by Luke Owen (2013, Prize Winner)
Directed by Justin Audibert. Designed by Georgina Lowe. Lighting by Joshua Carr. Sound by Richard Hammarton. Casting by Emily Jones.
Cast: Richard Atwill. John Hodgkinson. Ronan Raftery. George Turvey. Eleanor Wyld
“I’ve seen a lot of people sit in that chair while I’ve sat in this one. This job needs to be done. And you can’t survive in it if you care. If you care, it will kill you.”
The winner of the fifth Papatango New Writing Prize in partnership with the Finborough Theatre….
Tom spends all his days surfing the net…
Because Tom works in child protection.
Faced with watching recordings of the most unforgivable crimes on a daily basis, in a job that barely anyone else can endure, Tom struggles to retain his humanity. Meeting Emily might just mean his life has changed for the better, but when your entire working life is spent watching the most terrible of crimes, can you ever go home and say “I love you”?
It is estimated that there are 50,000 – 60,000 regular viewers of child pornography in the UK alone. With reports of footage of abuse rising by 42% in the last six months, Unscorched examines the impact on those analysts confronting such footage every day.
Tackling an important and taboo subject with sensitivity, humour and courage, and chosen from more than 500 entries to win this year’s Papatango New Writing Prize, Luke Owen’s first play reveals a dramatist of exceptional promise.
★★★★ Four Stars, The Guardian
★★★★ Four Stars, WhatsOnStage
★★★★ Four Stars, Exeunt
★★★★ Four Stars, One Stop Arts
“A blessedly unsensational play on a deeply serious subject.” Michael Billington, The Guardian
“Luke Owen’s first play has set a precedent for great things to come.” Justine Malone, One Stop Arts
“This impressive debut…There is plenty in Unscorched to suggest that Owen is a writer of huge promise.” Dominic Maxwell, The Times
“Luke Owen’s debut is a cracker.” Patrick Marmion, Time Out
“Unscorched, the debut play by Luke Owen, is the winner of this year’s Papatango New Writing Prize, an award that’s previously gone to such critically well-received works as Dawn King’s Foxfinder (2011) and Louise Monaghan’s Pack (2012). …Selected unanimously by the judges from more than 500 entries, Owen’s text is a tight piece that gets into provocative, timely territory…A compelling piece and one that marks Owen out as a playwright of promise.” Alex Ramon, The Public Reviews
“As the winner of the prestigious Papatango New Writing Prize, Luke Owen gets his first play, Unscorched, staged at the Finborough Theatre. Packing in the critics last night, the scene is set to judge the script, and it’s easy to see why it won.” Edward Lukes, The London Magazine
“Luke Owen’s first play (winner of the 2013 Papatango New Writing Prize) is remarkable in its ability to shed light on a subject most people prefer not to think about…A sensitive and thought-provoking portrayal of a difficult subject and the unsung people who devote their lives to investigating the unforgivable. An amazing debut to a writing career.” Carole Gordon, WhatsOnStage
“A sensitively imagined piece.” Henry Hitchings, London Evening Standard
“The play strikes a strong balance between humour and a more complex examination of the process of desensitisation. Owen has a great ear for awkward exchanges and treats the material with a pleasingly light touch.” Natasha Tripney, The Stage
“Will keep you thinking for days afterwards…” Kate Hudspeth, Bargain Theatreland