lot of ground and director, Julia Stubbs, draws splendid performances from Phillip John Jones and Emma Kaler as the two troubled teens… I found myself very keen to find out what happened next to the two kids we’d grown to respect a lot and even love a little.” Broadway World UK

“Phillip John Jones’ Rhys is all ‘wrist and hip’ swagger but with an underlying uncertainty and naivety… Emma Kaler as Yasmin has a lovely light touch – even when swearing which her character does a lot – and she shows real confidence in her work… The play is neatly directed – and nicely lit – and Mari Lloyd brings her real life experience of the Rhondda and of boxing in a gym to the fore… there is more than enough here to have expectations of future fireworks from Mari Lloyd and her two actors.” London Pub Theatres

STANDING OVATION NOMINATION from London Pub Theatres for the performances of Phillip John Jones and Emma Kaler